The Highland Cavaliers were defeated 41-10 in a tough matchup on September 19 as they faced the number 20 ranked Shepherd Rams in a Mountain East Conference matchup.
The Cavs jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter after a 56 yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Daniel Lewis to Terrence Younger. Later in the first, a drive by the Cavalier offense would set up a 43-yard field goal by Trent Martin, putting the Cavs ahead 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.
However, that’s all that Wise would get, as the Rams stampeded over the Cavalier defense for the rest of the game.
The Shepherd scoring attack was ignited in the second quarter after the Rams scored on a safety as a result of a blocked punt. After receiving the ball following the safety, the Shepherd offense drove down the field and scored a touchdown with 1:36 remaining in the first half. The Rams then tied the game 10-10 after completing a two point conversion.
After Lewis threw an interception to Shepherd’s Tre Sullivan, the Ram offense set the tone for the second half as they drove down the field to the Wise 18 yard line. Jeff Ziemba led the Rams on a 5 play, 56 yard drive which resulted in a completed pass to Angelo Jean-Louis to put the Rams ahead 17-10.
The Ram defense responded to their offense’s drive by forcing a punt on the Cavs’ next possession. Following the punt, Ziemba led the Rams downfield to the Wise 21 yard line where Ryan Earls then kicked a 38 yard field goal increasing Shepherd’s lead to 20-10.
Shepherd continued their scoring attack in the fourth quarter as Ziemba completed a 27 yard pass to Billy Brown that gave the Rams a 27-10 lead. Later in the fourth, the Rams’ backup quarterback Connor Jessop stretched the Shepherd lead to 34-10 by completing a 67 yard pass to Wanya Allen. The Rams capped the game’s scoring at 41-10 when Reggie Carroll ran for a 4 yard touchdown with 3:45 left on the clock.
Despite the Cavs’ loss, there were many bright spots for Dewey Lusk’s team. Cavalier linebacker Zack Blair finished the game with 13 tackles. Wide receiver Terrence Younger finished his day with 5 receptions for 137 yards, including a 56 yard touchdown catch.
“I thought we played very, very hard,” Lusk said. “I thought we played a great first half. You know, they’re a very good football team and we showed that we can play with them.”
“We have to carry that same enthusiasm, effort, playing hard, tenacity, and carry it in these other ball games,” Lusk added.
When asked what the offense could have done to keep scoring in the second half of the game, Younger said, “If we could have just made more plays, I feel like our offense could have fed off of that and it would have led to victory.”
UVa-Wise will host West Virginia State University for the Cavaliers’ homecoming on October 3 at Carl Smith Stadium.