Saturday, November 12, 2022

Wingate Closes Out Regular Season With Dominant 45-7 Victory Over UVA Wise

WINGATE – The Wingate University Bulldogs scored 35 points in the second half, defeating UVA Wise 45-7 on Saturday afternoon at Irwin Belk Stadium in South Atlantic Conference football action. The Bulldogs improve to 9-2 overall on the year and 7-2 in SAC play, while the Cavaliers end their season at 2-9 overall and 1-8 in league play.

The Bulldogs' opening play from scrimmage was intercepted. UVA Wise was unable to capitalize, punting down to the Wingate 10-yard line. A 47-yard completion to Grant and a 20-yard Wilson run helped Wingate move the ball down the field to set up a two-yard Crocker TD run, putting the 'Dogs up 7-0 with just over nine minutes left in the opening quarter. The teams traded punts on their ensuing possessions.

Wingate receiver Trevor Grant hauls in the pass
Photo Credit: Ashley Garcia

UVA Wise's 13-play drive went just 48 yards before they punted back to Wingate. The teams traded back-to-back punts. Midway through the quarter, the Cavs recovered a fumble near midfield. The Bulldog defense held strong, forcing yet another punt. Wingate's 13-play, 73-yard drive stalled as Evans' 24-yarder gave the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead with just seven seconds left in the half.

The first three drives of the second half resulted in punts. Simmons returned UVA Wise's second punt of the half 40 yards to set the 'Dogs up with a first and goal at the four-yard line. Crocker's three-yard TD pass to Grant put the 'Dogs up 17-0 with 8:19 left in the third quarter. After two punts, Wise's Juwan Dent completed a 93-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Kirkess to put the Cavs on the board. Wingate responded right back with a drive consisting of a 41-yard completion to Grant bookended by completions of 23 yards and 11 yards for a touchdown to Desor. The three-play, 75-yard drive gave WU a 24-7 lead with less than two minutes to go in the third quarter.

UVA Wise punted before turning the Bulldogs over on downs to start the fourth quarter. Dent's pass was intercepted by Mullen, who returned it 43 yards into Wise territory. Crocker's 29-yard touchdown pass to Grant pushed Wingate's lead to 31-7 midway through the quarter. Wise's first play on the next drive was intercepted by Morrison, who returned it to the Cavalier 11-yard line. Crocker cashed in with a one-yard scoring plunge, as the 'Dogs led 38-7 with just over five minutes left. On Wise's next drive, Cook forced a fumble and returned it 15 yards for the score. Marked 21 Wingate points in just over three minutes. The Bulldogs stopped the Cavaliers on a fourth and one to ice the victory.

Of Note

This is the sixth straight fall season with at least eight wins for the Bulldogs. The nine wins are the most since the program-record 10-win season in 2019. Wingate is 56-16 overall in the last five full seasons, going 37-10 in league play. WU leads the league in overall wins and SAC victories in that span. The 'Dogs are 77-38 at Irwin Belk Stadium since 2001. The Bulldogs have now won 36 of the last 37 games when scoring 30 points. Wingate has scored at least 30 points 25 times since the beginning of '18. WU leads the nation in TFLs and third-down defense. The 'Dogs are second in total defense and sacks, ranking fifth in scoring defense. Wingate is fifth nationally in rush defense and sixth in pass defense. Seventh time this season the Bulldogs have held an opponent to 10 or fewer points.


Wingate out-gained UVA Wise 327-231. The Bulldogs gained 129 yards on the ground and 198 through the air. Wise gained just 15 rushing yards while throwing for 216 yards. WU picked up 16 first downs to the Cavaliers' 15. The Cavs were seven-for-17 on third down; Wingate was four-of-10. The 'Dogs cashed in on all five red zone trips; Wise was unsuccessful in both opportunities. Wingate picked up six sacks on the afternoon, while the Cavaliers recorded one. The Bulldogs forced three turnovers which all turned into touchdowns. UVA Wise possessed the ball for nearly 33 minutes.


Wingate learns its postseason fate during the Division II NCAA Tournament selection show Sunday at 5:30 pm. The 'Dogs were fifth in this week's NCAA Super Region 2 poll. The selection show will air on Sunday evening.

Story courtesy of Wingate Athletics