Barbourville, K.y. - UVa-Wise limited Union College to 229 yards of total offense en route to a 14-10 Mid-South East win at Burch'Nau Field on Saturday. Defensive Coordinator Justin Hamilton's defense shut the Bulldogs out in the second half while allowing only 110 second half yards.
The Cavaliers dented the scoreboard early in the contest as Connery Swift scored from four yards out on the opening drive of the game. The rushing touchdown finished off an eight play-67 yard drive that consumed over four minutes of first quarter clock. Paul Melshen added the point after attempt to give UVa-Wise a 7-0 lead.
Just over two minutes later, Union College responded. Alex Peebles booted a 34 yard field goal with 8:04 to play in the opening quarter to cut the Cavalier lead to 7-3. The big play on the drive came when Mike Brinkley hooked up with Tyler Ross on a 44 yard reception to move the ball into UVa-Wise territory.
Union would take the lead on its next possession as Rob Brown capped off a three play-37 yard scoring drive with a four yard touchdown scamper; Peebles point after made the score 10-7 Bulldogs with 2:25 to play in the opening quarter. The Union possession was setup by a Bert Brown interception and return, Brown finished with four tackles, the interception, and five pass break ups.
Mid-way through the second quarter, UVa-Wise took a lead it would never relinquish. Starting on its own 19 yard line, the Cavs moved the ball 81 yards to score with 8:12 showing on the first half clock. Melshen connected on the extra point try to give UVa-Wise a 14-10 lead.
The game's second half was dominated by each team's defense. Union gained just 110 second half yards while UVa-Wise was limited to 97 yards in the final half. The Cavaliers were the only team to move into the red zone in the half as the Bulldogs forced a turnover on downs at the 14 yard line with less than a minute remaining in the contest.
Individually, Vance Gibbs had one of the stronger games of his career as he collected six tackles, a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, and solid coverage in the defensive secondary. Walter Mickey and Eric White controlled the line of scrimmage for the Cavaliers as each finished with five tackles; the duo also finished with 2.5 tackles for loss. In total, the unit finished with six stops behind the line of scrimmage, four pass break ups, and a fumble recovery.
The loss drops the Bulldogs to 3-6 overall and 0-3 in Mid-South East play. The victory improves the Cavs to 3-7 overall and 1-3 in league play. UVa-Wise will take next week off before returning to play on November 10 when nationally ranked Georgetown College visits Carl Smith Stadium for Senior Day 2012, kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.