The University of Charleston Golden Eagles played up a division to defeat the Valparaiso Crusaders on Saturday. The Crusaders took a 13-10 lead into halftime, but the second half belonged to the Golden Eagles as they scored nine unanswered points. Freshmen kicker Tim McCutchen was responsible for all nine points, nailing three field goals in the second half. McCutchen went 4-for-4 on the day and was the top scorer for UC as he was responsible for 12 points.
Senior QB, Brant Grisel had a productive day against the Crusaders as well. The Apex, NC native completed 66 percent of his passes (30-for-45) for 333 yards and a touchdown. It was his third game of throwing 300 or more yards this season. Grisel connected with Tremaine Ross for a 10-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. Ross finished the day with seven catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. Xzavion Gordon also had a good receiving day catching eight passes for 102 yards. Phillip Fleshman led the rushing attack for the Golden Eagles with 64 yards on 16 carries.
Usually, close games like this can come down to the turnover ratio, but that wasn’t the case today. UC had three turnovers to just two for Valparaiso. What helped out the Golden Eagles was a very good defense. The Crusaders were held to just 121 yards of total offense. Quarterback Jimmy Seewald could only complete 24 percent of his passes for 49 yards and two interceptions. The only bright spot was a 3-yard touchdown pass the Alex Kluck to give the Crusaders an early lead. The Golden Eagles defense was a huge factor in the win as the team not only had more turnovers, but they also had nine penalties for 80 yards. Almost twice as much as what Valparaiso had.
The win today for the Golden Eagles gives the Mountain East Conference their win against a D1 program. UC is now 3-1 on the season and will continue DII football play on October 5th, against Wheeling Jesuit. Valparaiso now drops to 0-4. They’ll take on a 1-3 Drake team next week.