Written by Sean Dahlin and Chris Pendleton
Date: November 5, 2011
Time: 1 pm EDT
Opponent: Webber International University Warriors
All-Time Series: 0-3
Last Meeting: Nov. 6, 2010 vs. Webber International (L, 20-34)
The Southern Virginia University football team travels to Babson Park, Fla. on Saturday for its final road game of the season against NAIA-affiliate Webber International University.
Webber International (2-6) has won two of its last three contests collecting victories over Ave Maria University and Edward Water College—Southern Virginia's (3-5 overall; 1-5 NAIA) final two opponents of the season. The Knights and Warriors are both looking to finish the season on a high note after beginning the season with three and five consecutive defeats respectively.
Southern Virginia hopes to record its first win against Webber International as the Warriors have defeated the Knights in each of the past three seasons, including a 34-20 victory in Buena Vista, Va., last year.
Saturday's matchup between Southern Virginia and Webber International marks the fourth consecutive and total meeting between the two schools beginning in 2008, with the warriors taking all four matchups thus far.
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 a 10-20 overall record (5-20 NAIA), including the program's second-best season in program history in 2010 (4-7 overall; 3-7 NAIA).
Kelly Scott begins his fifth season as the head football coach at Webber International and ninth season on the coaching staff since the Warriors' inaugural season in 2002.
Scott brings with him 15 years of high school coaching experience in Indiana and Florida and one season at the University of South Carolina. Scott brought the Warrior's program to new heights quickly as he received the NAIA Independent Coach of the Year and SEAC Coach of the Year awards in 2007—his first year as head coach at Webber International. In 2010, he led Webber International to its first winning season in school history, going 7-4 on the way to its first NAIA Top-25 ranking.
Scott attended Manchester College where he played as a defensive back for three years before transferring to Indiana University where he received his bachelor's degree.
Last week Southern Virginia rolled against George Mason Club jumping out to a 21-0 lead on the way to a 48-26 victory.
With Saturday's victory, Fitzgerald became the winningest coach in Southern Virginia's nine-year football history, passing Mike Smith who went 9-13 overall (8-13 NAIA) from 2007-08. In his three-year stint at Southern Virginia, Fitzgerald has posted a 10-20 overall record (5-20 NAIA), with three wins over D-III schools, one win apiece over NAIA and Independents and five victories over club teams.
Freshman running back Jerry Washington had the best game of his young career on Saturday rushing for a season high 169 yards resulting in a Southern Virginia football record five rushing touchdowns.
Webber International is looking for its third victory in four games and consecutive wins for the first time this season when the Warriors host Southern Virginia on Saturday.
Webber International is hoping to finish the season on a winning streak with Scott's stringent defense leading the way giving up only 288 yards per game to its opponents while the Warrior offense has been inconsistent.
The Warriors have relied on a two-quarterback system so far led by junior Torrance Moise and Chris Hart, combining for 1,513 yards, 9 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.
Junior wide receiver Jamal Rodman and sophomore wide receiver/running back Brayun Andrews have solidified themselves as the primary threats in the Webber International passing game combining for three touchdowns this season. Rodman has 33 catches for 391 yards, while Andrews has 30 catches for 273 yards respectively.
Leading the way for the Warrior running attack is junior running back Deonte Fielder rushing for 379 yards on the ground resulting in five touchdowns this season.
Junior linebacker Nate Keller is the key to the solid Webber International defense leading the team with 70 total tackles (32 solo, 38 assists) this season, while recording the second most sack for the Warriors (2.0).
The Warriors' defensive pursuit into the backfield has given their opposing offenses nightmares with 27 tackles-for-loss and 7.5 sacks led by the fearsome foursome of senior defensive linemen Jamael Autry and Marcus Rhines, Keller and sophomore linebacker Hunter Ovens.