BUENA VISTA, Va. -- Southern Virginia University scored 22 unanswered fourth-quarter points for a 29-17 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) football win against Hampden-Sydney College on Saturday afternoon in Buena Vista. The host Knights (2-0, 1-0) took advantage of four second-half interceptions, and got three long scoring runs from Akiva Wedge, two in the final quarter, to win their first-ever ODAC contest. The visiting Tigers (1-2, 0-1) led 17-7 at halftime, but were unable to put any points on the board over the final two quarters.
SVU took an early 7-0 advantage when Wedge scored from 41 yards out with 11:24 left in the first quarter. Jackson Hatch added the PAT.
H-SC got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter with a three-yard touchdown pass from senior captain and quarterback Clay Vick/Raleigh, N.C. to junior wide receiver Dillon Costello/Haymarket. The Tigers attempted a two-point conversion, but were not successful and the score stood at 7-6 with 9:26 left in the quarter after the 11-play, 47-yard drive.
H-SC junior safety Jameel Siler/Centreville intercepted an SVU pass on its ensuing possession and returned it 28 yards to the Knights' 14. Four plays later, sophomore running back Kaleb Smith/Rocky Mount put the Tigers ahead with a four-yard touchdown run at 5:41, and Smith added a successful two-point conversion run this time, and the visitors led 14-7.
Junior kicker Rhett Andersen/Poquoson added a 34-yard field goal with 31-seconds left in the quarter and H-SC led 17-7 at halftime. The Tigers had gone 63 yards in nine plays, taking just 1:40, with junior wide receiver Blake Page/Richmond catching three passes on the drive for 52 yards, the big play being a 47-yard catch on third down.
H-SC took its first possession of the third quarter and drove deep into SVU territory, but the first of the four second-half interceptions by the hosts thwarted the effort at the Knights' 20.
SVU was wide right on a 28-yard field goal attempt with 6:28 remaining in the third quarter, and neither team threatened to score over the remainder of the quarter with the Tigers punting twice and the hosts once. The scoreless third period kept it 17-7.
The Knights scored early in the fourth quarter via a 23-yard TD pass from Davis Pinkston to Kevin Adams, and the Hatch PAT made it 17-14 with 14:19 on the clock. Vick was intercepted again on the first play of the next possession, but the Tigers' defense stood their ground, forcing a punt. SVU also forced another H-SC punt on its next possession, before the hosts scored the go-ahead TD on a 75-yard scoring run by Wedge at 10:52, and the PAT made it 21-17.
H-SC was intercepted again on its next possession, followed by punts from both teams that left just over five minutes remaining. SVU, however, secured the home victory in its first-ever ODAC game with a 53-yard TD run by Wedge at 4:51, and a two-point conversion run made it 29-17. The Tigers did drive 63 yards in 11 plays to the SVU 18 before the final interception in the end zone with just 1:49 on the clock.
Vick passed for a game-high 279 yards (31-49) and one TD with five interceptions. Smith rushed for 110 yards on 23 carries with one TD and a 2-point conversion, adding four receptions for 51 yards. Senior captain and wide receiver Major Morgan/Onancock had a game-high seven receptions for a game-high 81 yards, including a long reception of 33 yards. Page finished with six catches for 73 yards, including the 47-yarder, junior tight end Ed Newman/Farmville had a game-high seven receptions for 52 yards and Costello added three catches for 21 yards and the TD. Andersen added the 34-yard FG.
Junior linebacker Brendan Weinberg/Apex, N.C. had 12 tackles, including three tackles for loss, and one sack to lead H-SC, while senior captain and linebacker Griffin Davis/Charlottesville added eight tackles, including one TFL. Senior defensive end Tyler Frink/Farmville had six tackles for the Tigers, while Siler (one INT), sophomore linebacker Stephen Cash/Kill Devil Hills, N.C. and junior defensive lineman Phil Pullen/Manassas (0.5 TFL) each contributed five tackles.
Pinkston finished with 167 yards passing (13-23) and one TD with one interception for SVU. Wedge led the Knights with a game-high 237 yards rushing on 19 carries and the three TDs, adding 34 yards receiving on four catches. Josh Newman had 54 yards receiving on two catches.
Jacob Taloa led the SVU defense with a game-high 15 tackles, including four TFL, and one INT. Bishope Apodaca added 10 tackles, while Albert Green IV had two INTs.
H-SC will return home to welcome ODAC member Washington and Lee University next Saturday afternoon, September 28, at 1 p.m. on Fulton Field at Lewis C. Everett Stadium. The game will take place during the College's annual Family Weekend.