CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The
University of Charleston used three scoring plays of 40 yards or more to defeat
Fairmont State, 30-10 on Saturday afternoon in Charleston. John Knox accounted
for three touchdowns on the afternoon for the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles improve to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the
WVIAC. FSU falls to 1-4 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Charleston rolled for 436 yards of total offense while
holding the Falcons to just 229 yards on the afternoon. UC ran for 236 yards
compared to just 58 for the Falcons. Fairmont
State converted on just 3-of-14 third down conversions compared to 6-of-13
for the Golden Eagles.
Bobby Vega completed just 13-of-32 passes for 171 yards and
an interception on the afternoon. Vega was sacked six times on the afternoon.
Daniel Monroe led the FSU ground attack with 15 carries for 83 yards. Matt
Wilmer led the FSU receivers with four catches for 63 yards and Chris St.
Hillaire added three catches for 58 yards.
The Golden Eagles were led offensively by Knox who completed
10-of-18 passes for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Knox also added 93
yards and a score on the ground for UC. Jordan Roberts tallied 148 yards on 24
carries to lead the Charleston ground attack. Roberts also scored a rushing
touchdown and returned two punts for 51 yards on the afternoon. Chris Maxwell
caught two passes for 71 yards and a score through the air for the Golden
Eagles. Darrell Byrd was also on the receiving end of a touchdown pass from 55
yards out for UC.
Ryland Newman led the FSU defense with six solo tackles on
the afternoon. Newman also returned a punt 38 yards to score the only touchdown
for the Falcons. Ryan Watts and Jephte Leveille each recorded a sack for the
Falcons and Scott Davidson intercepted his second pass of the season.
Matt Duncan led the Charleston defense with six tackles and
a sack on the afternoon. Nathaniel Berry added four tackles and a pair of sacks
for the Golden Eagles. Demetrius Reddick recorded an interception for the UC
Charleston started quickly going 68 yards on five plays,
capped by a 56-yard strike from Knox to Maxwell to give the Golden Eagles a 7-0
lead just two minutes into the game. On the following drive, the Falcons controlled
the ball for 12 plays and over eight minutes before being forced to punt. Chris
Kish pinned UC inside its own five-yard line, and after a three-and-out by the
Golden Eagles, Newman returned the ensuing punt 38 yards to tie the game 7-7
after one quarter of play.
With 6:47 to play in the second quarter, Davidson picked off
Knox at the UC two-yard line. After a three-and-out, Charleston’s Roberts
blocked the FSU punt to force a safety and give UC a 9-7 lead. After the free
kick, Charleston needed just two plays to score as Roberts took the handoff 45
yards to give the Golden Eagles a 16-7 lead at the half.
After forcing an FSU punt on the opening drive of the half,
Charleston capped a 16 play, 68 yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by
Knox to give the Golden Eagles a 23-7 lead. The Golden Eagles ran the ball 11
times on the drive. On the following possession, Johnny Dearstine added a 31-yard
field goal to cut the UC lead to 23-10. St. Hillaire provided a 27-yard
reception to key the nine-play, 61 yard drive for the Falcons.
It took just two plays for the Golden Eagles to respond as
Knox found Byrd for a 55-yard touchdown pass with 1:26 to play in the third
quarter to give UC a 30-10 advantage. On the next UC possession, Puma Nuradini
looked to add to the UC score but couldn’t capitalize on a 31-yard field goal.
Each team would have two more possessions in the final quarter before Charleston
would take a knee and wrap up the victory.
The Falcons will return to action on Saturday, October 13,
when they face WV Wesleyan at Duvall-Rosier Field, kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Matt Wilmer’s 35-yard catch in the first quarter was his
longest of the season ... Ryland Newman’s 38-yard punt return is his first of the
season. The punt return touchdown gives him three in his career, which is a school
record. It is also his second special team’s touchdown of the season (block
return against Bowie State) ... Matt Larrubia forced the first fumble of his career in the
second quarter ... Bryan Wilson recovered the second fumble of his career in
the second quarter ... Daniel Monroe’s 49-yard run in the second quarter was his
longest of the season ... Scott Davidson’s interception in the second quarter is the
fifth of his career and second of the season ... Ryan Watt’s recorded his second sack of the season and fifth
of his career.