BUENA VISTA, Va. — The Southern Virginia University football team recently wrapped up its 2018 season, finishing with a 3-7 overall record and a 2-7 record in the NJAC.
The Knights got their first win of the season in late September, defeating Kean University 14-9 in an impressive road win. The squad won another tight contest at Apprentice in October by a score of 23-21, and on Homecoming day the Knights took down William Paterson 8-3 in an exciting fourth quarter comeback.
"We set measurable goals, and this year we wanted to work towards a 5-5 season," said first-year head coach Ed Mulitalo. "As I look back, we had several games where we were right there and had opportunities to win those games."
Unfortunately, Southern Virginia also lost heartbreakers to Rowan and The College of New Jersey at home, both by a field goal.
The Knights accomplished many great things this year, both as a team and as individuals. The offense showed much improvement from 2017, averaging 254.9 yards per game compared to 236.2 last season. The team also stepped up its game on the defensive side of the ball by holding teams to 27 points per game, down from 30.7 points per game in 2017.
Junior running back Akiva Wedge had a breakout season in 2018, leading the NJAC in rushing with 103.2 yards per game. Wedge was tabbed All-NJAC First Team and was the only player in the conference to rush over 1,000 yards on the season.
Safety Neil Davis was also a member of the All-NJAC First Team after tying for the team lead in tackles with 86. The junior also led the Knights with three interceptions, eight pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries.
"One aspect this season I have enjoyed to see from the team is them coming together and playing for each other," Mulitalo commented. "We have started establishing a culture of accountability, and with our mindset improving we can take those intangible aspects in a positive direction for next season."
The 2019 season brings some new challenges for the Knights as the program enters its first year in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Seven of the eight current members of the ODAC are in Virginia, so travel times will be cut down quite substantially.
The Knights head into next season with a lot of excitement as they look to return most of their players on both sides of the ball, as well as welcome newcomers that can make an impact.
"I look forward to next year with a new conference," said Mulitalo. It will make travel easier and I also hope we can in turn get more students to our games. We are anxiously awaiting 2019, and we aim to surprise folks and perform at a high level."