WISE, Va. (WJHL) – The Highland Cavaliers scored on their first drive of the game and never looked back, starting the 2023 campaign with a resounding 48-0 victory over Union College (Ky.).

In just five plays, UVA Wise got on the board, as Juwan Dent pitched a screen pass out to DJ Powell for a ten-yard strike.

Kicker Kellan Dalton would cap off a pair of eight-play drives with field goals of 39 and 29 yards, extending the home squad’s lead to 13-0 in the second quarter.

Dent snuck in another touchdown before halftime, tossing another score to Dorien Goddard from three yards out. The Highland Cavs led 20-0 at the break.

Former Greeneville Greene Devil, Jordan Gillespie, gave his team a jolt to start the third quarter, returning an interception 16 yards for a touchdown – and a 27-0 advantage.

Freshman Shyhiem Pannell would get involved, scampering 20 yards for the first touchdown of his career. The PAT made it a 34-0 Highland Cavs lead.

Another defensive touchdown – a fumble recovery from Da’Jon Barnes – put UVA Wise on top 41-0, before Tyreeck Hall rounded out the scoring with his two-yard rushing TD.

Dent was 10-of-15 passing for 107 yards and two touchdowns, while Jake Corken also saw some time under center. He completed 9-of-12 passes for 58 yards.

Greeneville product Jaevon Gillespie carried the ball 16 times for 101 yards to lead the running back room. Goddard topped the team’s receiving corps on Saturday with five catches, 76 yards and a touchdown.

The UVA Wise snagged four interception in the win, two of them coming from safety Nasir Howell.

The Highland Cavs (1-0) hit the road on Saturday, September 9 to face Thomas More University at 12 p.m.