Written by Sean Dahlin
Sophomore punter Brenton Estorffe (Mooloolaba, Australia) had a solid performance booting seven punts for a 40.1 yard-per-punt average while pinning Saturday's opponent Virginia-Lynchburg inside the 20-yard line three different times. Estorffe also converted a 4th and 9 situation with a 16-yard run on a fake punt play at the end of the first quarter.
Southern Virginia's leading tacklers so far this season—Matt Gregory (Staunton, Va.) with 49 tackles, Dakoda Winsor with 42 tackles (Richland, Wash.) and Robert Robbins (Glendale, Ariz.) with 35 tackles—were also the team's three leading tacklers against Virginia-Lynchburg as Gregory and Winsor each had a game-high 15 tackles, while Robbins added 11 stops respectively.
Southern Virginia set a program record Saturday as Gregory blocked a Virginia-Lynchburg 21-yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter giving the Knights seven blocked kicks on the season—the previous season record was six blocks set back in 2007.
Junior quarterback Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.) was Southern Virginia's leading rusher against Virginia-Lynchburg with 60 total yards on 5 attempts, including a thrilling 58-yard touchdown scramble that put the Knights up 9-0 with just over three minutes remaining before halftime. Sophomore running back Jerry Washington (Gloucester, Va.) earned his first touchdown of the season on a one-yard run with 4:18 left in the third quarter.
MIDDLE OF THE LINE
Senior interior defensive linemen Dylan Hall (Redding, Calif.) and Luke Herndon (Mechanicsville, Va.) recorded one sack apiece in the game on Saturday. Hall leads the team with five total sacks through five games in 2012.
Middle linebacker Winsor recorded a safety early in the second period tackling Dragons running back Macha Shinhoster in his own end zone to put the Knights up 2-0 with 12:21 left before intermission—marking the seventh saftey in program history.
Southern Virginia Head Coach DeLane Fitzgerald
"We played well for three quarters of the game but couldn't hold the lead in the fourth. We're focusing our attention this week on staying mentally tough for the entire 60 minutes, starting with the coaching staff down to the players."
On the defense's play:
"We played well defensively in the first half and made some key stops. In the second half, we became fatigued as Virginia-Lynchburg's offense converted on third downs and our offense struggled to move the ball consistently."
On special teams play:
"Our special teams unit performed well, especially the key punts made by Brenton [Estorffe]. Our kick and punt return teams also executed well, allowing Steven [Andreasen] and Frank [Taitano] to have solid returns on Saturday."
Southern Virginia Linebacker Dakoda Winsor
"We started the game on both sides of the ball with a good demeanor and intensity. We need to come together as a team and maintain our intensity in order to reach our potential."
On his safety in the second quarter:
"I recognized the opponent's formation from our scouting report, which allowed me to get into Virginia-Lynchburg's backfield quickly and make the play."
Southern Virginia Linebacker Robert Robbins
"In order to win at the collegiate level, we need to finish the game with the same level of execution and sound play as we played the first three quarters on Saturday."
On the defense's performance:
"When we collectively played our assignments, we had success as a defensive unit."