The Urbana University football team dropped a 37-24 decision to West Virginia State Saturday in the home opener at UU Stadium which featured a four hour and five minute long weather delay.
UU falls to 0-2 on the season while West Virginia State improved to 1-1.
UU trailed 14-10 at the midway point and looked poised to make a comeback until the Jackets outscored the Blue and Grey 20-7 in the third quarter to go ahead 34-17.
The visitors put up points on their first two drives to open the second half, with both touchdowns scored by running back Juawan Etheredge. The freshman tallied 132 yards on 29 carries for the Jackets.
Later in the quarter, shortly after the two teams traded scores, the weather delay was issued with 18 seconds on the clock. Then after a long break in the action, UU came out of the locker room with guns blazing.
Eric Pelfrey hauled in a career-long 35-yard reception to end the quarter, and then quarterback Cale Burdyshaw found Trevon Saunders a few plays later for a 16-yard touchdown, which cut the deficit back down to 10 at 34-24 with 13:39 left in regulation.
WVSU put the game out of reach with a field goal after a nine-play drive that lasted five minutes. UU faced a fourth-and-goal with just over three minutes to play, but the Jackets got the stop with an interception in the end zone.
After entering the season as the third-string quarterback, Burdyshaw took over in the first quarter against the Yellow Jackets and engineered a touchdown on his first drive. He entered the contest after senior Marcus Graham got off to a slow start, and finished 12 of 28 for 185 yards with three total touchdowns.
Trey McFadden, a sophomore, set career highs in the backfield with 48 yards on 10 carries. His touchdown reception from Burdyshaw marked the first score in his Blue Knight career.
At wide receiver, Saunders recorded a touchdown in his fourth straight game while pulling down six catches for 47 yards. He also registered a 37-yard rush from scrimmage. Pelfrey finished with a team-high 50 yards on three catches, which were both career highs.
On defense, linebacker Duray Hall led UU with nine total tackles. Carlton Rematt and Josh Dillard each had eight tackles, while Dereck Givens and Noland Palmer were credited with seven stops apiece.
Andre Cliff forced a fumble and recovered the loose ball deep in WVSU territory. His second takeaway of the season set up an easy score for the Blue Knights to make it 28-17 in the third quarter.
On special teams, kicker Ross Snodgrass made his second field goal in as many games with a 32-yarder in the second frame. Givens also got a hand on a WVSU point-after try to prevent a point from scoring.
UU was out-gained 474-332 on offense as the visitors averaged 7.3 yards per play.
Three interceptions proved costly for the Blue Knights. However, UU did take advantage of a fumble recovery that led to a touchdown.
Both teams struggled with penalties, especially late in the game. UU had nine flags for 112 yards, while WVSU was flagged 14 times for 140 yards.