Michael Anderson rushed for 193 yards and three touchdowns as part of a day that saw the senior amass 237 all-purpose yards in West Virginia Wesleyan’s 35-10 win over UVa-Wise at Carl Smith Stadium Saturday.
Anderson’s big day helped propel the Bobcats to their second consecutive victory and the program’s fourth consecutive win over the Cavaliers.
West Virginia Wesleyan (4-6, 4-5 MEC) scored 35 unanswered points in the come from behind win as the guests out gained the hosts 228 to 99 over the final three periods.
UVa-Wise (6-4, 5-4 MEC) jumped out to an early 10-0 lead as Dane Damron’s team took the opening kick and moved 58 yards to the West Virginia Wesleyan 4-yard line before being forced to attempt a field goal. Senior Trent Martin connected on the 21-yard boot to give the Cavs a 3-0 lead.
An interception by senior Tevin McCleave would set UVa-Wise back up in good field position at the Wesleyan 49-yard line. McCleave’s pick would lead to a 13-yard touchdown pass from Jeremy Eubank to James Cousins. Following Martin’s conversion kick, the Cavs led by two scores with 5:34 to play in the opening period.
The Cavs appeared to be on the cusp of going up 17-0 when the Bobcats Nate Simmons picked off a pass at the 2-yard line. Simmons’ INT would turn the momentum for the remainder of the game.
Anderson hauled in a 4-yard TD pass from Ryan Deal to cap a 12-play 98-yard drive to get Wesleyan on the board. Tyler Fischer’s point after attempt was good to make the score 10-7.
On Wesleyan’s next offensive possession, UVaWise senior linebacker Zachary Blair would enter the record book when he stopped Raymond Myers for a six yard loss. It marked Blair’s 77.5 tackle for loss in his career, a new NCAA Division II record.
The Bobcats would take the lead for good with 55 seconds to play in the opening half when Marcus Smith caught a 47-yard TD pass from Deal on a fourth down play. Following Fischer’s extra point, Wesleyan led 14-10.
A trio of touchdown runs by Anderson in the second half would provide the winning margin of 35-10.
Prior to the game, UVa-Wise honored senior members of the football team. With six wins this season, the group has helped propel the program to its first winning season since 2008.
Including three interceptions, UVa-Wise forced four turnovers in the loss. Ed Kargbo and Latony Davis joined McCleave in the INT column.
Alvin Enahoro led the Cavs with nine tackles, including 3.5 TFLs while Will Clift added five solo stops in defeat.
Brandon Grayson led the Bobcats with 10 stops. Simmons, Trey Lee and Tavaris Anderson each had an INT in the win.
UVa-Wise wraps up the 2016 season Thursday when the team visits the University of Charleston in a 7 p.m. kickoff.