Chowan (N.C.) at UVa-Wise
Game time: Noon
Where: Carl Smith Stadium (Wise, Va.)
Radio: WLSD, 92.5 FM
Coming In: Season-opener for both teams.
What to watch for: This will be a clash of styles as Chowan’s high-powered offense goes against the tenacious defense of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. … Chowan won its final four games last season in finishing 6-4 as running back Tyrell Freeman and quarterback Bryce Witt were the catalysts. The Hawks averaged 511.7 yards of total offense per game in 2018, the sixth-best in all of NCAA Division II. A senior, Freeman churned out 1,292 yards on the ground in 2018 and was an honorable mention All-American. Witt passed for 2,700 yards and 27 touchdowns last fall, including a 439-yard, three-touchdown effort against McKendree. He played at Dinwiddie High School in Virginia, where his coach was Chilhowie High School graduate Billy Mills. … Marcus Tarrer, Buster Henderson, Marquis Braimer, Demetrius Mann and Marquis Hamilton are among the notable returnees on defense for UVa-Wise. The Highland Cavaliers allowed just 302.6 yards of total offense per game last year, 19th-best in DII. East Tennessee State University transfer Austin Hicks, who attended Happy Valley High School in Elizabethton, Tennessee, is also expected to contribute for the Cavs. … UVa-Wise is 5-0 all-time against Chowan, the last meeting between the schools occurring in 2005.
N.C. Wesleyan at Emory & Henry
Game time: 1 p.m.
Where: Fred Selfe Stadium (Emory, Va.)
Radio: WEHC, 90.7 FM
Coming in: Season opener for both teams.
What to watch for: Following a 4-5 season, Emory & Henry was selected to finish sixth in the ODAC. The pre-season buzz in Emory focused on University of Richmond transfer Grayson Overstreet, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound athlete who rushed for 9,042 yards at Staunton River High School. … The wild card for E&H today involves the quarterback position where proven junior Hunter Taylor is serving a one-game suspension. Junior Colin Ellis will lead the offense under the direction of co-coordinators Kevin Saxton and Kamden BeCraft. …. North Carolina Wesleyan was picked fourth in the USA South Conference after posting a 5-5 record and averaging 26 points last season. The Bishops feature the returning USA South Defensive Player of the Year in senior linebacker Antonio Johnson along with eight other veterans on defense. One of the highlights of 2018 was a season-opening 35-28 victory over a Thomas More team that defeated E&H. …The return of former first-team All-ODAC picks Da’Von Keith and Josh Fleenor will be huge for the E&H defense.
Shorter (Ga.) at East Tennessee State
Game time: 7:35 p.m.
Where: William B. Greene Jr. Stadium (Johnson City, Tenn.)
Radio: WXSM-AM 640 / 104.9 FM
Coming in: Shorter (first game); ETSU (0-1).
What to watch for: After falling 42-7 in the season opener at Appalachian State, the Buccaneers figure to even its mark against the NCAA Division II Hawks, who have lost 39 straight games, dating back to 2015. …. ETSU second year head coach Randy Sanders will have a choice to make at quarterback, with Chance Thrasher, Trey Mitchell and Cameron Lewis all seeing action last week. Shorter will be led by Tyler Pullum, who set school records last season, throwing for 1,856 yards and 11 touchdowns. … Shorter scored just 13.3 points per game, while allowing 50.6 last season, with opponents accumulating 500.5 yards per contest against the Hawks. …Quay Holmes led the Buccaneers with 68 yards rushing against the Mountaineers, while Braxton Richburg had four receptions for 77 yards. ETSU’s lone score was a 5-yard pass from Mitchell to Nate Adkins. Artevius Smith led the Bucs with 11 tackles, while Colton Lakes had two stops for loss. Garrett Taylor averaged 43.8 yards on six punts…Nehemiah Reddish, who led the Hawks with 70 tackles last season, is the lone Shorter product to be selected to the All-Gulf Coast Conference preseason team. … Zach Morrison, a former offensive lineman at Shorter, is in his second season as coach of the Hawks. Shorter, which began its program in 2013, has won seven games in six seasons. ETSU brought football back in 2015, having dropped the sport after the 2003 season.