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The first afternoon contest at refurbished Lakin-Ray Field was a day to remember for West Virginia State’s football team on Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final 6:30 to surge past Glenville State 38-27 in a Mountain East Conference game at Institute.

Junior quarterback Donovan Riddick threw for a career-high 302 yards, completing 26 of 41 attempts with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and also ran for a score. Senior wideout Tyrone Lyte turned in a career-high 120 yards on eight receptions.

WVSU improved to 5-4 on the season and 5-3 in the MEC, while the Pioneers fell to 2-6 both overall and in the league.

Glenville led 27-17 when Timothy Heltzel hooked up with receiver Javon Butler for their second long touchdown connection of the game, this one from 70 yards with 9:55 remaining in the game. Earlier, Butler caught a 92-yarder for a score.

Heltzel threw for 270 yards and two scores, with eight completions going to Butler for 238 yards.

West Virginia State promptly responded to that second long toss to Butler with its own 81-yard scoring drive. A 41-yard strike from Riddick to Luke Gadson landed WVSU at Glenville’s 11-yard line. On third and 9 from the 10, Riddick found Keedrick Cunningham open in the end zone to close the gap to 27-24 with 6:26 left in the game.

After State’s defense forced a quick three and out, the Yellow Jackets marched 67 yards in nine plays to reclaim the lead. Lyte was the difference-maker on the drive with three catches for 58 yards. Riddick scored on a 12-yard run with 1:36 left and the Jackets led 31-27.

Jackets defensive back Henry Houchins dashed the chances of a late Glenville comeback when, on the second play following the kickoff, he returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown.

Junior linebacker Payton Lunsford again led West Virginia State’s defensive unit with 11 total tackles, including six solo tackles, a forced fumble along with a fumble recovery and one pass breakup.

Dant’e Jones had a pair of touchdowns for State on a 21-yard reception and a 4-yard run. The offensive stats were close across the board, with the Jackets picking up 410 total yards and the Pioneers 406. State led in rushing 108-100, but trailed in passing yards 306-302.

The Yellow Jackets travel to West Liberty on Saturday for a 2 p.m. kickoff.