AMU Wins First Intercollegiate Football Game
Published on Saturday, 22 September 2012 22:42
The Ave Maria University Gyrenes are winless no more against collegiate football competition.
After going 0-9 in their first National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics season last year, the Gyrenes played with intensity on both sides of the ball Saturday and beat Southern Virginia University 49-30 in a home game played at Palmetto Ridge High School.
"The guys did great," said jubilant Head Coach Kevin Joyce after the game. "We have tried to stay positive, and they worked so hard. I'm so happy for them."
The team dedicated the game to a popular former teammate, Clayton Burroughs, who played all of last season and was killed over the summer in a car accident near the town of Ave Maria. His mother and AMU President Jim Towey held a brief dedication ceremony before the game and many in attendance wore t-shirts with, "Win for Clay" written on the back.
"Clay was a great guy and it meant a great deal to the team," Coach Joyce said, adding that the players said simply, "We're gonna get this done."
Both AMU quarterbacks had big games, starting and ending the game with long runs for touchdowns. Matt Novak (above, passing in 1st half) electrified the fans with a 54-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game and he passed for another touchdown in racking up 163 yards in the air and a total of 86 yards rushing. Drake Sunderland scampered 59 yards for the game's final score, crossing the goal line with two seconds left on the clock. He also rushed for another touchdown and passed for two more.
Lazaro Herrara averaged seven yards a carry in rushing for 140 total yards and one touchdown.
The Gyrenes now are 1-1 on the season, and with the loss, Southern Virginia drops to 1-3. play next on the road, at Huntington College in Montgomery, Ala. Their next home game is against Robert Morris University Oct. 20.