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Football fails to make two-game streak

The football team takes on Southern Virginia University on the road. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
The football team takes on Southern Virginia University on the road. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The College’s football team was looking to make it a two-game win streak when they traveled to Virginia this past Saturday, Nov. 8. However, things did not go the way they had hoped.

The Lions, who were making a long-distance road trip, fell 28-21 in the game at the Southern Virginia University campus in Buena Vista, Virginia.

“I thought I could have played better,” Osler said. “There was definitely room for improvement. I made plenty of mistakes, but there was also some positives.”

This was the Knights’ first win on the season, as they improved to 1-8 and 1-5 in the NJAC. The Lions are also 1-5 within the NJAC, but they are 2-7 overall.

The College came into this game following a 20-10 win against Kean on Saturday, Nov. 1, at Lions Stadium. It was its first win at home on the season and its first win since Friday, Sept. 12.

This was the closest game that the Knights played since a 28-27 loss to Kean in New Jersey on Saturday, Oct. 4. All of the other games during that span were blowouts.

Following a 47-yard punt by junior Lions kicker and punter Evan Costello to the Southern Virginia three-yard line, the returner fumbled the ball. It was recovered in the end zone by sophomore Alshamiere Fields.

“The fumble recovery for the touchdown was huge from an offensive perspective,” Osler said.  “We take a lot of pride in our special teams, and it showed on Saturday.  Great play by Evan and Al, and any time (when) our special teams can put up points on the board, it makes our job a little bit easier.”

Harper caught a 17-yard reception from Stevenson to make it 7-6. Following this touchdown, a Shawn Honeycutt rushing attempt failed.

Harris caught his second touchdown pass from Stevenson for 13-yards at 1:50 left in the second quarter to make it 14-13. Sophomore Lions wide receiver Jeff Mattonelli caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from freshman signal caller Trevor Osler to put the College up 14-6 at 5:03.

“The pass to Jeff was the perfect call for that situation,” Osler added, “The offensive line gave me plenty of time and I let Jeff run underneath it and make a great catch. Big plays like that are momentum boosters.”

Lions back Khani Glover scored on a one-yard rushing touchdown to put the Lions up 21-16. Knights’ kicker Kieren Phelps gave SVU a 16-14 at 11:26 in the third.

Knights senior wide receiver Michael Goering caught a 20-yard touchdown from Stevenson to put SVU up 22-21 with 3:43 left in the third. Following the Goering touchdown, the two-point Stevenson pass attempt failed.

Later, junior wide receiver Kyler Harris caught a 31-yard touchdown from senior quarterback Mitch Stevenson on a three-yard drive to make it 28-21 at 13:17 in the fourth. The Lions failed to counterattack, however, and the game ended without any more scoring.

The Lions will close out their season at home this Friday at 7 p.m. against the Rowan Profs. The College can play spoiler here, as the Profs can clinch the 2014 NJAC Football Championship with a win.

The Lions haven’t defeated the Profs since a 7-0 win in Glassboro, New Jersey on Saturday Nov. 12, 2011. Since then, the Lions have been outscored 71-21 in the past two games against their end of the season rival.

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