WISE, Va—A career day from senior running back Victor Mitchell gave the University of Virginia’s College at Wise’s football team the boost they needed in a 35-14 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon.
“Vic is one of my best friends here, and he’s worked so hard and been here so long, so I’ve been waiting on this,” senior player Dylan Giovine said, “I knew he could do it, and I’m just happy to see him out there producing.”
Saturday’s game marked the first time since last September that the Cavaliers have won back-to-back games following last week’s 17-0 win at Urbana University.
Mitchell led the Cavaliers with a game-high 142 yards rushing and three touchdowns — both career-highs — while also catching one pass for five yards and recording a tackle assist on special teams.
“Vic is a kid that we’ve counted on for the whole time that I’ve been here,” Cavaliers Head Coach Dane Damron said. “It was just good to see him have the opportunity to do that today because he ran the ball really well and he’s really good with the ball in his hands as far as security and everything, so it was good to see him do that.”
The majority of Mitchell’s numbers came in the fourth quarter, when he rushed for 81 yards and scored all three of his touchdowns.
“I’ve just been practicing hard, working hard in the weight room, and just waiting for my time and took advantage of it,” Mitchell said.
The Cavaliers found the end zone on their first possession of the game when quarterback Tanner Bernard capped off a 60-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kaian Duverger. UVa-Wise scored again on an eight-yard touchdown run from Von Purvis in the second quarter, but would remain scoreless until the fourth quarter when Mitchell scored the first of his three touchdowns.
For the second straight week, the Cavaliers were led by on defense by Giovine, who tied his season-high with seven total tackles, including a season-best three tackles-for-loss and 2 1/2 sacks. Looking back at his performance, Giovine said the team’s performance is more important to him than his individual performance.
“It felt good, but honestly I don’t really care about my personal stats…I just want to go out there and help my team win,” Giovine said.
Giovine led the team in sacks as the Cavaliers combined to record their season-high seven sacks. Freshman Joel Burgess recorded his first career sack and finished with 1 1/2 total, while senior Donovan Montague, freshman Shavonta Timothy and junior Bryce Harty each recorded a sack.
“Defense did exceptionally well,” junior Buster Henderson said, “I want to thank [Defensive Coordinator Shap Boyd] for cooking up a lot of game plans throughout the week and even adjusting them midway through the game. I think we all just went out there and played for each other and it showed.”
The Cavaliers (3-4) will be on the road next week when they take on the University of Charleston (4-3) on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Cavaliers have lost their last five games against the Golden Eagles, most recently falling 27-21 at home last season.