Entering the season Colonel fan’s were asking, “Is this the year we turn it around and get back to the top of the Ohio Valley Conference?” Well, if game one is any indication it may very well be. Granted the opponent was Morehead State who plays in the Pioneer league and may not be on the level of OVC opponents but the Colonels came out and just like in the glory days of Colonel football they dominated running the ball. Big crowd of over 10,000 showed up to watch the Colonels.
On the first possession of the game Morehead took the ball down the field and missed a 41 yard field goal attempt to start. EKU took over and moved the ball 55 yards and with 7:49 left in the first quarter Samuel Hayworth kicks a 38 yard field goal to put the Colonels up 3-0. Alonzo Booth with a nice 23 yard touchdown run and two point conversion from Austin Scott put Eastern up 11-0. With 1 second left in the opening quarter LJ Scott adds a 4 yard TD run and with the Hayworth point after Colonels all over Eagles 18-0 after one-quarter. Second quarter Morehead State gets on the board when Lawson Page completes a 35 yard pass to Jordan Huffman to the 2 yard line of the Colonels and Issiah Aguero scores from 2 yards out to cut the lead to 18-7. Colonels next series saw them get a first and goal situation from the Eagles 5 yard line but on a fourth and goal from the 2 yard line Booth is stopped for a loss of 4 yards turning the ball over on downs. Morehead takes over and moves the ball to midfield but the clock expires and at the half Eastern on top 18-7.
Second half Eagles with a punt and the Colonels put together a 14 play 77 yard drive to score when Dakota Allen completes his first touchdown pass as a Colonel to Dan Paul from 15 yards out making it 25-7. Defense forces a three and out and the offense wastes no time scoring once again, 4 plays and 43 yards later Austin Scott with a 3 yard pass to Dan Paul for his second touchdown catch of the night making it 32-7. Dillon Denault on the next series picks off an Eagle pass with 4:22 left in the third quarter. Start of the fourth quarter LJ Scott with his second touchdown of the game putting the Colonels on top 39-7. Colonels add a 27 yard field goal making the score 42-7. Eagles finally get back on the board when Aguero goes 4 yards for TD and they add a 2 point conversion making the score 42-15. EKU gets sloppy with the ball as they fumble it away and Eagles score two plays later when Jovan Smith scores from 4 yards out cutting the score to 42-23. Colonels add one more touchdown when Ellis Cain scores from 9 yards out on the ground making the final score 49-23.
EKU rushes for 404 yards averaging nearly 7 yards a rush. Colonel quarterbacks pass for 160 yards and the Colonels commit the one turnover. Colonels convert on 9-16 third down opportunity’s. Defense forces two turnovers on the night and only 332 yards of total offense to Morehead. Defense also does a good job on third down only allowing the Eagles to convert on 3-15.
Darryl McClusky Jr leads the rushing attack with 125 yards, Scott adds 86 yards and scored twice on the ground. Jason Lewis with 70 yards on the ground as well. All three quarterbacks saw action Thursday night with Dakota Allen being the most efficient going 9-14 for 93 yards and a TD. Dan Paul with two catches both of them resulting in scores.
Colonels are on the road next as they will travel to Marshall on September 8. Kickoff is set for 6:30 and the game can be heard as can every game on the flagship station of Colonels athletics 100.7 FM the Coyote. Game can also be seen on the ESPN plus app. Join us starting at 5:00 for the EKU tailgate show as we lead you into the game and be the longtime voice of Colonels sports Greg Stotelmyer as he begins his 40th season. **Picture credit to EKU Sports**