BUCKHANNON – It was a big day for the defense as the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats sent home a happy homecoming crowd following a 10-7 victory over the UVa.-Wise Cavaliers in Mountain East Conference action at Cebe Ross Field.
The victory also ended a four-game slide for the Bobcats.
The defense held the Cavaliers to just the seven points, intercepted three passes, forced two fumbles, had three sacks and scored the Bobcats' lone touchdown of the game.
Nate Simmons picked off a Jarome Johnson pass at the UVa.-Wise 26-yard line to set up Wesleyan's first score.
Tyler Fischer gave Wesleyan a 3-0 lead on that possession after booting a 36-yard field goal with 11:09 showing on the first-quarter clock.
UVa.-Wise started their fourth drive at their own 41-yard line, but on the first play Johnson coughed up the football after Gabriel Moultrie forced the fumble and Aman Speed Jr. (pictured) scooped up the loose ball and rumbled 41 yards down the sideline for the touchdown.
Fischer was true on his point-after kick which gave Wesleyan a 10-0 lead with 1:53 left in the opening quarter.
Neither team could find the end zone in the second quarter as Wesleyan took their 10-0 lead into the break.
The Wesleyan defense continued to pitch the shutout in the third quarter as they held onto their 10-point lead heading into the final 15 minutes of action.
The Cavaliers were finally able to dent the scoreboard on their first series of the fourth quarter when Von Purvis had an eight-yard touchdown.
Trevor Owens was good on the point-after kick to make it a 10-7 game.
The Cavaliers had three more possessions, but the Wesleyan defense never let them cross the 50-yard line.
Wesleyan's offense amassed 275 yards during the game, 168 through the air and 107 on the ground.
Dante Satcher led all rushers with 70 yards on 11 attempts.
Moultrie led the defense with eight tackles while Speed recorded two sacks and Cody Goode had one.
UVa.-Wise dropped to 4-3 overall and 4-3 in the MEC.
Wesleyan improved to 3-4 overall and returned to the .500 mark in the MEC with a 3-3 ledger.
The Bobcats will return to action next Saturday when they visit Notre Dame College in another league match-up.
The kick-off will begin at noon.
(Photo courtesy of Peter Galarneau Jr.)