GEORGETOWN, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University football team racked up 489 yards of first-half offense on its way to a 48-17 win over Tennessee Tech on Thursday night at Toyota Stadium.
Sporting their elusive black jerseys, the Colonels (3-2, 2-0 OVC) finished the ‘Blackout’ game with a season-high 629 yards of offense, gashing Tech (2-4, 1-2 OVC) on the ground and through the air.
Junior quarterback Bennie Coney threw for a career-high 351 yards and five touchdowns, while senior running back Dy’Shawn Mobley (115 yards) paced a balanced Colonel running attack that chewed up 247 yards of turf on the night.
The Eastern defense was similarly effective, stifling the Golden Eagles to 63 yards on the ground (1.8 yards-per-rush) and harassing Tech quarterback Colby Brown all night. Marquise Piton, Noah Spence and company sacked Brown five times and recorded 10 tackles-for-loss in the win.
EKU aired it out early and often. On the 3rd-and-8 on the Colonels’ first drive of the game, Coney rolled out and found freshman slot receiver Arien Beasley for a 70-yard touchdown strike.
After Eastern forced a quick punt, Coney and the Colonels were at it again, marching 81 yards down the field and scoring on a three-yard fade route to junior wideout Devin Borders in the corner of the end zone.
EKU tacked on a 37-yard field goal by Lucas Williams, but Tennessee Tech responded with a six-play, 64-yard drive, capped by a 15-yard touchdown run by Ladarius Vanlier at the end of the first quarter.
The Colonels just kept coming, though. On its next possession, Eastern rode a 30-yard run by freshman tailback Ethan Thomas to the Tech 41 and then scored when Coney found senior tight end Ben Madon in the flats for a three-yard touchdown.
After another forced punt, Eastern drove to the Tech 28-yard line and got a 45-yard field goal by Williams to make it 27-7 in favor of the Colonels with 8:52 to play in the second quarter.
On its next possession, EKU used a pair of big catches by Beasley to march down the field and then scored on a three-yard strike from Coney to junior running back Bryan Green.
On the Colonels’ next drive, it was sophomore running back Adam Lane’s time to get involved. Lane busted a 35-yard run to get EKU to the Tech two-yard line and then punched it in from two yards out to make it 41-7 with 3:46 left in the first half.
TTU got a 32-yard field goal just before half, as EKU went into the locker room at the break up 41-10.
The Colonels cruised in the second half, scoring only on a late nine-yard pass from Coney to Mobley to make it 48-17.
EKU returns to action next Saturday, October 17, at Southeast Missouri. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET.
Eastern’s third play of the game, a 70-yard pass and run from Bennie Coney to Arien Beasley was EKU’s longest offensive play of the season.
EKU has now outscored its opponents 44-14 in the first quarter this season. The Colonels led Tennessee Tech 17-7 at the end of the first quarter Thursday night.
Arien Beasley’s 70-yard touchdown reception was the first scoring reception of the season for the true freshman. He had a rushing touchdown earlier in the season.
The first quarter touchdown reception by Devin Borders was his third of the season and the 14th of his career.
EKU scored on each of its first three possessions, scoring two touchdowns and a field goal.
Lucas Williams’ first quarter 37-yard field goal tied for his second longest of the season. The redshirt sophomore out-did that in the second quarter with a career-best 45-yarder.
Eastern entered the game averaging 326.5 yards of offense per game. The Colonels had 248 yards in the first quarter on Thursday.
Ben Madon’s second quarter touchdown reception from three yards out was the first of his career.
Bryan Green’s second quarter touchdown reception was his first as a Colonel. The redshirt junior played two seasons at Akron before transferring to Eastern.
Bennie Coney’s second quarter interception snapped a streak of 144 straight attempts without an interception. His last pick came in Eastern’s final game of the 2014 season against Indiana State in the FCS playoffs.
Eastern Kentucky entered the game seventh in FCS in turnover margin (+1.5/gm) but committed two more turnovers than Tennessee Tech on Thursday. EKU entered the game with just three turnovers combined in its first four games but had four tonight.
Bennie Coney’s five touchdowns matched a single-season school record set by T.J. Pryor versus Jacksonville State in 2011.