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NC Wesleyan edged in overtime
ROCKY MOUNT -- North Carolina Wesleyan College’s football team made its much-anticipated return to the Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium last Saturday afternoon, but the Bishops would come up just short in a 24-21 overtime loss to Southern Virginia University.

Wesleyan had forced OT with a 96-yard drive in the final two minutes that was capped by a successful 2-point conversion to junior tight end Albert Raynor.

Unfortunately for NCWC, the Bishops fumbled away their overtime possession, setting the stage for Davis Cragun’s game-winning 27-yard field goal.

The Bishops had taken a 7-0 lead into the break thanks to a first quarter touchdown that saw sophomore quarterback Dustin Midgett find freshman Malik Adams in the endzone from seven yards out.

Wesleyan’s defense managed to pitch a first half shutout for the second consecutive week, holding the Knights to just 73 yards of offense over the first two periods.

After a scoreless third, the two squads erupted for a combined 35 points in the final 15 minutes of play.

SVU finally got on the board with an 11-play, 68-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard rushing TD by quarterback Andy Jones.

The Bishops countered just 49 seconds later with a 62-yard pass from Robbie Lanier to senior Greg Edwards that put NCWC back on top, 13-7.

The lead was shortlived, however, as Nate Caldwell got loose on the Knights’ next possession for a 39-yard score. Cragun’s point-after gave Southern Virginia its first lead of the day, 14-13, with 10:15 remaining.

On the ensuing drive, Lanier carried the Bishops 67 yards down the field in ten plays, which featured a 23-yard run by the sophomore QB and set up a 25-yard field-goal attempt.

Instead of regaining the lead, freshman Chris Richardson’s kick was blocked and scooped up by SVU’s Justin Gonzales, who took it 75 yards for the score and a 21-13 Knight advantage.

The two teams traded possessions before an SVU punt pinned the Bishops inside their own 5-yardline with 2:09 remaining.

Lanier proceeded to orchestrate a beautiful 96-yard drive that began with a pair of completions to Edwards for 36 and 14 yards, respectively.

A pair of 6-yard rushes and a 16-yard completion to sophomore Hunter Spriggs put NCWC in the red zone, and Lanier completed the drive with two completions to freshman Marckenson Voltaire, whose 11-yard catch with eight ticks left made the score 21-19.

Lanier ignited the Bishop crowd just seconds later when he found Raynor in the end zone for the 2-point conversion and a 21-21 score at the end of regulation.

Wesleyan got the ball first in OT, and Lanier found Edwards for nine yards on the Bishops’ second play.

On 3rd-and-1, Lanier rushed for an apparent first down but was stripped of the ball, which was recovered by the Knights. 

Southern Virginia then picked up one first down before Cragun came on for the 27-yard game-winner.

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