Shenandoah roundup: Mitchell, Smith earn honors

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

FOREST — The Shenandoah University football team celebrated its first win in 11 games Sunday by sweeping ODAC Player of the Week honors.

Senior Byron Mitchell was named as the defensive Player of the Week and sophomore Andrew Smith the offensive PoW in selections announced Sunday afternoon by the league office.

The two accolades are the first two ODAC weekly honors for the football team since joining the league prior to the 2012 season.

Both men were honored for their respective performances in the Hornets 43-29 non-conference victory at Ferrum Saturday afternoon.

Trailing 21-7 in the waning moments of the second quarter, Mitchell ignited a Shenandoah rally by blocking a punt for a safety to cut the deficit to 21-9 with 3:27 remaining.

The Hornets added an additional 13 points before halftime, six of them coming on a Smith touchdown reception, to give the squad a 22-21 lead at the break.

In the third, Smith, who finished with 185 yards rushing on 25 carries, would score the eventual game-winning TD on a 24-yard scamper up the middle.

The 185 yards rushing is Smith’s career-high and is the sixth best total in school history.

In addition to the rushing yards, he added 33 yards receiving on four receptions.

Mitchell, a three-year starter for the Hornets, finished his day with five solo and three assisted tackles and one forced fumble and recovery in addition to the blocked punt.

It was his forced fumble and recovery that originally pinned Ferrum back against its own end zone and eventually led to the safety.

Shenandoah is back in action this Saturday night at Christopher Newport in a 7:00 non-conference contest.

FERRUM, Va. – Shenandoah University won the first game of the Scott Yoder era Saturday with a 43-29 non-conference football victory at Ferrum.

Shenandoah (1-1) snaps a 10-game losing streak with the win over the Panthers (0-2). SU had not won since opening the 2012 season with a victory at Stevenson.

The triumph is also just the third for the Hornets in 17 lifetime meetings against their former USA South Conference rival.

Trailing 21-7 in the middle of the second quarter after Ferrum answered the first SU score with a touchdown pass of its own, the Hornets stormed back to take a 22-21 lead by the halftime break.

Senior Byron Mitchell got matters started by blocking a Wes Franklin punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety 3:27 before the halftime gun.

A quick three-and-out led to a 2-play, 55-yard drive for Shenandoah that ended with a 20-yard Drew Ferguson to Cedrick Delaney TD pass.

Another Ferrum three-and-out followed, and the Hornets took the improbable 22-21 halftime lead by driving 56 yards in eight plays.

Andrew Smith, who finished the day with 25 carries for 185 yards, hauled in a 10-yard TD pass from Ferguson for the go-ahead score.

The Hornets extended the lead out to eight, 29-21, before Ferrum answered with a TD and a two-point conversion to tie it at 29-29 by the end of the third.

The tie didn’t last two minutes.

Smith scored his third touchdown of the game at the 13:31 mark of the fourth, scampering in from 24-yards out, to put SU on top to stay.

Ferrum had one last chance in it, and drove all the way to the Shenandoah 1 before QB Tim Reynolds was stopped on a 4th and goal on a sneak.

The Hornets then went old-school on the ensuing drive, going 99 yards (all on the ground) in 13 plays to score the game-clinching touchdown.

The drive, which ended with a Josh Wells 11-yard run, took up 6:25 of game time.

The Panthers were able to drive into SU territory on their final drive, but failed on a 4th down as time expired.

Shenandoah finished the game with 472 yards in total offense with 298 coming on the ground.

Ferguson and Justin Neff was a combined 20 of 38 for 174 yards and two TDs.

Mike Messick had a team-high 10 tackles for the defense.

SU finishes its non-conference slate next Saturday at Christopher Newport.

Men’s tennis
WINCHESTER — Shenandoah University earned a pair of doubles victories Sunday as the men’s tennis team opened its fall season by hosting a fall invitational.

The Hornets hosted Franklin & Marshall, Christopher Newport and Bridgewater in a two-day, round-robin event that featured eight singles flights and four doubles flights.

In doubles, the freshman duo of Buster Wigley and Kelly Sykes completed their day Sunday with an 8-6 victory over Drew Hubble and Robert Belton at No. 4.

Steven Baker, who played No. 1 singles and doubles, was part of a doubles victory on Sunday as well. He, combined with Geoffrey Brennan from F&M, beat William MacArthur and Ben Stern from F&M 9-8 (10-7).

In singles, Baker had a close, 6-7 (4-10), 1-6 loss to Chiraag Shetty from Christopher Newport.

Wigley also battled Belton close at No. 6 singles, falling 6-4, 6-3.

The squad is back in action next weekend in a USTA Showdown event.

Field hockey
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – No. 9 Christopher Newport University used a strong start Sunday afternoon to key a 7-1 non-league field hockey victory over visiting Shenandoah.

The Captains (6-0) scored two goals in the first 22:48 of the contest and never looked back against SU (3-3).

CNU was able to expand its lead out to 3-0 by halftime and then scored the initial two goals of the second.

Junior Ashley Cross got the Hornets on the board with an unassisted goal in the 48th minute.

Shenandoah goalkeeper Sarah Clare made 17 saves in the losing effort.

SU is back in action on Tuesday at York (Pa.).

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Shenandoah University golf team completed its first tournament of the 2013 fall season with an 11th place performance Sunday afternoon.

After shooting a 311 on day one over the par 72, 6500-yard Lake and Peak nines at Lakeview Golf Course, the Hornets shot a collective 322 Sunday on the final day of the Tom Kinder Memorial.

Fellow ODAC member Hampden-Sydney won the event by 10 strokes over tournament host Bridgewater. H-SC made up a one-shot deficit on day two by shooting a tournament low 293.

Shenandoah finished tied for 11th in the 18-team event; SU had a 633 two-day total that left it tied with PSU-Harrisburg.

The Hornets and Lions were one shot out of a three-way tie for 10th.

Cory Hammonds paced Shenandoah with a 76-78–154 with Wes Licklider shooting 75-83–158 and Doc Schulte 77-82–159.

Seth Crean rounded out the SU scores with an 83-81–164.

The squad is back in action at the end of the month at the Chick-Fil-A Invitational hosted by Berry (Ga.) University.