Second-Half Comeback Falls Short in Football Loss at Southern Virginia

Second-Half Comeback Falls Short in Football Loss at Southern Virginia

BUENA VISTA, Va. – Senior Neil Davis returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown to seal Southern Virginia University's 30-17 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football win over visiting Guilford College Saturday. Davis recorded two interceptions in the game, both in his own team's end zone, and made 10 tackles.

The Knights (3-5, 2-5 ODAC) snapped a five-game losing skid by withstanding the Quakers' second-half comeback. Guilford (2-6, 1-5 ODAC) scored 17 unanswered points before Davis' score with 1:23 left in regulation. The Quakers faced a fourth-down-and-goal from the Southern Virginia seven-yard line when Davis stepped in front of a Teddy Gassert pass and took it from one end zone to the other.

The Knights picked off Gassert three times in the freshman's first college start in place of injured starter Derrien Phillips. Joel Bergman's second-quarter theft off a deflected pass at Guilford's 35 led to an eight-yard touchdown from Davis Pinkston to Josh Newman and a 23-0 Southern Virginia lead. Guilford moved to the Knights' 16 on the third quarter's first possession before Davis made his first interception of the game. All told, Southern Virginia's defense forced four turnovers and sacked Gassert seven times. Simi Moala had three of the sacks among his four tackles.

Guilford rallied from the 23-0 deficit and got on the board on the first half's final play. Senior Harrison Kiser booted a hastily organized field goal from 35 yards out as time expired. The Quakers moved to the Knights' 18-yard line after a Josh Hayward interception, but the drive stalled with 14 seconds left in the half.  Out of timeouts, Guilford rushed the field-goal unit onto the field and got the kick off just in time.

The teams traded fumbles on successive third-quarter drives before Gassert connected with Tre Alexander for a 16-yard score that got the Quakers to within 23-10. A Khayree Lundy fumble recovery led to Guilford's first touchdown, which came with 2:30 left in the third.

The Quakers made it a one-score game on their next possession when Shanaan McKoy scored from one-yard out on fourth-and-goal with 13:19 left in regulation. Gassert completed three passes on the nine-play, 55-yard drive, including two to Jermaine Russell that covered a combined 46 yards.

The Quakers outgained Southern Virginia, 364-317, but were plagued by turnovers and nine penalties that totaled 123 yards. Gassert completed 20-of-47 passes for a game- and career-high 247 yards, six to Russell for 80 yards. McKoy carried 19 times for a game- and career-high 85 yards and a score. Desmond McDowell added 46 rushing yards on 11 carries and three catches for 35 yards. Senior J.T. Carmichael made a team-high eight tackles and classmate Jarrod Russ matched his career high with three sacks, which moved him into third place among Guilford's career leaders with 17.5 career sacks.

Southern Virginia's Pinkston completed 16-of-28 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns, both to Newman, who made five catches for 86 yards. Akiva Wedge carried 16 times for 44 yards. Kevin Adams contributed five catches for 75 yards. The Knights had 90 total offensive yards in the second half on 22 plays.

Coach Chris Rusiewicz's Quakers close out the home portion of their schedule next Saturday (11/9) against visiting league-rival Emory & Henry College. Guilford's Senior Day kickoff is 1:00 p.m.