The University of Charleston put on a show for the carnival-like atmosphere Thursday that surrounded the school's first night game in the football program's history.
Senior running back Jordan Roberts gained a school-record 238 yards on 23 carries and scored one touchdown and junior quarterback Maurice Leak accounted for four scores to propel the Golden Eagles past Shaw 44-26 in a mutual opener.
A crowd of about 5,000 attended at UC Stadium free of charge, thanks to sponsor BrickStreet Insurance. Children were also treated to inflatables and prize giveaways and halftime entertainment featured the Purina Incredible Dog Show.
It took UC half the season last year to get things going, as it dropped its first five games before winning five of its last six during Pat Kirkland's first season.
"That was a defense that was ranked third in the country [last year],'' said Kirkland of Shaw. "We lined up and were just physical with them. That was the key thing.''
Roberts, an All-America last season, rumbled for 150 yards by halftime to spark the Golden Eagles' offense, which churned out 499, with 358 on the ground.
"I thought we came out firing on offense and defense,'' said Roberts. "We just came out and executed. I feel we're a way more complete team. We're good everywhere.''
The former Scott High School all-state player and Kennedy Award winner repeatedly gave out more punishment than he took, finishing off runs with power in averaging just a shade over 10 yards per carry.
"He made some plays where they packed the box and he just got downhill and ran behind his pads,'' added Kirkland of Roberts.