For the second straight week, Urbana University trailed by two scores in the fourth quarter and fought to regain the lead.
But on Saturday, the late-game magic disappeared as UU’s game-tying, 54-yard field goal attempt fell short in a 39-36 setback to UVa-Wise at UU Stadium.
UU fell to 3-6 overall on the year and 2-6 against Mountain East Conference teams. UVa-Wise clinched its first winning season since 2008 while improving to 6-3 overall and 5-3 against MEC foes.
Trailing 32-21 in the fourth, UU quarterback Tajuan Green found Kelly Carter in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown pass and then Shemar Hooks made an acrobatic catch for the two-point conversion to make the score 32-29 with 10:29 left in the game.
Then, UU’s defense forced a three-and-out punt and Green found Carter on the first play of UU’s next drive for a 70-yard scoring strike down the right sideline. Carter’s third TD catch of the game gave UU the lead at 36-32 with 8:36 remaining.
The Cavs responded six minutes later with an 81-yard scoring drive to reclaim the lead, 39-36. On the ensuing kick return, UU lost a fumble but the defense came up with a stop to provide one final UU drive.
Starting at their own 12, the Blue Knights worked into Cavs’ territory with a pair of long completions to Carter and Hooks. However, the drive stalled at the Wise 37 and with no timeouts, UU sent placekicker Ross Snodgrass out to attempt a career-long kick with 30 seconds left in the contest.
Green threw for the second-most yards in Blue Knight history with 427 on a UU single-game record 60 pass attempts. The junior finished with a career-high five passing touchdowns (third in UU history) and 25 completions. It was Green’s third consecutive outing with at least three touchdown passes while running his season total to 13.
Junior wideout Trevon Saunders secured the most catches in a game by a Blue Knight this season with nine grabs for 131 yards and two touchdowns – all in the first half prior to being ejected for his second unsportsmanlike penalty. With his two TD catches, Saunders tied the UU single-season record for most touchdowns (14) and now holds the UU single-season record for most receiving TDs. He has scored in 14 of the past 16 games he’s played in.
Carter provided the boost with Saunders out of the lineup, securing the first multi-touchdown game of his career. He finished with a career-high 158 yards on four catches – three of which went for touchdowns. Carter caught a 46-yard TD pass on UU’s opening drive, followed by the pair of fourth quarter scores.
Senior tight end Larry Southall tied his career high with five receptions for 64 yards. He made a few nifty grabs, including a 20-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter.
Junior linebacker Josh Dillard led the UU defense with a team-high 12 tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble. Dillard is enjoying career-high numbers this season with 84 total tackles and 10.5 behind the line of scrimmage.
Junior cornerback Dereck Givens picked up his first career interception and registered a 32-yard return into Wise territory.
Senior Zach Severance (seven tackles), junior Isaiah Turner (three tackles, forced fumble) and freshman Rodell Rahmaan (six tackles) each recorded a TFL.
UU travels to in-state foe, #25 Notre Dame, on Saturday to continue conference play. Kickoff in South Euclid, Ohio, is scheduled for noon.