ATHENS-A bounceback performance from their worst loss of the season wasn't enough Saturday for the Concord University Mountain Lions as they fell short against Mountain East Conference rival West Virginia State 34-32 at Callaghan Stadium.
The Mountain Lions (2-5, 2-5) opened the game's scoring on their first drive, as Mikey Rago hit a 27-yard field goal with 11:21 left in the first quarter, making the score 3-0 CU.
The first quarter's final drive also proved successful for the home team as Tywan Pearce caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Jack Mangel to make the score 10-0 Concord with 0:00 left.
The margin went up to 17-0 Concord as Pearce, enroute to setting the CU career receptions record, caught his second touchdown pass of the day, a 17-yarder from Mangel, with 10:26 left in the half.
State (4-4, 4-3) got on the board with 6:45 left in the half as Dant'e Jones caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Donovan Riddick, making the score 17-3 Mountain Lions.
Rago's second field goal of the day, a 37-yarder, made the score 20-3 Concord with 2:07 left in the half.
A quick drive by the Yellow Jackets saw the score cut to 20-14 Concord as Travis McAdoo ran it in with :46 left in the half from 12 yards out.
After a scoreless third quarter dominated by State on the clock, Jones opened the fourth quarter by ending a 10:24 drive with a two-yard scoring run, giving State the lead 21-20 with 14:54 left in the game.
The lead was extended by another Jones touchdown run, this one a 57-yarder, making the score 27-20 State (two-point conversion failed as Riddick's pass was intercepted) with 11:07 left in the game.
Riddick made the score 34-20 Yellow Jackets with a 10-yard touchdown run with 3:24 left.
The last 1:52 of the game saw Concord score two touchdowns. The first saw Mangel plunge in from one yard out with 1:52 left to make the score 34-26 (two-point conversion failed).
The second, with :29 left, saw Pearce jump to catch his third touchdown pass from Mangel, making the score 34-32 as the attempt to tie the game via a two-point conversion failed.
State was led by Riddick with 178 yards on 15-22 passing with a touchdown. Jones rushed for 142 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns. Tyrone Lyte caught seven passes for 91 yards. Tanner Wallace had 10 tackles, seven solo.
Concord was led by Pearce who caught 13 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns. His seventh reception, a 10-yarder in the second quarter, was his 206th career reception as a Mountain Lion passing Thomas Mayo's career mark of 205 set from 2008 to 210.
Mangel went 27-42 for 407 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Kris Copeland had 10 rushes for 84 yards. Ty Maust had 10 tackles, six solo.
Concord had 554 yards in total offense, their most in a game since 2016, also against West Virginia State.
Concord travels to Wheeling tomorrow for a noon game against the Wheeling Cardinals at Bishop Schmidt Field.
Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at email@example.com.