Written by Wesley Evans
Southern Virginia University (5-2) vs. The Apprentice School (1-6)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Place: Apprentice Field, Newport News, Va.
All-time vs. Apprentice: 3-7
Last Meeting: Oct. 19, 2013 in Buena Vista, Va. (W, 34-7)
For the second time in three weeks, the Southern Virginia University football team will face off against USCAA opponent The Apprentice School in its final road contest of the season as it travels to Apprentice Field in Newport News, Va. Start time for the game is scheduled for 1 p.m.
In their Homecoming contest nearly two weeks ago, the Knights took care of business against the Shipbuilders as they earned a 34-7 victory (Football Earns Homecoming Victory over Apprentice, 34-7 ). The game had Southern Virginia in control as it jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead and never looked back.
The Shipbuilders (1-6) enter this week's game on a two-game skid having lost to Southern Virginia two weeks ago, then Edward Waters College last week in a 38-21 defeat. The Knights (5-2) will look to build on its three-game winning streak and win their third straight contest against The Apprentice School. A victory this weekend for Southern Virginia will secure its sixth win of the year and match the program's all-time most wins in a season as the 2007 squad went 6-5.
Fitzgerald on The Apprentice School
"They're going to be ready to play us. We won two weeks ago, but that just puts all the motivation over on their side. We have a lot left to play for these three games. When someone just beat you, it gives you a lot of ammunition and a lot of motivation.
"Apprentice is very well-coached. They're as well-coached as anybody we play every season. Paul Hoffman does a great job as their head coach. Penn Stephenson does a great job as their offensive coordinator. Sam Daniels is doing a great job as their defensive coordinator. Whenever you play a team that is well-coached it scares you a little bit.
"Their receivers run great routes and they're fast. Their quarterback has played solid this year and they have a good offensive line. Their running backs have given us problems in the past. Their defense runs to the football. Their special teams are good – they've blocked a few kicks this year, so that's always a concern."
Southern Virginia Head Coach DeLane Fitzgerald
DeLane Fitzgerald is in his fifth season as head football coach at Southern Virginia and is in his 12th 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 four-plus years as Southern Virginia's head coach, Fitzgerald has posted a 21-30 overall record, including a 5-6 record in 2012.
Fitzgerald became the winningest coach in Southern Virginia football's 11-year history in 2011, passing Mike Smith who went 9-13 overall from 2007-08.
The Apprentice School Head Coach Paul Hoffmann
Paul Hoffmann is in his second stint as head football coach of The Apprentice School, his first being from 1990-97. Before becoming head coach, Hoffmann served as defensive coordinator beginning in 1987 under Phil Janaro. In 2002, Janaro returned as head coach and Hoffmann served again as defensive coordinator and special teams coach before becoming head coach again in 2012.
Throughout his coaching career at Apprentice, he has had a hand in nearly 80 victories.
A native of Norfolk, Va., Hoffmann graduated in 1981 from The College of William and Mary where he was a standout offensive tackle.