Redshirt freshman DeRante Hunter piled up 260 yards of total offense and to lead the University of Charleston Golden Eagles to a thrilling 27-23 season opening football win over Tusculum College Pioneers, Saturday at University of Charleston Stadium.
Hunter, a 5-foot-9, 175 pound Sarasota, FL native, scored on a 35-yard touchdown scamper on the second play of the third quarter, while adding touchdown passes of 9 and 6 yards to Terrance Spencer and Rusty Taylor, respectively.
Junior defensive back Chris Rotella also came up big for the Golden Eagles by scoring on a fumble recovery in the Pioneers’ end zone with 3:24 left in the game to give UC its 27-23 lead.
On the Pioneers’ ensuing possession, Rotella, a Gahanna, OH native, fell on a fumble in the Golden Eagles’ end zone to stop a serious Tusculum scoring threat with just 1:11 to play.
For good measure, Rotella secured the Golden Eagles’ win with an interception in the UC end zone as time expired.
“This was big win for our program,” said UC Coach Tony DeMeo. “They have a great program, so this was a great program win for us.
“It’s a game that in years to come, people may look back and think that this may be the game for our program.
“It was just another milestone for the program and really big win for this team.”
The Golden Eagles (1-0) travel to the University of Findlay next Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest before heading back home Sept. 8 to take on Elizabeth City State