West Virginia State 34,
Johnson C. Smith 31
INSTITUTE, W. Va. West Virginia State opened the 2012 campaign with a 34-31 victory against visiting Johnson C. Smith Saturday afternoon.
The Yellow Jackets scored 21 in the first quarter, grabbing a 14-point advantage at the end of one.
State's Aubura Taylor rushed 22 times for 99 yards and scored twice. WVSU quarterback LeFloyd Phillips passed for 229 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Johnson had six catches for 98 yards to lead the receivers.
The win marked the first for WVSU in a season opener since a 6-0 home victory over Central State on Aug. 29, 2009.
SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. Preseason WVIAC No. 1 Shepherd lost its season opener during a 38-28 road setback to Shippensburg.
The hosts rolled up 460 total yards while the Rams had just 277.
Shepherd tailback Kenny Williams rushed for a game-high 64 yards on 13 attempts while Ram linebacker A.J. Parrish finished with 13 tackles.
West Liberty 3
WEST LIBERTY, W. Va. West Liberty University head football coach Roger Waialae didn't need a stat sheet to figure out why his Hilltoppers came away on the short end of a 24-3 score in Saturday's season opener against Catawba (N.C.) at Russek Field.
The turnover bug that bit West Liberty hard a year ago returned for a second helping in Saturday's lid-lifted as 17 of the 24 points posted by the North Carolina team stemmed from one of the Hilltoppers' school-record eight turnovers.
The only score by West Liberty came via a Jeff Hoak 43-yard field.