Four plays earlier, Hakeem Holland gained 19 yards on a fourth-and-29 completion from Andre Coble, but a roughing-the-passer call on P.J. Fuimoano extended the drive and gave Virginia Union (2-1) first-and-goal at the 5. Coble played in relief of Shawhee Dowdy, completing four of eight passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Josh Bettistea rushed for an 11-yard score on one of his two carries for Gardner-Webb (1-2). Brody Rollins had 69 yards.
Virginia Union wide receiver Donte Gross was taken off the field on a stretcher in the fourth quarter after being hit by Gardner-Webb's Thomas Adams during an incomplete pass. Adams was called for targeting and ejected from the game and will miss next week's contest at Wofford.