RICHMOND, Ky. – Defense was the name of the game Thursday night as the Maroon (defense) squad defeated the White (offense) team in the Eastern Kentucky University football team’s annual Maroon-White game, 29-19.
Excluding a late touchdown pass from junior quarterback Kyle Romano as time expired, the Colonel defense held the offense without a touchdown the entire scrimmage.
Defensive stops were a team effort for the Colonels. Seventeen defenders totaled two or more tackles. Corner back Blake Crowell, linebacker Aaron Patrick and linebacker Luke Kallschmidt, all newcomers, each totaled six stops to lead the pack.
The Maroon team also had an interception returned for a touchdown by transfer linebacker D’Vonta Derricott. The junior picked off a Tyler Swafford pass and returned it 25 yards to the end zone with 3:57 to go in the third quarter.
Sophomore wide receiver Scott Daniel led the offense with six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Daniel had a long 47-yard reception from Romano in the second quarter. Senior wide receiver Jaucady Rutledge added eight catches for 32 yards.
The quarterbacks rotated throughout the game for the offense. Junior Bennie Coney started the game and finished 12-of-18 for 44 yards. Romano was a highlight for the offense, going 12-of-24 for 115 yards and the lone touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Junior JJ Jude started in place of the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year Dy’Shawn Mobley, who sat out the game. Jude carried the ball seven times for 11 yards.
The offense was also without injured starting wide receivers Devin Borders and Jeff Glover, as well as offensive lineman Josh Minor.
Highly-regarded transfer Noah Spence totaled two tackles for the game, one solo and one assist.
The defense earned seven points for a touchdown, four for a turnover, two for a three-and-out and one for a fourth down stop. The offense were awarded seven points for a touchdown, three for a field goal and two for two consecutive first downs without scoring a touchdown or field goal.
Eastern Kentucky, which finished 9-4 overall in the fall and advanced to the 2014 NCAA FCS playoffs, opens its 2015 slate on Thursday night, Sept. 3 with a home game against Valparaiso.