UNION, N.J.—Competing in its first New Jersey Athletic Conference game, the Southern Virginia University football team fell in overtime to Kean University by a 28-27 score Saturday afternoon at Kean Stadium in Union, New Jersey.
Down 21-14 with only 1:34 remaining in regulation, the Knights went down the field to tie it up at 21 with only 11 seconds remaining on a nine-yard pass from Mitch Stevenson to Michael Kilstrom to force overtime.
In the overtime period, Kean took possession of the first drive and scored a touchdown on a Robert Meade six-yard run to put the Cougars up 28-21.
The Knights then took their opportunity and scored on a four-yard run by Jerry Washington, but kicker Kieren Phelps' extra point attempt was blocked to lift Kean to its 28-27 overtime victory.
"We fought hard and we played hard, but in the end it was the turnovers and failure to control the line of scrimmage that kept us from victory," said Southern Virginia head coach Jason Walker. "We did a good job of creating turnovers and creating our own scoring opportunities, but still gave up too many big plays that led to their scores. We're making progress but still hurting ourselves too often."
Southern Virginia finished the game with 319 yards of total offense, including 254 yards through the air from Stevenson and 65 net rushing yards. Washington accounted for 61 of the rushing yards on 20 carries, while Kyler Harris led the Knight receivers with 81 yards on seven catches for an average of 11.6 yards per catch.
On the defensive side, seniors Colter Evans and Robert Robbins led the team with 12 tackles apiece, including respective 10 and eight solo tackles. Matthew Gregory had both a blocked punt that led to a touchdown as well as an interception on the day. Justin Gonzales also had a 58-yard pick to set up an eventual Knight score.
The Knights got on the board first midway through the first quarter when Gregory blocked a punt that was recovered by linebacker Tristen Burnett in the endzone for a Knight touchdown to go up 7-0 after Kieren Phelps' extra point.
Kean tied it up at 7-7 following a 64-yard touchdown run by Damian Corredor. A few plays prior, Corredor had a 21-yard run to set up his touchdown scamper. The teams would go scoreless in the second quarter to go into halftime with a 7-7 tie.
With four minutes left in the third quarter, Stevenson connected with running back Jerry Washington for a 22-yard touchdown score to put the Knights back up, 14-7.
After forcing a Cougar punt minutes into the fourth quarter, the Knights took possession with 12:30 remaining but a Stevenson pass was picked off by Kean's David Coleman at the Knight 30 and returned to the 25-yard line to set up a short drive.
Kean took advantage as Meade connected with Corredor for a 19-yard completion to set up an eventual two-yard touchdown run by Corredor to tie the game back up at 14 apiece.
After forcing a Knight punt, Kean took possession again with eight minutes remaining and went on a 14-play, 74-yard scoring drive in 6:25 when Will Ingram scored on a 15-yard run to put the Cougars up, 21-14.
Kean quarterback Robert Meade went 11-20 for the day for 116 yards with two interceptions, while Corredor finished with 184 yards on the ground on 32 carries and two touchdowns.
Southern Virginia competes next Saturday for a Homecoming matchup with NJAC opponent Montclair State. Kickoff is set for noon as the first ever football game held at The Fields.