Urbana University (2-5, 1-5 MEC) allowed 27 unanswered second-half points and suffered a 34-7 loss to West Virginia Wesleyan at Ross Field Saturday afternoon. After entering the locker room tied at 7-7 midway through, the Blue Knights were held scoreless and limited to 46 yards of offense in the second half.
Down 20-7 late in the third, UU’s best chance to get back in it occurred after Isaiah Turner fell on a Bobcat fumble near midfield.
But nothing went right for the Blue Knights, as quarterback Eric Pelfrey’s third-down pass on the next drive was tipped over the middle and caught by a Bobcat defender. That led to another Bobcat touchdown to put the game out of reach, 27-7.
UU was outgained 432-149 on offense and recorded only nine first downs. The Blue Knights struggled to move the chains, going just 3-of-14 on third down, while allowing the Bobcats to convert 8-of-15.
Coming off a career performance, Pelfrey struggled to find his rhythm against a Bobcats’ defense that had allowed nearly 300 passing yards per game. The junior finished 8-for-25 for 93 yards, and completed only three passes in the second half.
Early on, it seemed as if UU would carry over the success it found running the ball last week.
Running backs Cedric Presley and Deonta Rudasill split the carries and combined for 61 yards in the first half. Presley, who scored his fourth touchdown in two games, dashed eight yards off left tackle to tie the game 7-7 with just under five minutes left in the half.
That touchdown was set up by Andre Cliff’s 33-yard interception return, his first pick of the season. Bobcat quarterback Ryan Deal entered Saturday without throwing an interception, but the Blue Knights came away with two takeaways through the air. D’Gary Wallace came down with a Hail Mary attempt to end the first half.
Wallace led the UU defense with 10 total tackles, including nine solo stops and two tackles for a loss. Clayton Bullard finished with seven solo tackles and eight total stops, while Kevin Chapple also racked up seven solo tackles.
After tying the game, UU got the ball right back in Bobcat territory after a poor WVWC punt, but failed to put up points near the end of the half.
The Bobcats deflated the Blue Knight momentum on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, a 62-yard touchdown pass to go up 14-7, after a busted coverage by the UU defense left a Bobcat receiver wide open.
WVWC also scored on the first play of the fourth quarter, a 14-yard strike through the air.
After UU went three and out on the next drive, WVWC sealed the game when it put together a methodical 15-play, 88-yard drive that lasted over 10 minutes in the fourth quarter. Bobcat running back Michael Anderson found paydirt on a three-yard plunge to put the home team ahead 34-7.
Anderson rushed for 168 yards on 27 carries to lead the Bobcats. Deal finished 19-of-32 for 216 yards and three touchdowns.
UU returns home this Saturday when it hosts Charleston (6-1). Kickoff is scheduled for noon.