The University of Charleston held off a late West Virginia Wesleyan rally to defeat the Bobcats 28-23 Saturday at Cebe Ross Field in Buckhannon.
Wesleyan quarterback Nate Montana completed 31 of 53 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns, the second of which came with less than two minutes to play and put the Bobcats (3-7, 2-5 West Virginia Conference) within five points of the Golden Eagles. UC (8-2, 5-2) was able to kneel the ball the rest of the way to end the game.
Darrell Byrd led UC with 77 rushing yards and two touchdowns on three attempts while Jordan Roberts gained 61 yards and one touchdown on 21 carriers. Quarterback John Knox was 11 of 21 passing for 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Charleston's slim hopes of a conference championship are still alive. The Golden Eagles would have to beat West Virginia State next week and Shepherd, which has already clinched at least a share of the WVC championship, would have to lose to Fairmont State. The Rams beat UC earlier this season, but conference tiebreaker rules do not take head-to-head results into account. Glenville State and Concord would also share the WVC title with wins next week and a Shepherd loss.
Sophomore Daniel Monroe led the Falcons' ground attack with 118 yards on 10 carries and a career-high four touchdowns. The Yellow Jackets (2-8, 1-6) were led by Aubra Taylor's game-high 121 rushing yards.
Josh Johnson caught two fourth-quarter touchdown passes for WVSU and Ricky Phillips threw for 199 yards, three touchdowns and one interception on 13-of-29 passing.
For Fairmont State (4-5, 4-3), quarterback Bobby Vega completed 14 of 22 passes for 178 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
For Shepherd (7-2, 6-1), quarterback Bobby Cooper threw for 248 yards with one touchdown and one interception on 15 of 24 passing.