CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As if to signify that it would be a big day of efficiency, domination and fun, the University of Charleston offered a fake punt early in the second quarter and picked up 24 easy yards.
The Golden Eagles faced a fourth-and-7 at the Fairmont State 48-yard line and, after positioning themselves for what looked like an obvious punt, snapped the ball to the blocker, Zach Wellman.
Wellman, a linebacker, then scurried untouched through the right side and might have scored except for a tackle by the return man. As Wellman jogged off the field, UC coach Pat Kirkland greeted him, smiled and said good-naturedly, "You can't get tackled by the return man.''
The Golden Eagles scored on the next play and, from there, didn't allow Fairmont the faintest of hopes en route to a 45-0 victory Saturday afternoon at UC Stadium. A crowd of about 500 attended.
After Wellman's jaunt to the Fairmont 24, quarterback John Knox promptly hit Davon Henry in the end zone to not only give UC a 21-0 lead but apparently leave the Falcons reeling psychologically.
"I don't think we were ever in it mentally to begin with,'' said first-year Fairmont State coach Jason Woodman.
Wellman, a 6-foot, 230-pound junior and former Marshall walk-on, had never carried the ball as a collegian but led Spring Valley High School with 11 rushing touchdowns in 2009.
In his 24-yard carry on Saturday, he had plenty of help, he noted.
"It was all blocking. No one touched me,'' he said. "We had 'em outnumbered on the right side. Coach was just waiting for the right time to call it. I was trying to get in the end zone, but I did my job. I was happy with the first down.''