By Nick Porter
BUENA VISTA, Va. — The Southern Virginia University football team won its first game of the season on homecoming weekend with a 45-23 victory over The Apprentice School. Simi Moala and Akiva Wedge each recorded a pair of touchdowns in the win.
"Today was a great team victory for our program!" third-year head football coach Joe DuPaix commented. "Our men played with great energy and played for each other. I'm extremely proud of the way they performed and look forward to watching today's film and improving as a team!"
The Knights (1-5) opened the scoring on their first drive of the game, which began after a Neil Davis interception of Apprentice's Terrence Sudberry. After moving the ball across midfield from the 11-yard line, Simi Moala broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run, followed by a Jackson Hatch PAT.
After a couple of punts, the Knights began another drive on the 11-yard line. After a first down, quarterback Ty Jones connected a 53-yard pass to Jewka Patetefa to get the Knights into the red zone. Two plays later, Akiva Wedge scored a 16-yard rushing touchdown, capped by a Hatch kick.
The Builders (1-4) were finally able to get on the board with 7:17 left in the second quarter after completing an eight-yard pass for a score. On the ensuing drive, Ty Jones threw his second-longest pass of the game to Michael Carroll for 35 yards, setting up a 25-yard Jones run for the Knights' third touchdown of the game.
Apprentice was able to kick a field goal near the end of the half, to cap a drive that totaled a loss of two yards after recovering a Southern Virginia fumble, and cut the lead to 21-10 at the half.
The second half began just like the first, with Simi Moala breaking through for a huge 63-yard touchdown on the half's opening drive.
After forcing the Builders to punt, the Knights scored again, this time as Tate Briggs connected a 34-yard pass to Akiva Wedge for the score. Two plays later, the Knights had the ball again after defensive end Marlon Washington intercepted a batted pass and ran 35 yards to the two-yard line. Senior Seth Hanson punched the ball in for the Knights final TD of the game.
The Knights then forced a Builders' three-and-out and began their final scoring drive of the game, which ended in a 21-yard Jackson Hatch field goal.
Apprentice was able to score a pair of touchdowns and one point-after in the fourth quarter for a final score of 45-23, the highest point total the Knights have had since Oct. 29, 2011.
Neil Davis finished the day with two interceptions, the second of which came as time expired in the first half. He also led the team with seven total tackles. Matt Call recorded six tackles, while Joel Bergman had five total tackles and a pair for losses. Skyler Cloward and Ty Clegg combined for the Knights lone sack of the game.
On special teams, Hatch was a perfect six for six on extra points and hit the 21-yard field goal. Tate Briggs had four punts combine for 140 yards, and landed two inside the 20. Caeden Knight totaled 77 yards on three kick returns.
The Knights will take the week off before they head to Salisbury University on Oct. 21. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Maryland.