RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University football team never trailed in its 2014 Homecoming game as the No. 18 Colonels fought off visiting Southeast Missouri for a 33-21 win.
Junior running back Dy’Shawn Mobley tallied three touchdown rushes, including the game-clincher with 2:21 remaining to provide the final score. The EKU (7-1, 4-1 OVC) defense was led by sophomore safety Kiante Northington, who posted a team season-high 17 stops and also came down with a key third-quarter interception to stop a Southeast Missouri (4-5, 2-3) scoring threat.
Eastern got on the board first when junior wide receiver Jeff Glover blocked a SEMO punt and raced 22 yards untouched for a touchdown midway through the first quarter. The Redhawks responded with a quick nine-play, 75-yard drive to tie the score.
On the second play of Eastern’s ensuing possession, senior quarterback Jared McClain found sophomore wide out Devin Borders all alone down the right sideline for a 49-yard pass play to the SEMO seven. Mobley finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run up the middle on fourth down.
The Colonels pushed the lead to 20-7 with 10:39 left in the second quarter when Mobley found the end zone for a second time. The junior took the hand-off and went around the left side untouched from nine yards out, capping the six-play, 49-yard drive that took 1:56 off the clock.
Southeast Missouri cut the deficit to six at halftime, 20-14, on quarterback Kyle Snyder’s second touchdown run with six minutes to go in the second quarter.
The Redhawks were perhaps poised to take their first lead of the game midway through the third quarter when Northington came through with his first collegiate interception. On 3rd-and-3 from the Eastern nine-yard line, the sophomore hauled in a tipped pass in the end zone to end the threat.
Eastern Kentucky’s offense followed that interception with its longest drive of the game. McClain put a cherry on top of the 11-play, 80-yard drive with a perfect 27-yard touchdown strike to Borders to make the score, 26-14. The Colonels went for a two-point conversion, but did not complete the pass play.
After Southeast Missouri made one last charge to slice the lead to 26-21, the Colonel offense put the game away with one more scoring drive late in the fourth quarter. Eastern converted two huge third downs on that drive, including a 3rd-and-6 play where junior wide receiver Deno Montgomery came up with a 19-yard catch-and-run completion to move the ball to the SEMO 27-yard line. Mobley put the final stamp on the win with a 13-yard run around the left side with 2:21 showing on the clock.
McClain started at quarterback for the Colonels and put up impressive numbers. The senior completed 15-of-18 throws (83.3 percent) for a season-high 203 yards and one touchdown. Borders notched four catches for a season-best 106 yards receiving.
For Southeast Missouri, Snyder threw for 245 yards and a touchdown, but also tossed two interceptions. Snyder also led the Redhawks with 116 yards rushing on just 19 carries.
Eastern Kentucky goes back on the road next Saturday, Nov. 1 for a game at Tennessee State. The game will be televised by ESPN3 beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
–This was the second time this year running back Dy’Shawn Mobley has recorded three touchdown rushes. Mobley also accomplished the feat at UT Martin on Sept. 20.
–Eastern’s first quarter, fourth-down conversion from the one-yard line was its first fourth-down conversion of the season. The Colonels had been 0-for-3.
–Wide receiver Jeff Glover has now thrown two touchdown passes, caught two touchdown passes and returned a block punt for a touchdown this season. This was the first time EKU had returned a block punt for a score since Sept. 18, 2010 at Chattanooga.
–The Colonels have now won eight straight Homecoming games. Eastern has also scored at least 20 points against the Redhawks in each of the last 16 meetings.
–Eastern Kentucky (35.4 ppg) and Southeast Missouri (33.1 ppg) entered the game ranked as the top two scoring offenses in the OVC. The Colonels have scored at least 30 points in six straight games.