Saturday’s Mountain East Conference matchup between the University of Charleston and Notre Dame College lived up to expectations.
The Golden Eagle defense shut down Notre Dame quarterback Chris Brimm to defeat the Falcons 38-28 at University of Charleston Stadium.
“I’m just proud,” UC coach Pat Kirkland said. “It 100% goes to these players and the way they prepared this week. Can’t say enough about the guys that we have, especially the senior class. Well deserved.”
UC moves to 3-1 overall and in MEC games and Notre Dame is now 4-1 (3-1 MEC). With Frostburg State’s 51-14 victory over UNC Pembroke, the Bobcats are 5-0 and in sole possession of first place in the MEC standings, followed by Notre Dame in second and UC in third.
Brimm, who came into the game with an MEC-leading 1,145 passing yards and a 75.74 completion percentage, completed just 15 of his 40 pass attempts for 143 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He was also sacked twice.
“Our defensive coordinator Zack Johnson did a phenomenal job,” Kirkland said. “I’m so proud of the game plan he put together. The work he puts in and the way his kids look up to him — he’s a good role model. His kids executed.”
UC running back Tyreik McAllister led the Golden Eagles’ offense as he exploded for a game-high 180 yards for three touchdowns on 19 rushing attempts.
UC quarterback Guy Myers completed 18 of 30 passes for 148 yards and an interception. He also rushed 13 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
Notre Dame’s usual starting running back and MEC leading rusher Tyris Dickerson did not play due to an injury. In his place, running back Idris Lawrence rushed 29 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
UC outgained Notre Dame 430-325 in total yardage.
The Golden Eagles scored first on a six-play, 43-yard drive capped by a 36-yard field goal by Tim McCutchen for a 3-0 lead in the first quarter.
Notre Dame responded with an 11-play, 54-yard drive capped by a 4-yard rush by Lawrence to give the Falcons a 7-3 lead.
UC regained the lead in the second quarter with a 10-play, 57-yard scoring drive led by Myers, who rushed 12 yards for the touchdown. UC had a 10-7 lead.
Notre Dame responded late in the second half with a six-play, 52-yard drive capped by Lawrence rushing a yard for his second touchdown to give the Falcons a 14-10 lead.
UC did not go into halftime losing, though. The Golden Eagles used a 31/2-minute drive to march 74 yards, capped by a McAllister 35-yard touchdown run with a minute remaining in the half. UC went into halftime leading 17-14.
In the third quarter, McAllister broke through the middle of Notre Dame’s defensive line to go 58 yards untouched to the end zone, giving UC its largest lead of the game at 24-14.
Late in the third quarter, a Myers pass was deflected and intercepted by Notre Dame defensive back Antoine Holloway II, who returned it 40 yards for a touchdown. UC had a 24-21 lead after the extra point.
In the fourth quarter, UC’s defense got one of its biggest stops of the game. On fourth-and-4 with nine minutes remaining, Notre Dame went for it at UC’s 40-yard line and Brimm rushed up the middle but was marked a yard short of the first down. UC took over on downs.
With 71/2 minutes remaining, McAllister broke free again for a 61-yard touchdown rush and UC had a 31-21 lead.
“Tyreik’s a gamer, he’s a really good player,” Kirkland said. “I think he’ll be the first one to tell you the offensive line did a great job of making him some holes. He’s just a dynamic kid. I’m glad he’s on our team.”
Notre Dame didn’t go away, though. The Falcons put together a 42-second drive of 5 plays and 45 yards capped by Robert Singletary’s 10-yard rushing touchdown to put the Falcons within three points with four minutes left.
However, Myers proved his worth as a dual-threat quarterback in the next possession as he fooled Notre Dame’s defense with a keeper and rushed through the middle untouched for a 70-yard game-clinching touchdown rush. The score went final at 38-28.
UC hits the road next week to take on Glenville State at noon on Oct. 9.