RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s football team used a potent running attack to beat Western Carolina University, 45-21, Saturday night at Roy Kidd Stadium. The Colonels ran the ball 53 times for 326 yards. Eastern running backs Bobby Washington and Mark Dunn each reached the century mark, finishing with 130 and 122 yards respectively.
EKU drew first blood on their second possession of the game. On third down and four yards to go, Allan Holland rushed for three yards, but before hitting the ground he flipped the ball to Washington who took off down the right sideline. Washington cut back to the middle of the field at the 30 to elude a tackler and took it to the end zone untouched. The play covered 70 yards, three by Holland and 67 by Washington.
Taylor Long tacked on the extra point for a 7-0 Colonel lead with 2:39 left in the first quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, Long made it 10-0 with a 24-yard field goal that capped a 20-play drive that covered 87 yards and chewed off 7:39 from the clock. Eastern Kentucky picked up seven first downs on the drive.
The Colonels added to their lead late in the second quarter, keeping the ball on the ground for eight of the nine plays on the drive and covering 52 yards. Dunn finished off the drive by punching it in from three yards out. The senior accounted for 30 yards on the drive. The extra point extended the home team’s advantage to 17-0 with 2:15 left before halftime.
Western Carolina reached EKU territory on each of its first three possessions but came away empty each time. A blocked field goal, a missed field goal and a punt kept the Catamounts off the board until late in the first half. After Eastern made it 17-0 WCU answered just seconds later. On the second play from scrimmage Todd Spitzer found Mike Malone for 69 yards to cut the deficit to 17-7 at the break.
Eastern Kentucky ran the ball 28 times in the first half and attempted 11 passes. The Colonels totaled 196 yards on the ground, compared to 44 for Western Carolina. Washington ran for 99 yards and Dunn totaled 84 in the first half.
Dunn broke loose for a 36-yard scoring run to cap the Colonels’ opening possession of the second half. Washington scored for the second time midway through the third quarter to extend the margin to 31-7. Eastern tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter and the Catamounts added a touchdown in the closing minutes to set the final score.
The EKU defense ended Western Carolina drives with interceptions three times in the second half. Zach Denton picked off a pair of passes and Justin Curry grabbed one.
Eastern Kentucky outgained the Catamounts 326 to 112 on the ground. WCU quarterbacks threw for 296 yards.
The Colonels will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 15, when they travel to Bowling Green, Ky., to face Western Kentucky University. The game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
--When Allan Holland took the first snap of the game, it marked the first time someone other than Josh Greco started at quarterback for Eastern Kentucky since Oct. 23, 2004, a period of 27 straight games.
--Junior Zach Denton kept Western Carolina off the scoreboard on the Catamounts’ opening drive by blocking Jonathan Parsons’ 47-yard field goal attempt with 11:23 left in the first quarter.
--Running back Mark Dunn eclipsed the 2,000-yard career rushing mark when he gained eight yards on a carry in the second quarter. Dunn finished with 122 yards to raise his career total to 2,074.
--Zach Denton’s interception in the third quarter gave the junior from Cincinnati, Ohio, one pick in four of his last five games. He added a second interception in the fourth quarter.
--Tonight’s performance by Mark Dunn and Bobby Washington marked the first time since 2003 that two Colonel running backs surpassed the 100-yard mark in the same game. Terry Enis (123 yards) and C.J. Hudson (113 yards) were the last EKU duo to reach the century mark in the same game, doing it on Nov. 1, 2003 against Murray State