Golden Eagles Hold On, Upend UVa-Wise 27-21
WISE , VA - Turnovers continue to wreak havoc for the Cavaliers. Saturday, UVa-Wise turned it over four times in a 27-21 loss to the University of Charleston at Carl Smith Stadium. The final turnover came with 1:34 to play when the Golden Eagles' Jonte Pooler forced a fumble and his teammate Logan Cox recovered it to seal the win for the visitors. Charleston (3-4, 3-4 MEC) dominated time of possession in the Mountain East Conference affair. Pat Kirkland's team possessed the ball for over 33 minutes over the course of the game's final three quarters en route to winning the possession battle 40:16 to 19:44. UVa-Wise (4-4, 4-4 MEC) fell behind 21-0 in the first half as Tyreik McAllister caught a 21-yard touchdown pass before Tavion Cappe and Kane Roush added rushing touchdowns for Charleston. The early deficit coupled with the Cavaliers inability to pick up first downs led to the disparity in time of possession. UVa-Wise picked up just two first downs in the first quarter while being limited to four offensive yards in the opening 15 minutes. The Cavs got on the scoreboard with 4:25 to play in the half when Kaian Duverger (Greenacres, Fla./Lackawanna J.C.) hauled in a 11-yard touchdown pass from Jarome Johnson (Washington, D.C./Eastern H.S.). It was the second big play of the drive for the Duverger - Johnson connection as the pair previously hooked up for 24 yards on a fourth down and 10 play from the Golden Eagles' 36-yard line. UVa-Wise would not touch the football gain on offense until 5:28 to play in the third quarter. Charleston would run out the remainder of the first half clock before receiving the second half kickoff. The Golden Eagles took the second half kickoff and marched to the Cavs' 27-yard before attempting a field goal. Dylan Miles 44-yard attempt hit the post but the kicker was given a reprieve due to a running into the kicker call against UVa-Wise. Miles would make the next attempt but, the Cavs would be flagged for a personal foul. Kirkland elected to take the points off the board and continue the drive. After failing to score, Miles lined up for a third field goal attempt on the drive. This time, the kicker's 33-yard attempt was blocked by Marquise Hamilton (Washington, D.C./Marshall University). Andre Hamilton (Stafford, Va./North Stafford H.S.) picked up the loose ball and raced 74 yards for a touchdown. Trevor Owens (Lebanon, Va./Middle Tennessee State) booted the extra point to get Dane Damron 's team within seven at 21-14. The schools would trade punts before Charleston put together a scoring drive to begin the fourth quarter. The Golden Eagles started on their own 48-yard line and quickly moved deep into Cavalier territory. Backup quarterback Brent Grisel came in to replace an injured Mason Olszewski and the southpaw fired a 25-yard completion to McAllister to get his team to the UVa-Wise 21-yard line. Grisel would eventually march his team to the 7-yard line before being forced to attempt a field goal. Miles' 34-yarder was good to push the visitors' advantage to 24-14 with 12:30 to play. Charleston would seemingly put the game away on UVa-Wise's next offensive possession when a fourth down pass fell to the turf incomplete inside the visitors' 30-yard line. However, the Cavs' defense would almost immediately get the ball back for the offense. Maurice Watkins (Richmond, Va./Thomas Jefferson H.S.) would pick off a Grissel pass on the fourth play from scrimmage to give his team the ball back down 10 with 9:05 to play. Following the turnover, Johnson hit Jacob Cousins (Richmond, Va./J.R. Tucker H.S.) down the seam, the senior outran the defense all the way to the end zone for a 77-yard touchdown. Owens' extra point had the Cavs within three with 8:54 remaining. After picking up a pair of first downs, Charleston was forced to punt the ball away from midfield with just over six minutes to play. The punt would be muffed by the Cavs and recovered by the Golden Eagles on the 13-yard line. Charleston would be forced to attempt a field goal and Miles was good from 33 yards away to push the lead to 27-21 with 4:28 remaining. UVa-Wise would turn the ball over on downs near midfield with three minutes to play. From that point, Charleston needed just one first down to put the game away but the guests would be unable to get it, giving UVa-Wise one final shot from their own 20-yard line with 2:02 left in the contest. After a sack on the opening play of the drive, Pooler and Cox combined for the game-sealing play to give the Golden Eagles their second consecutive victory. Cappe finished with 109 rushing yards while D'Andre Brooks added six catches a 98 receiving yards in the win. Charleston entered the game leading all of NCAA Division II in tackles for loss and the visitors tallied 10 Saturday. John Cominsky led the way four stops behind the line of scrimmage while Khazin Daniles posted two sacks. UVa-Wise was led by Demetrius Mann (Tampa, Fla./Eastern Kentucky University) who notched a career-high 12 tackles. Kwadwo Diawuo (Alexandra, Va./Norfolk State) added a career-high 10 stops while Buster Henderson (Appomattox, Va./Appomattox H.S.) collected 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in defeat. The Cavs posted just 11 first downs in the game while netting 229 yards of total offense on 50 plays. The Golden Eagles had 81 offensive plays for 392 yards, including 242 through the air. UVa-Wise finished 4-of-11 on third downs and 1-of-3 on fourth down attempts while Charleston picked up 7-of-18 third down opportunities.
UVa-Wise will play its lone non-conference game of the year next week when the team visits Virginia University - Lynchburg. Kickoff is slated for 12 p.m. from City Stadium.