Written by Sean Dahlin
MOREHEAD, Ky.—The Southern Virginia University football team opened its 2012 season with a loss on the road Thursday evening as Morehead State defeated the Knights 55-0.
Southern Virginia (0-1) came up short against the Eagles (1-0) in the season opener giving the Knights football program a 1-9 all-time program record in season openers, including a 1-6 mark for road openers.
NCAA Division I FCS-foe Morehead State jumped out to a 24-0 lead after the first quarter of action and continued to roll on the offensive side of the ball as Eagles quarterback Zach Lewis finished the day 16-for-22 with 4 passing touchdowns and one score on the ground.
The Knights were unable to reach the end zone in their 2012 debut although freshman quarterback Andy Jones (Salt Lake City, Utah) led the offense into Morehead State territory on three separate occasions during his first collegiate start.
Southern Virginia advanced the ball as far as the Eagles' 12-yard line on a 14-play, 49-yard drive in the second quarter, however, the Knights were unable to come away with any points before time ran out in the first half.
Jones completed 11 of his 19 pass attempts for 89 yards with no touchdowns and one interception on the evening while his primary target for the game, wide receiver Cameron Williams (Sacramento, Calif.), captained the receiving corps with 6 receptions for 60 yards.
Sophomore running back Jerry Washington (Gloucester, Va.)—Southern Virginia's leading rusher in 2011—added a hard fought 53 yards on 22 carries against Morehead State's defense.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior defensive back Jacob Palmer (Alpine, Utah) tallied a team-high 8 total tackles (3 solo, 5 assisted) for the Knights.
Senior punter Brenton Estorffe (Mooloolaba, Australia) had a solid outing on special teams, pinning the opposing Eagles twice inside their own 15-yard line and punting the ball six times for a game-high 40.7 yards-per-punt average.
Southern Virginia finished the season opening game with 171 total yards on offense while the Eagles tallied 499 total offensive yards.
With Thursday's loss, Morehead State moves to 3-0 all-time against Southern Virginia with the Eagles defeating the Knights in previous meetings in 2008 (6-49) and 2009 (10-61).
Southern Virginia football will look to regroup from Thursday's loss before hosting North Carolina Wesleyan in its 2012 home opener at Robert E. "Bobby" Williams Field on Sep. 8 at 7 p.m. EDT. Southern Virginia's home opener will also be its only night home game of the season.