The West Virginia State Yellow Jackets came from behind to win 42-38 against the Fairmont State Falcons. WVSU trailed by 17 points on two different occasions in the first half. They were able to cut the deficit down to 24-14 heading into halftime. The Yellow Jackets scored 14 unanswered points in the third quarter to take a 28-24 lead. Fairmont State may have stalled in the third quarter, but they weren’t done yet. Both teams scored four total touchdowns in the last ten minutes of the game. Falcons running back Tyree Randolph had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with a little over two minutes left in the game to give Fairmont State a 38-35 lead. WVSU quarterback Austin Hensley led the Yellow Jackets on an 87-yard drive in just a little over a minute to take back the lead 42-38.
Randolph was a headache all game for the WVSU defense. Along with the kick return for a touchdown, he also had a 51-yard touchdown reception. On the ground, Randolph rushed for 124 yards on four attempts. Khalik Hamlin had a rushing touchdown for the Falcons and rushed for 106 yards on just 15 carries. Quarterback Takwan Crews-Naylor wasn’t flashy for the Falcons, but he was efficient. The senior went 12-of-18 through the air for 189 yards and three touchdowns. Two of the touchdown passes were over 50 yards. Javon Hayes had seven receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Austin Hensley had a career day for the Yellow Jackets. He completed 73.6 percent of his passes for 414 yards and six touchdowns. The six touchdowns were a career-high for the Hurricane, WV native and it was his second 400-yard game on the season. While WVSU threw the ball 65 percent of the time, the ground game was fair with its limited role. Another Hurricane, WV native in Dylan Lucas ran for 63 yards on 15 carries. AJ Barrette led the Yellow Jackets receiving with nine receptions for 161 yards, and two touchdowns. It was his third 100-yard game on the season. Tyrone Lyte had 112 yards and a touchdown. Isiah Scott, Zach Pate, and Dant’e Jones also had touchdown catches, making every WVSU receiver that caught a pass, scoring a touchdown.
Fairmont State falls to 1-5 on the season. The Falcons will try to salvage the season next week when they host Concord. West Virginia State is now 5-1 this season and is looking to remain unbeaten in the Mountain East Conference as they will host Urbana next Saturday. The Yellow Jackets are tied with Notre Dame (OH) for the top spot in the MEC and they are well within striking distance of making the NCAA DII Football Playoffs this season. If they can build upon their current three-game winning streak, we may see a critical game against Notre Dame to finish the season.