Charleston raced out to a 35-3 lead and held off a furious Fairmont State rally late to hold on for a 42-39 win over the Fighting Falcons on opening night.
Fairmont State out-gained Charleston, 580-542, and had 29 first downs compared to 20 for UC.
Brant Grisel was 19-of-27 for 367 yards and three touchdowns to lead UC. Michael Strachan had nine catches for 157 yards and a pair of scores, and Xavion Gordon also went over 100 yards receiving with three catches for 101 yards. Tyreik McAllister had 94 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns.
Charleston scored touchdowns on five of its six possessions in the first half to pull ahead 35-3 at the break. Brant Grisel threw for 220 yards and two scores in the first half, and three different running backs notched touchdown runs for the Golden Eagles. Meanwhile, the UC defense forced a turnover on downs and then recovered a fumble on Fairmont State’s first two possessions, and then ended the half with a goal line stand to help the Golden Eagles stay in control of the game.
Fairmont State opened the second half with a touchdown, but Charleston responded with a score of its own to make it 42-10. From there, the Falcons rattled off 29-straight points to get to within 42-39 with just under two minutes left in the game.
Needing a first down to ice the game, Charleston faced a 3rd-and-10, and Grisel hit Strachan for a 30-yard reception to effectively put the game away.
Fairmont State’s Takwan Crews-Naylor was 27-of-42 for 369 yards and two touchdowns. Khalik Hamlin had 132 yards rushing with a touchdown. Andre Hall hauled in six passes for 111 yards with a TD.