WISE — James Long’s 46-yard touchdown catch thrown by Cullen LaVoi set the Virginia-Wise single-season scoring reception record at Carl Smith Stadium Saturday.
But it was Vernon Payne’s 34-yard scoring interception return that guaranteed the Highland Cavaliers’ 24-13 Mountain East Conference win over West Liberty.
Virginia-Wise (2-8, 2-6) clung to a four-point lead when Payne collected his pick-6 with 3:29 remaining in the game.
The Cavs got 149 yards passing from LaVoi, who put the home team in front with a 9-yard touchdown toss to Terrance Younger with 13:41 showing in the fourth quarter.
LaVoi gave up an interception to the Hilltoppers’ Marquis Bradley. It was the only Virginia-Wise pick of the day, although LaVoi coughed up another turnover on a fumble.
Long led Virginia-Wise receivers with six catches for 81 yards. LaVoi led all Cavs rushers with 84 yards.
Paul Melshen added a 30-yard field goal and went 3-for-3 on extra points.
Dylan Lagarde passed for 215 yards to lead West Liberty (3-7, 3-5). Virginia-Wise held the Hilltoppers to 97 yards rushing. Isiah Moody and Kenjay Trueblood rushed for 26 yards apiece.