RICHMOND, Va. – The Eastern Kentucky University football team played host Richmond to a 10-all tie in the first half, but the Spiders responded with 28 unanswered second half points to tally a 38-10 win in the opening round of the 2008 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs Saturday afternoon at UR Stadium. The #21 Colonels conclude their season with an 8-4 overall record.
The #7 Spiders (10-3) advance to the FCS quarterfinals and will play at #2 Appalachian State (11-2) next weekend.
Eastern Kentucky took a 10-7 lead late in the first half when senior quarterback Allan Holland found junior wide out Garnett Phelps for a 48-yard completion down to the Richmond one-yard line. On the next play, Holland ran into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown. The Spiders quickly answered with a 27-yard field goal on the last play of the first half to make the score 10-all at halftime.
Two EKU turnovers early in the third quarter led to 14 Richmond points. The Spiders opened the half with a six-play touchdown drive to go ahead, 17-10. On Eastern’s first possession, Richmond linebacker Patrick Weldon stepped in front of a Holland pass and returned the interception to the Colonel 20-yard line. A few minutes later, Tre Gray caught a 14-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 24-10.
The Colonels looked poised to answer on their next drive, but Holland was sacked and fumbled on the Richmond 47-yard line. Richmond recovered the fumble and proceeded to march right down the field again before Gray caught his second touchdown pass to make the score 31-10.
Spider quarterback Eric Ward finished 16-of-23 for 245 yards and three touchdowns. The Colonels held running back Josh Vaughan to 16 yards in the first half, but he bounced back to tally 90 rushing yards and two scores.
Holland concluded his EKU career by going 20-of-35 for 181 yards. Sophomore Cody Watts led the Colonels with 35 rushing yards.
This was the second straight year Eastern Kentucky and Richmond met in the first round of the playoffs. The Colonels have made 19 playoff appearances, most in the nation, but have not won a playoff game since 1994.
--The Colonels came into the game with a turnover margin of +16, which ranked among the top-10 in the nation. However, Eastern Kentucky turned the ball over four times and finished -2 against Richmond.