By Otto Gomez
The College’s football team continued its strong play as the Lions defeated Southern Virginia University (SVU) on Saturday, Nov. 5, by a score of 28-25. The team showed incredible resilience as it was able to grind through regulation time, as well as four overtime periods. Senior kicker Brian Nagy was able to end the contest when he struck a 25-yard field goal through the uprights.
While the game was exciting in the second half, it started off slowly. It wasn’t until after a scoreless first quarter that the Lions finally got on the board, finishing off a six-play, 63-yard drive. Starting on their own 37, junior running back Chad Scott, fresh off a historic week, eluded the defense for a 15-yard gain, entering SVU territory.
“Becoming a part of history on such an important day like Homecoming was pretty exciting,” Scott said last week about his record-setting game. “However, us getting the win was even bigger, in my opinion.”
Quarterback Trevor Osler completed a 25-yard pass to senior wide-out Jeff Mattonelli for a big gain. After another Scott rush, Osler connected with junior Khani Glover for a 14-yard touchdown pass to give the Lions a 7-0 lead, a score that would hold into halftime.
The Knights tied the game in their first drive after halftime, going 77 yards down the field on nine plays, the last one being a 34-yard run by quarterback Ty Jones.
The Lions were unable to respond, going three-and-out in the next possession and punting. They got a break, however, when sophomore defensive back Anthony Leithauser picked off a pass and took it 23 yards to the house, putting his team up, 14-7. The Knights remained in the game and finally tied the game at 14 with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, a score that would remain until the end of regulation.
In the first overtime, both teams traded field goals, with Nagy converting on a 22-yarder and Knights kicker Sam Horman on a 20-yarder. In the second overtime period, the scoring got more intense. The Lions scored a touchdown on a 25-yard throw from Osler to junior wide receiver Thomas Koenig, followed by a gutsy two-point conversion, extending the lead to 25-18.
Southern Virginia showed they had no intention of quitting as they quickly tied the game with another Jones touchdown from five yards out, and a Simi Moala run for the two-point conversion.
In the fourth period, the College defense held SVU to the 21-yard line, forcing Horman to try another attempt from 38 yards. His kick sailed wide, giving the Lions an opportunity to put the game away. Scott took two carries for 13 yards, which put the Lions in field goal range. On fourth down, Nagy lined up a 25-yard attempt, kicking it through the uprights and officially ending the game.
The Lions were not surprised by their strong performance for the second week in a row, especially as they gained a lot of momentum from their last game.
“I believe our performance has really proven to us what we are truly capable of doing when everyone does their part to the best of their ability,” Scott said of their Homecoming win. “The biggest thing we learned was that we came out from the start of the game fast and ready to go and continued this momentum until the end of the game.”
They look to end their season with another victory when they square off against Rowan University at home on Friday, Nov. 11, on Senior Night. Scott is hopeful as the end of the season nears.
“I think we will now continue to push each other and focus in so that we can perform even better these next two games,” Scott said. “There is always room for improvement, so (in) these next two weeks of practice, we will fix the mistakes that need to be adjusted.”