Friday, August 31, 2012

Charleston 44, Shaw Bears 26

CHARLESTON, West Virgina - Senior All-American Jordan Roberts (Madison, WV) racked up a school-record 238 yards on just 23 carries as the University of Charleston football team rolled past Shaw 44-26 in the 2012 season opener at UC Stadium.

Roberts got the season off on the right foot by scampering for a 13-yard touchdown run to cap a quick 45 second drive for the early 7-0 advantage that proved to be just the start of a great night. The short touchdown was setup by a stellar defensive stand that was capped by Ahmed Shakoor (Stone Montain,GA) recoving a blocked Shaw punt at the 14 yard line.

On their next possession the Golden Eagles sustained a longer drive after taking over at the SU 39 yard line. The other every down threat Maurice Leak (Waxhax, NC) provided the highlights for the second scoring drive as he went to the air for a 16-yard completion to Roberts. The pass got UC within striking distance and Leak closed the door on the drive with a two yard touchdown run for a controlling 14-0 lead.

Shaw showed some fight as the first quarter closed by marching 75 yards for a touchdown to pull within a possession at the 14:54 mark of the second stanza. Charleston showed off more options with an answer to the Bear's score as C.J Stallworth (Orange Park, FL) and Darrell Byrd (Columbus, OH) took some of the pressure off Roberts with double-digit yardage runs, which setup the scoring strike from Leak to freshman Shaq Williams (Charleston,WV).

SU All-American James Langford pulled his squad within a possession with 5:21 remaining in the opening half with a touchdown run from 13 yards out making the score 21-13 as the extra point was missed.

The University of Charleston took control of the final five minutes of the second quarter and put on a clinic for how much can be accomplished in a short period of time as the Golden Eagles managed two field goals and a touchdown before heading into the locker room. Leak put the touchdown on the board with a five yard run before handing the scoring reigns to Puma Nuredini (Naples, FL) who put away back-to-back field goals from 43 and 27 yards out. Shakoor was credited with a fumble recovery to give UC a quick turnaround to setup the first Nuredini score.

After giving his team a 34-13 lead headed into halftime Nuredini picked up where he left off in the second half by drilling a 39 yard field goal five minutes into the third period. The third field goal of the game handed Nuredini a school-record of his own for most field goals in a game.

Shaw quarterback and former University of Wisconsin signee James Stallons put together a solid effort on the next drive by marching his team down the field and booking a two yard touchdown toss to pull within 37-20 at the 8:29 mark of the third quarter.

A comeback attempt was never allowed to materialize as Charleston again expanded their advantage when Leak connected with Dustin Phelps (Roanoke, VA) for a 30-yard touchdown just four minutes later giving the home standing Golden Eagles plenty of breathing room at 44-20. SU grabbed six more points for the road to set the final score at 44-26, but would never threaten in the final quarter of play.

For the night Roberts was the work-horse on offense taking 23 carries, yet he managed a double-digit average of 10.3 yards per carry on his way to setting the school single-game mark with 238 net rushing yards. Stallworth provided plenty of relief with what on any other night would have been a stellar 5.2 yard per carry effort as he racked up 42 yards on eight carries.

Leak kept the Bears defense honest by completing 11-of-20 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns, which included connecting with Williams and Ryan Foster (Cincinnati, OH) four times each on the evening.

The Golden Eagle defense kept Shaw held in check all night by allowing just 292 yards of total offense. Shakoor and Matt Kelly (Cincinnati, OH) led the way for the defensive unit with nine tackles apiece. In the trenches Rockford Stone (Charlotte, NC) booked a sack and tackle for loss in the win.

Charleston possessed the ball 37 minutes to just 22 by the Bears in the game.

UC keeps in the weeknight game mood next week when Saint Joseph's (Ind.) comes calling upon UC Stadium. Kickoff next week is set for 7:00 pm on Thursday, Sept. 6.


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