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EKU Colonels stifle Tarleton for homecoming victory

Eastern Kentucky used a suffocating defense and balanced offensive attack to earn a 20-3 victory over Tarleton
Eastern Kentucky used a suffocating defense and balanced offensive attack to earn a 20-3...
Eastern Kentucky used a suffocating defense and balanced offensive attack to earn a 20-3 victory over Tarleton(EKU Athletics)
Published: Oct. 2, 2021 at 7:58 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky used a suffocating defense and balanced offensive attack to earn a 20-3 victory over Tarleton at Roy Kidd Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Matt Jackson led the Colonel defense with 10 tackles, while Kyle Bailey added seven stops. EKU also got interceptions from Joseph Sayles and Eli Hairston, giving the Colonels their fourth game with multiple interceptions this season. Offensively, Da’Joun Hewitt paced the rushing attack with 88 yards on 20 carries. Parker McKinney completed 11 passes for 142 yards and added 64 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground. Patrick Nations converted both of his field-goal attempts. Eastern Kentucky allowed a season-low 237 yards of total offense and became the first team to hold Tarleton to single digits since McNeese State in the 2016 season opener, snapping a streak of 59 consecutive games for the Texans with at least 10 points scored. EKU scored the lone touchdown of the first half on a 30-yard touchdown run from McKinney that put the Colonels up 7-3 with 1:35 left in the first quarter. The Colonels threatened to tack on another six points in the second quarter when McKinney hauled in a 42-yard pass from Jyran Mitchell that put EKU inside the Tarleton five-yard line. However, EKU settled for a 22-yard field goal from Patrick Nations to take a 10-3 lead into halftime. Nations accounted for the only points of the third quarter when he blasted a 48-yarder through the uprights to put the Colonels ahead 13-3 with 1:09 left in the quarter. EKU’s defense found the end zone for the third consecutive week as Eli Hairston returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown with 8:15 to go in the game. The Colonels have intercepted nine passes this season, returning three for scores. Jayden Higgins led all Colonel receivers with three catches for 47 yards, and Kyeandre Magloire also added 34 yards rushing on seven attempts. EKU finished the day with 184 yards passing and a season-high 183 yards rushing. Eastern Kentucky wraps up its four-game homestand next Saturday when the Colonels host Abilene Christian at 6:00 p.m. for EKU’s first game of the ASUN-WAC Challenge. Copyright ©2021 Eastern Kentucky University Athletics