UVa-Wise could not complete the comeback against Notre Dame College on September 10 as the Cavs fell 35-29.
The Cavs (1-1, 0-1) scored early in the first quarter when Carlton Griffith picked up a two-yard touchdown run with 11:23 on the clock. Notre Dame College would answer three minutes later on a 75-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Shegos from Malik Grove. However, Kyle Kaplan would miss the extra point attempt for the Falcons to make the score 7-6. The Falcons would score again in the first quarter when Grove connected to CJ Germany for an 81-yard touchdown pass.
Notre Dame dominated the second quarter, scoring three times. The first points came from a safety by Vincent Ellis. Later in the quarter, Grove found Shegos for a 37-yard touchdown pass and then again for a 10-yard touchdown pass. The Falcons’ big quarter pushed them ahead of the Cavs 29-7.
After the half, the Cavs started to mount their comeback. After using the running game to march down the field, Corey Hilberath capped off the drive by rushing in for the touchdown. Hilberath’s run brought the score to 29-15.
On their next possession, the Falcons were able to get into field goal position as Kaplan made the 23-yard chip shot. Kaplan’s field goal extended Notre Dame’s lead to 32-15. With 56 seconds left in the third quarter, a two-yard run by UVa-Wise’s Javonte Latney closed the gap to 32-22.
The Cavs would nudge even closer to the Falcons in the fourth quarter. With 11:59 left on the clock, Brycen Lee completed a three-yard pass to Skylar Brownlow and cut the Falcons lead to 32-29. On the next drive, the Falcons were able to pick up a field goal on Kaplan’s 37-yard attempt. The Notre Dame field goal would be the final score of the game, holding off the Cavs 35-29.
Maurice Watkins led the Cavs with 11 tackles, while Zachary Blair and Alvin Enahoro each tallied nine tackles. Jacob Cousins finished with five receptions for 90 yards. James Cousins had four receptions for 62 yards. Cory Hilberath notched eight receptions with 37 yards. Latney and Griffith combined for 137 rushing yards with 68 and 53 respectively. Quarterback Brycen Lee went 27 of 45 with 257 yards.
After the game, when asked how he thought the defense fared, Blair said, “Giving up 29 points in the first half is unacceptable, so we just need to get better.”
When asked about the offense, Brycen Lee said, “We executed, but there were still some plays that we could have made.”
“That last drive there were a couple of things that we could have done to move the ball down the field,” Lee said.
UVa-Wise’s next home game will be homecoming on September 24 against Glenville State College.