Story and photo courtesy of Shepherd Athletics
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Shepherd University held off University of Charleston for a 16-10 victory in WVIAC football action at University of Charleston Stadium on Saturday.
Charleston took a 3-0 lead with 39 seconds left in the first quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Puma Nuredini.
The Golden Eagles extended their lead to 10-0 when Maurice Leak teamed with Shaq Williams on a 27-yard scoring strike with 9:48 left in the second quarter.
Shepherd cut the lead to 10-7 when senior cornerback Keon Robinson (Fairfax Station, VA/Lake Braddock) picked off a pass and raced 48 yards for a score with 31 seconds left in the half. Redshirt-freshman kicker Ryan Earls (Stevensville, MD/Kent Island) added the extra point.
Shepherd took a 14-10 lead when junior running back Jihad Rasheed (Detroit, MI/Southeastern/Michigan) scored on a six-yard run with 10:17 left in the third quarter.
Charleston quarterback John Knox was called for intentional grounding in the end zone after being pressured by junior defensive end Howard Jones (Woodbridge, VA/Freedom) with 12:21 left in the fourth quarter to give the Rams a 16-10 lead.
Junior running back Mike Haynes (Midlothian, VA/Cloverhill) rushed 24 times for a game-high 104 yards to lead the Rams. Jordan Roberts rushed 12 times for 20 yards for the Golden Eagles.
Senior quarterback Bobby Cooper (Davidsonville, MD/South River) completed 11-of-27 passes for 88 yards. Maurice Leak connected on 13-of-33 passes for 144 yards for Charleston.
Shepherd had 303 yards of total offense, while limiting Charleston to 191 offensive yards.
Junior punter Troy McNeill (Daleville, VA/Lord Botetourt) had an outstanding effort on the day. He punted seven times for a 38.7 average with four inside-the-20 and had a pair of punts over 50 yards.
Junior linebacker Dominique Dixon (Westover, WV/University) had eight tackles to lead the Rams. Matt Duncan had a game-high 11 tackles for the Griffins.
Shepherd improves to 3-1, 2-0 in WVIAC play, while Charleston falls to 3-1, 1-1. The Rams return to action next Saturday when they host Concord for a noon contest.