The University of Charleston let one slip through its fingers Saturday, falling to perennial conference power Shepherd 16-10.
The Golden Eagles led 10-0 late in the first half and were driving before the Rams returned an interception for a touchdown with 31 seconds left before halftime. Also in the opening half, UC had to settle for a field goal after a first-and-goal.
"We didn't get it done and had numerous opportunities, especially in the first half and didn't take advantage of it,'' said UC coach Pat Kirkland, whose team saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end and dropped to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the WVC.
"When you play a good football team, you're not giving yourself a chance. I think we can be a good football team. I feel good about our program. I want to be 4-0 right now, but we gave great effort. We just didn't execute in key situations and that's something we have to get better at.''
UC starting quarterback Maurice Leak returned last week from a high ankle sprain, but completed just 13 of 33 passes. Kirkland said Leak, who only participated in 35 of UC's 65 plays against the Rams, is still day-to-day.
Golden Eagles All-America running back Jordan Roberts, who needs 102 yards to set the school record for career rushing yards, is nearing 100 percent after a bout with flu-like symptoms.
The big game of the week in the WVC features Concord at Shepherd at noon Saturday. The matchup pits the last two league champions - the Mountain Lions last year and the Rams two seasons ago. ...Shepherd received 11 votes in Monday's American Football Coaches Association top 25 poll. ...State has lost 20 straight on the road. The Yellow Jackets' last victory away from home was a 24-21 win over UC on Sept. 20, 2008. ...West Virginia Wesleyan ended its five-game losing streak last week with a 41-14 win over Seton Hill.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.