Written by Sean Dahlin
Date: October 8, 2011
Time: 1:00 pm
Opponent: Guilford Quakers
All-Time Series: 1-3
Last Meeting: October 9, 2010 vs. Guilford (W, 36-21)
View Live Stats when Southern Virginia takes on Guilford on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 1:00 PM EDT.
The Southern Virginia University football team travels to Greensboro, N.C. to take on Guilford Saturday, Oct. 8 after a two-week layoff in hopes of winning its second consecutive regular season game.
The Knights (1-3) look for their first road victory of the 2011 season as they face the Quakers— led by first-year Head Coach Chris Rusiewicz—who are looking for their first home victory this season.
The game versus NCAA Division III Guilford— member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) —could prove to be a test of what is to come in the near future as Southern Virginia prepares for full membership status into the NCAA Division III ranks.
Saturday's matchup between Southern Virginia and Guilford marks the fifth consecutive and total meeting between the two schools starting in 2007.
Southern Virginia is looking to defeat the Quakers for the second straight year and for the first time at Greensboro, N.C. as the Knights defeated the Quakers for the first time last season 36-21 on Oct. 9, 2010 in Buena Vista, Va. Guilford dominated the previous three meetings by a combined score of 165-63.
Look for an exciting, high-scoring affair on Saturday with both schools combining for nearly 72 points per contest in their four head-to-head meetings.
DeLane Fitzgerald is in his third season as head football coach at Southern Virginia and is in his tenth year of coaching collegiate football, making previous stops at his alma mater James Madison University (NCAA DI-FCS), the University of Tennessee at Martin (NCAA DI-FCS) and Bethel College (NAIA).
In his two plus years as Southern Virginia's head coach, Fitzgerald has posted an 8-18 overall record, including the program's second-best season in program history in 2010 (4-7).
Fitzgerald needs only two victories this season to surpass Mike Smith, who went 9-13 from 2007-2008, as the winningest coach in Southern Virginia football's nine-year history.
Chris Rusiewicz begins his first season as the 22nd head football coach at Guilford College in its 104th season.
Before taking over the Guilford football program, Rusiewicz served on the NCAA Division III Ursinus College coaching staff for ten years and served as defensive coordinator from 2003-2010 highlighted by him receiving the 2010 American Football Coaches Association's (AFCA) Division III Assistant Coach of the Year Award for his excellence with community service, commitment to the student-athlete and on-field coaching success.
Rusiewicz entered the coaching ranks as general manager and offensive coordinator of the semi-professional Eastern Pennsylvania Scorpions starting in 1997.
Rusiewicz received his bachelor's degree in sport management from DeSales University.
Southern Virginia rolled over Radford's club football team 63-6 in its first victory of the 2011 season in front of a ruckus whiteout home crowd at Robert E. "Bobby" Williams Field.
The Knights scored the first points of the game for the first time this season as sophomore quarterback Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.) led the Southern Virginia fast-paced, no-huddle offense on an 8-play, 70-yard drive that lasted less than two minutes. The red hot Knights offense continued to cruise as they scored the first four touchdowns of the game in the first quarter followed by two more touchdowns to lead Radford 42-6 at halftime.
Southern Virginia finished the game defeating Radford's club team 63-6 highlighted by a program-record six rushing touchdowns within a single game while also recording the second-most single-game rushing yards in program history with 320 yards. Southern Virginia tied another single-game program record with six different Knights picking off six passes from Radford quarterbacks.
Stevenson completed 8-of-10 passes against Radford for 136 yards setting single-game program records for the highest percentage of completed passes (80.0 pct.) and highest passing efficiency rating (293.2).
The Southern Virginia running backs combined for 320 yards in the game highlighted by two touchdowns and 54 yards on six carries from freshman running back Terry Eytcheson (Apache Junction, Ariz.) with two more touchdowns and 40 yards on seven carries from senior full back Thomas Canaday (Bedford, Va.).
Guilford is excited to return home to Greensboro, N.C. for its Homecoming game on Saturday against Southern Virginia in hopes of forgetting about the 63-0 trouncing received last week at Washington and Lee.
Rusiewicz is preparing to get Guilford back on the football map against Southern Virginia in search of his second victory in front of all the Quaker alumni.
The Guilford football team won its first game of the 2011 season 27-7 at Greensboro in the Soup Bowl, but has since struggled with three consecutive losses to NCAA Division III opponents Methodist, Averett and Washington and Lee.
Guilford's signal caller at the beginning of the season was sophomore quarterback Zac Halbert until he injured his foot in the third game of the season. Since then, senior Grady Gamble has taken over as quarterback but has struggled completing only 37% of his passes and throwing one touchdown compared to seven interceptions so far.
Junior Ben King and sophomore Lawrence Blake have solidified themselves as the two primary targets for Quaker quarterbacks making 28 catches for 428 yards and 23 grabs for 318 yard respectively. Leading the way for the successful Guilford rushing attack is freshman running back Josh Williams who has 255 yards and three touchdowns in four games.
On the defensive side of the ball, the freshman defensive back tandem of Hunter English and Robert Smith is leading the team with 23 tackles each.