Roberts rules again for UC
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston quarterback Maurice Leak understandably looked a bit rusty after missing most of the last three games with an injury.
Luckily for UC, some timely defense and another ho-hum, 200-plus-yard day from running back Jordan Roberts was more than enough to make up for some general sloppiness.
Roberts ran for 205 yards on 26 carries, including touchdown runs of 61, 1 and 12 yards, as the Golden Eagles bested Seton Hill 30-13 Saturday at University of Charleston Stadium. A healthy homecoming crowd of 3,228 was on hand.
That crowd had to sit through a three-hour contest that was marred by 26 penalties, 299 penalty yards and four turnovers.
Leak threw for just 88 yards and two interceptions on 8 of 17 passing and added 41 yards on 11 carries.
"We came out a little flat to start the game off," Leak said. "The offense came out real flat in my opinion. We had a couple of turnovers but we got the win and that's all that matters.
"It feels great to get back on the field. I'm still not 100 percent, but just to get back and get my feet wet a little bit was a good feeling."
UC struggled early to find any consistency as far as sustaining drives was concerned.
Charleston was able to get an early 46-yard field goal from Puma Nuredini after Roberts returned the opening kick to the Seton Hill 49 and 15 yards was tacked on to end of the play on a facemask penalty.
Roberts' 61-yard scoring scamper later in the first quarter was about the only other early highlight for UC, at least offensively.
The defense rose up several times, including a couple with its back to the wall.
Seton Hill twice drove deep into Charleston territory but got no points after UC blocked a 21-yard field goal attempt and Griffins kicker Josh Cavalier was wide with another.
Still, a win is a win, especially on homecoming, and UC coach Pat Kirkland was focused on the positives afterward.
"I'm excited that we got a win, and any time you get a win in this conference and in college football it's a good thing," Kirkland said. "We've got to do a better job of execution and eliminate the mistakes. I'm excited to watch the film and see what the issue was, but we didn't come out and play UC football like I know we're capable of. We got it done and it's great to get a win, but we need to get better and have a great week of practice."
A bit of controversy followed UC's first 10 points as the Golden Eagles (5-1 overall, 3-1 West Virginia Conference) were awarded a safety after Seton Hill's Derrick Dyer fielded a punt and was tackled in the end zone.
It looked as if Dyer's forward progress may have had him down on the 1-yard line, and the Griffins coaching staff could be heard all the way in the press box.
Seton Hill coach Joel Dolinski wouldn't comment on the officiating after the game - sort of.
"I'm not going to comment on these officials," Dolinski said. "I just know we have five more weeks with them and then we're done with them, thank god."
The real dagger came when Jordan plunged in from 1 yard out to cap a 12-play, 86-yard drive with just 10 seconds remaining in the first half to push UC's lead at the break to 19-6.
The Griffins cut it to six early in the third quarter when Trae Cook ran in from 2 yards out, but Seton Hill never seriously threatened again and Roberts was able to keep UC's offense on the field enough to salt the win away.
"He played a wonderful game," Leak said of Roberts. "He's our security blanket. When we come out and can't throw the ball really, we had a little rough day today. It's a good thing to have him behind me. I'm glad we have him."
Andrew Jackson went 26 for 50 for 240 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for Seton Hill (0-6, 0-4). Niko Hall-Brown had 100 yards receiving on seven catches while D.J. Carter caught seven balls for 91 yards.
Nuredini added another field goal to cap the scoring late in the fourth quarter.
Charleston will now hit the road for four straight road games starting Saturday at UNC-Pembroke and won't return home until the season finale on Nov. 10 against West Virginia State.