Football Falls to William Paterson on Senior Day

Football Falls to William Paterson on Senior Day

BUENA VISTA, Va.—Despite a valiant effort by the defense on Senior Day, the Southern Virginia University football team lost a close 10-8 battle to visiting William Paterson University Saturday afternoon at The Fields to complete the 2014 season.

Senior Robert Robbins led the defensive effort with 15 tackles, including nine solo takedowns, in addition to a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Fellow senior Colter Evans finished second for the team on the day with 10 tackles and one half-tackle for loss. Seniors Steven Scott, Matthew Gregory and Bruce Eisenhauer combined for 16 tackles in the loss.

"We left it all on the field and our defense did its best to keep the score down and put us in great field positions, but again we struggled to get the ball into the endzone," said Southern Virginia head coach Jason Walker. "It was the type of game that shows how slim the margin is between winning and losing a game. We made plays here and there but not enough to come out with a victory."

After a scoreless opening period, Paterson kicker Robert Sinegra connected on a 32-yard field goal attempt to cap a long nine-minute, 19-play drive that covered 76 yards to give the Pioneers a 3-0 advantage with 12 minutes remaining before the half.

Knight quarterback Mitch Stevenson finished 12-27 through the air for 116 yards during the game with one touchdown pass, but had a fumble and a pass intercepted in the second quarter, the latter of which set up a short field for the Pioneers at the Southern Virginia 33-yard line.

On the drive, the Knight defense forced a 4th-and-4 scenario for the Pioneers, but Paterson found an open space in the middle of the secondary for a 16-yard touchdown completion from Austin Fellows to Anthony DiMarsico to put the Pioneers up, 10-0, with just over three minutes before halftime.

Paterson forced a Southern Virginia punt on the ensuing drive, which punter Mackey Smith put out-of-bounds on the Pioneer five yard line. An errant play by Paterson quarterback Fellows was ruled a safety for the Knights on the next play, cutting the Pioneer advantage to 10-2 with 45 seconds before the half.

Following a scoreless third period that featured a few Paterson missed field goals and two Knight turnovers, Southern Virginia struck early in the fourth after Robbins recovered a fumble on a Pioneer punt return to give the Knights the ball at the WPU 17.

Three plays later, Stevenson connected with receiver Kyler Harris for a 14-yard touchdown reception to cut the WPU lead to 10-8 with 14 minutes remaining in the game. However, Southern Virginia's two-point conversion pass attempt failed as the Pioneers maintained the lead.

Midway through the final quarter, Robbins forced a fumble recovered by teammate Dylan Fegan at the Pioneer 16-yard line. Unable to get into the endzone, the Knights attempted a 27-yard field goal that sailed wide right.

On the final Knight drive, the Pioneers' Elijah DeGuzman picked it off deep in their own territory with three seconds remaining to seal the Paterson victory.

"I'm proud of our seniors and the effort they gave to the program this season and before I arrived," Walker said. "We look to build off of their example, work hard this offseason to get better and find ways to continue to improve our football program."

Southern Virginia finishes the 2014 season with a 1-9 overall record and 1-6 league mark.