UNION, N.J. — The Southern Virginia University football team tallied its first win of the 2018 campaign on Saturday, beating Kean University in a defensive battle by a score of 14-9. The victory was also the first for Ed Mulitalo as head coach.
"The win feels amazing," said Mulitalo. "I can tell with the looks in our boys' eyes that they are relieved just as I am to get this first win. I am thankful that they can receive the ultimate reward for their hard work."
The Cougars (0-3, 0-2 NJAC) were first on the board after an 11-play drive turned into a 21-yard field goal for the only score of the first quarter.
Toward the end of the second period, quarterback Tate Briggs found wide receiver Caden Brewster for a 37-yard reception to take the Knights (1-3, 1-3 NJAC) to the two-yard line. Junior Akiva Wedge punched in a one-yard touchdown run a couple of plays later to give Southern Virginia a 7-3 lead.
In the third quarter, defensive end Dallin Breen forced a fumble which was recovered by Sergio Mamone deep in Cougar territory. Just one play later, the Knights doubled their lead as Briggs completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to junior Josh Newman.
The Cougars marched down the field later in the third period and ended their drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to bring the score to 14-9, but they were unable to convert the two-point conversion.
Southern Virginia's defense held strong in the fourth quarter, holding the Cougars in single-digits for the victory.
Tailback Akiva Wedge had a career game, rushing for 128 yards on 18 attempts and a touchdown, including a 63-yard run in the fourth quarter. Briggs finished the game with eight completions on 17 attempts for 106 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. Wide out Kevin Adams also played well for the Knight's offense, catching five passes for 40 yards.
The Knights' defense was dominant all game long, allowing only 170 total yards and forcing two turnovers, six sacks, and nine punts. Linebacker Jason Siaosi finished the game with nine tackles and a sack, while Brandon Austin had eight tackles and Albert Green IV had seven.
"We played outstanding defense, probably the best I've seen since I've been here," commented Mulitalo. "On offense, we did enough not to lose and I am proud of that effort. But we definitely left some plays on the field and we need to play better next week."
Southern Virginia will return home next Saturday to take on Wesley College, who is currently ranked No. 7 in the country. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. at Knight Stadium.