By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
Rondre Knowles-Tener and his Virginia-Wise Cavaliers football programme got their 2021 campaign off to a record setting start in an opening day win.
The senior defensive tackle finished with a fumble recovery in the Cavaliers’ 54-0 win over Virginia-Lynchburg Saturday at Carl Smith stadium in Wise, Virginia.
Cavs lineback Michael Rowser forced a fumble following an eight yard run from Lynchburg running back David Freeman. Knowles-Tener recovered the fumble at his team’s 41 yard line.
Cavs quarterback Lendon Redwine set a UVA Wise NCAA Division II era school record with six touchdown passes while the Cavalier defense established a new school and South Atlantic Conference record with 13 sacks.
Next week, the Cavs visit NCAA FCS member East Tennessee State University in a 7:30 pm kickoff.
UVA-Wise returns to a full regular season for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Knowles-Tener, a fifth-year defensive tackle and Grand Bahama native was named to the SAC Preseason Players to Watch List and the Cavs were picked eighth in the poll.
Coming out of high school at Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia, Knowles-Tener originally committed to the East Carolina Pirates but eventually chose to join the programme at James Madison. After struggling to earn playing time in his first two seasons with the James Madison Dukes, Knowles-Tener decided to leave the programme and transfer to the Cavs.
In his first season with UVA, he finished with 21 tackles with three sacks, two fumble recoveries, two quarterback hurries and one blocked kick.
As a junior, he became a force on the defensive line and led the team with seven sacks.
In addition to his career high sack numbers as a junior, he also reached several other career high marks this season with 38 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss (54 yards), and a team leading four quarterback hurries.
He opened the season with one sack and four tackles, including one for a loss, against Chowan University. In game two he had a season high two sacks and four tackles against Tennessee Tech. He also recorded sacks against Carson-Newman, Tusculum, and Newberry (0.5).