FERRUM, Va. — The Southern Virginia University football team lost 31-28 at Ferrum College Saturday afternoon in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference matchup after a late fourth-quarter comeback fell short.
With 1:20 left in regulation and trailing by three, the Knights (2-5) forced a Ferrum (3-4) three-and-out and, after a punt, began its drive at the SVU 24-yard line. Running back, Akiva Wedge took a handoff for a gain of what would have been 10yards, but a holding penalty eliminated the play and moved the Knights back 10 yards to the SVU 14-yard line. The next play resulted in an interception with forty-four seconds remaining. Ferrum then ran out the clock to secure the 31-28 win.
In the first possession of the game, the Knights defense forced the game's first turnover on a forced fumble by Jacob Taloa that was recovered by Nate Matis on the FC 38-yard line. Southern Virginia, several plays later, then took a 7-0 lead on a 23-yard pass from quarterback Davis Pinkston to wide receiver Kevin Adams with 11:16 remaining in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, the Panthers went 74 yards in nine plays that was highlighted by a 32-yard pass from Zack Clifford to Dakota Crouse to tie the game 7-7 (following a successful Brad Green PAT).
After a Southern Virginia three-and-out, Ferrum took over with 6:14 remaining in the first quarter. The Panthers marched 71 yards on 15 plays in 8:17 to take a 14-7 lead with 12:49 left in the second quarter.
The Knights and Panthers traded punts on their next possessions. On the following Southern Virginia drive, Ferrum created their first turnover of the game when Pinkston was picked off at the SVU 25-yard line. The Panthers capitalized on the mistake with a 26-yard field goal to extend their lead to 17-7.
Southern Virginia responded the following possession with moving the ball 26 yards before Ferrum collected their second interception in Knight territory with 3:09 remaining in the half.
The Panthers wasted no time capitalizing on the turnover as they drove 44 yards on four plays while scoring on Clifford's second passing touchdown of the day to take a 24-7 lead into the half.
The Knights opened the second half receiving the ball. On the first play of the second half, the Panthers earned their third interception of the game. Ferrum started their drive on the Knights 17-yard line, finding the end zone on the ground on a two-yard run from Ryan Beidleman.
With Southern Virginia now trailing 31-7, the Knights started a comeback with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter with a seven-play, 88-yard drive capped off by a five-yard scoring run by McKendrick Johnson for his first score as a Knight with Southern Virginia now trailing Ferrum 31-14.
Southern Virginia cut into the Panthers lead with 5:09 remaining in the fourth quarter on a scoring Wedge rush from two yards out, and a successful PAT from Hatch pulled them to within 10.
The Knights forced a quick three-and-out to get the ball back with 3:33 left and found themselves with good field position from a strong punt return from Caeden Knight. Southern Virginia drove the ball 42 yards on five plays that were highlighted on an incredible one-handed snag from Adams for his second touchdown of the game trailing now 31-28.
The Panthers survived the Knights run on a turnover in the final minute to seal the game with a 31-28 victory.
Pinkston produced career-high numbers going 17-32 for 236 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and completions to seven different receivers while also finishing the game as the team's leading rusher with 89 yards on 11 attempts.
Wedge finished with 56 yards on the ground for the Knights with a touchdown, and Adams anchored the receivers with eight catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Newman added receptions for 56 yards.
Defensively for Southern Virginia, Neil Davis ended with his second straight game of double-figure tackles with ten while Albert Green and Taloa recorded eight and seven tackles, respectively. Michael Benjamin played solid on the defensive line earning five tackles and the team's only sack.
The Knights return home to host Guilford on Saturday, Nov. 2, with kickoff slated for a 1 p.m. start.