NEWPORT NEWS, VA. – Sophomore quarterback Paul Morgan ran for a creer-best 114 yards and a touchdown while junior Chris Virgin ran for 106 and a touchdown as the Apprentice School football team raced out to a 23-0 lead and held on for a 23-21 win over Southern Virginia.
The Builders opened the scoring on their first drive as freshman Blake Penix nailed a 32-yard field goal with 9:23 left for a 3-0 advantage. On SVU's first play, a pass by Mitch Stevenson was deflected and junior Marlon Lane picked up the loose ball and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown 11 seconds later as the Builders jumped out to a 10-0 advantage.
"I commended them after the game for not quitting and playing hard for 60 minutes," said Apprentice School head coach Michael Vite. "Defense made plays at the end when we needed them and offensively we got some good movement in the running game. I am pleased with getting the win over them."
After forcing the Knights to turn the ball over on downs at the Builder 30, Apprentice School went on a 70-yard scoring drive capped by a Morgan five-yard run with 4:06 left in the quarter. He started the drive with a 17-yard scamper and Virgin followed with a 40-yard jaunt down to the Knights 13. Penix's extra-point attempt was blocked to lead 16-0.
The Builders defense forced a punt to start the second quarter and responded with a 52-yard scoring drive as Virgin finished with a five-yard run for the touchdown. Morgan found a passing touch on that drive starting with an eight-yard completion to Virgin and connecting with Charles Broadus on a 19-yard pass down to the Knights 29.
Southern Virginia found its way into the scoring column on their next possession with a 63-yard scoring drive that took only 1:43 off the clock as Stevenson scrambled and found Josh Woodbury on an 18-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 23-7 with 5:11 left. The Knights ran a no-huddle offense for the entire game as none of their scoring drives took longer than 103 seconds.
To start the second half, the Knights scored two quick touchdowns. They took the first possession and marched 55 yards in seven plays as Stevenson pushed his way in with a one-yard plunge. He connected with Brick Wilce on a 24-yard pass down to the Builder 31 where five runs later he scored. The extra-point attempt cut the lead to 23-14 with 13:04 left.
After holding the Builders to a three-and-out, the Knights went into the trick-play bag as Stevenson pitched out to Chris Harper who then found Cameron Williams on an 80-yard scoring pass to make the score 23-21 with 10:32 left in the third.
Each team had a shot to score as the Builders forced a fumble on a drive that ran into the fourth quarter. Justin Hager stripped Stevenson of the ball on a run from the Builder five-yardline and Kyell Collins recovered to stop one scoring opportunity. SVU's Josh Hodges broke through on a 40-yard Penix field goal attempt with 2:41 left to block the kick which set up the final drive for the Knights.
The Knights took over and following two completions and a couple runs they were at their 40. A Jerry Washington run for five yards and a Stevenson to Wilce completion for 14 got them down to the Builder 41. Following two plays for a loss of three yards, Stevenson found Williams for a 29-yard completion down to the Builder 15 where Corey Sept forced him out of bounds as the clock expired and the Builders scored the 23-21 win.
Morgan and Virgin became the first tandem to break 100-yards in a game under Vite as the Builders ran for a season-high 256 yards marking the most since a 344-yard outing against George Mason in 2009. Through the air, Morgan was 6-for-13 for 83 yards as he connected with Broadus on four passes for 66 of those yards.
Defensively, sophomore Ty Washington had a career-high 10 tackles, two tackles for a loss and a sack to spearhead the defense.
The Builders continue their homestand on October 29 when they entertain LaGrange College in a 1 pm kickoff.