GLENVILLE, W. Va. – The Urbana University football team got off to a slow start and couldn’t overcome a 34-10 halftime deficit, which led to a 44-24 loss to Glenville State in the season opener at Morris Stadium Thursday night.
UU fought back to gain momentum after outscoring Glenville State 14-0 in the third quarter to make it a 10-point game at 34-24 entering the fourth. UU kept the juices flowing by forcing a punt on the Pioneers’ first possession of the quarter. Then, Tajuan Green hit Trey McFadden on a 17-yard pass play that put UU in the driver’s seat at midfield. However, the drive stalled and Green was eventually intercepted on a third-and-13 pass attempt intended for Trevon Saunders for the first turnover of the game. The Pioneers responded with a touchdown on the next possession to put the game out of reach with nine minutes left.
On offense, freshman running back Ja’Vhari Portis scored on two of his seven carries during his collegiate debut, with both touchdowns coming in the third quarter. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound back plunged across the goal line from two yards out to make the score 34-17 with 11:25 left in the third. Then two possessions later, he broke open a 42-yard dash and sidestepped a defender near the end zone to bring UU back into the game.
Saunders picked up where he left off last season with a team-high four receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. The junior turned on the burners and connected with Green on a 44-yard strike for UU’s first touchdown of the night just before halftime.
On the defensive side, junior captain Andre Cliff recorded a career-high 12 tackles and had one interception. Redshirt freshman linebacker Duray Hall posted nine tackles in his collegiate debut, while junior Dominic Painter registered his first career sack. Junior linebacker Josh Dillard also picked up a sack.
UU hosts West Virginia State on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m.
UU men’s soccer wins
COLUMBUS – The 16th-ranked UU men’s soccer team captured the inaugural I-70 Cup with a 2-1 victory over Ohio Dominican Thursday night. UU went up 2-0 late in the game and held on for the season-opening win at Panther Stadium.
Newcomers Raphael Northoff and Thibaut Bourrier scored their first career goals for UU. Northoff struck early with a goal in the eighth minute to put UU ahead 1-0, and Bourrier found the back of the net from the left wing in the 81st minute for the game-winner.
ODU responded right away to cut the deficit back down to one, but a tough UU defense fended off any comeback attempt. The success of the defense showed up in the box score as UU keeper Nathan Jones only recorded one save.
The Blue Knights will host Lock Haven Sunday in the home opener at UU Stadium. Kickoff will take place at 1 p.m. ET.