Urbana University football (4-2, 3-2 MEC) suffered a 17-0 loss to UVa-Wise (2-4, 2-4 MEC) on Homecoming Saturday at UU Stadium.
The Blue Knights had their win streak snapped at three and were shut out for the first time since Oct. 3, 2015, which also occurred on homecoming. UU has now lost five consecutive homecoming games while falling to 0-2 in day games this season.
Both teams struggled to move the ball on offense with only one 10-play drive the entire game. Wise out-gained UU in total offense, 218-147, as the Blue Knights struggled in the passing game with four interceptions and only 39 yards on eight completions. Overall, UU had five turnovers and reached Wise territory only twice.
The Blue Knight defense and special teams held its own to keep UU in the game, limiting Wise to only one third-down conversion on 14 attempts and posting four sacks. Junior LB Duray Hall led the way with 17 total stops while Onajai Davenport recorded two sacks. L.A. Kelly and Mikal Toliver each picked up a sack, as well.
Brandon Purk kicked a career-high 10 punts with four landing inside the 20 and an average distance of 46.8 yards.
Fittingly, the first points came on a defensive score as Wise DL Rondre Knowles-Tenor ran back a 55-yard fumble recovery near the end of the first half.
The Cavs added on 10 points in the fourth quarter by scoring on back-to-back drives. Wise QB Tanner Bernard found WR Rob Jones on a 13-yard strike to make it 14-0 with 7:31 left. Then, kicker Trevor Owens nailed a 34-yard field goal with 4:16 remaining. Bernard paced the Cavs going 16 of 25 for 139 yards through the air.
UU’s offense found early success with an 11-play drive to the Wise 27 on the second drive of the game. However, QB Zairn Davis’ fourth-down pass was picked off on an attempt to find Rafael Floyd in the end zone. Davis (4-15, 37 yards) left the game at halftime with an injury and true freshman Cee Jay Hale (4-9, 2 yards) made his collegiate debut. Both signal-callers threw a pair of interceptions.
Junior RB Isaiah Young rushed for 78 yards on 20 carries while Davis added 39 on the ground. As a team, the Blue Knights rushed for 108 yards on 39 attempts.
Wise was led by RB Victor Mitchell who carried the ball 12 times for 67 yards. The Cavs had three receivers haul in three catches, led by Eli Marks with 28 yards. Defensively, Buster Henderson paced the visitors with 11 tackles. Cornerback Marquis Hamilton had two interceptions and two tackles for loss.
With the win, the Cavs ended a six-game losing streak in conference games.
UU plays at undefeated conference leader Notre Dame College (6-0, 6-0 MEC) on Saturday. Kickoff is slated for noon at Mueller Field located on NDC’s campus in South Euclid, Ohio.