MARTIN, Tenn. – The Eastern Kentucky University football team put the pedal to the metal in the second half and pulled away from host UT Martin Saturday afternoon, 49-24. The No. 22 Colonels outscored the Skyhawks, 21-0, in the final 30 minutes of the OVC opener for both teams.
With the win, Eastern (4-0, 1-0 OVC) moves to 12-1 all-time on the road at UT Martin (1-3, 0-1).
The first half was full of action that saw the two teams combine for 52 points and 624 yards of offense. Eastern Kentucky took a slim 28-24 lead into the locker rooms. Momentum quickly turned in the Colonels’ favor in the opening two drives following intermission.
UT Martin began the second half with a surprise on-sides kick, but the ball rolled out of bounds. Three plays later, sophomore quarterback Bennie Coney connected with junior wide receiver Jeff Glover down the far sideline for a 39-yard gain, moving the ball inside the UTM 10-yard line. Coney then capped the drive with a five-yard scoring pass to senior fullback Channing Fugate to make the score, 35-24.
The Skyhawks tried to answer on their ensuing possession, but a pivotal personal foul call eventually forced UT Martin to settle for a 41-yard field goal attempt. However, wide receiver Devin Borders came up with his third blocked kick of the season, this time a deflection on the field goal attempt, to keep UTM off the scoreboard.
EKU’s offense wasn’t done as the Colonels methodically moved the ball on its second drive. Senior quarterback Jared McClain finished the 13-play, 76-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 42-24.
Junior defensive back Johnny Joseph gave the ball right back to Eastern Kentucky with his first interception of the season. One play later, junior running back Dy’Shawn Mobley put the game on ice with a 75-yard touchdown run.
The visiting Colonels racked up 202 yards of offense in the third quarter alone and scored three times. UT Martin’s offense went missed field goal, interception, interception and turnover on downs in the second half.
In the first half, EKU only had the ball for 8:41, but scored four touchdowns. UT Martin trailed at one point 28-10 before scoring twice in its final three drives before the half.
Mobley led the Colonels with 183 yards rushing on just 11 carries. The native of Powell, Tennessee, scored on runs of 68, 14 and 75 yards. Coney completed 10-of-17 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Glover piled up career highs in receptions (seven) and receiving yards (128).
On defense, Eastern forced four turnovers. Joseph, senior linebacker Tyrelle Johnson and junior linebacker Trey Thomas each registered an interception. Junior defensive lineman Marquise Piton came away with a fumble recovery. The Colonel defense also racked up four sacks.
Eastern Kentucky has a week off before returning to the field at Austin Peay on Saturday, Oct. 4.
–Eastern Kentucky has produced at least 500 yards of offense in three of its first four games. The Colonels accumulated 533 yards against UT Martin.
–The Colonels are now 47-20 all-time in OVC openers, including 4-3 under head coach Dean Hood.
–Wide receiver Jeff Glover threw his second touchdown pass of the season, and third of his career, in the second quarter. He found wide receiver Deno Montgomery for a 29-yard touchdown.
–After failing to produce a turnover in the opener, EKU has notched 13 turnovers in its last three games, including four against the Skyhawks.
–Eastern is 4-0 for the first time since 1992