GREENSBORO, N.C. – Quarterback Mitch Stevenson passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more in Southern Virginia University's 55-24 football win at Guilford College Saturday.
Senior linebacker Brett Kassel picked off a school-record three passes and recovered a fumble all by himself, which led to 21 of Southern Virginia's 24 points scored off Guilford miscues. The Knights (1-3) forced five interceptions and two Guilford (1-4) fumbles on the day.
Kassel's first interception came at a pivotal point of the game. The Knights regained a 14-10 lead late in the second quarter on the second of Jerry Washington's two short touchdown runs. On the ensuing possession, Kassel picked off Guilford's Zac Halbert at the Quakers' 34-yard line with 68 seconds remaining in the half. Three plays later, Stevenson scored on a 15-yard keeper, which helped Southern Virginia open a 20-10 lead just before halftime.
Moments after Stevenson's first of two third-quarter touchdown passes to Dewayne Beamon (5 rec., 114 yds., 2 TD), Kassel recovered a muffed kickoff return on Guilford's 40-yard line. Stevenson hit tight end Jeff Waldron with a 28-yard strike down to the Guilford 12 and two plays later scored on a keeper from seven yards out, which opened a 36-17 Southern Virginia advantage.
Stevenson, a sophomore from Oklahoma, completed 25 of 36 passes for 460 yards and picked up 20 rushing yards on 15 carries. All three of his scoring passes came in the second half, two to Beamon, and a 36-yard fourth-quarter completion to Chris Harper, which was set up by Kassel's third interception of the afternoon.
Guilford held a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter on the first of two touchdown passes by freshman Steven Gregory and a 31-yard Owen Bridges field goal. Gregory, the Quakers' fourth starting quarterback this season, completed eight-of-21 passes for 115 yards in his college debut. He connected with sophomore B.J. McKeever from six yards out in the first quarter and threw a 37-yard scoring pass to junior Brandon Thompson in the third quarter. Halbert, Guilford's opening-day starting quarterback, saw his first action since a foot injury sidelined him in mid-September. He completed eight of 17 passes for 101 yards, but was picked off three times.
Guilford sophomore Lawrence Blake made a game-high eight receptions for 108 yards, his second contest with 100 or more receiving yards. Quakers' rookie Robert Smith made a game-high 13 tackles.
The Quakers visit league-rival Bridgewater College next Saturday (10/15) at 1:00 p.m.