No. 19 Colonels dominate second half To earn 40-17 win over Charleston Southern
McKinney completed 20 of his 29 attempts for 342 yards and four touchdowns
RICHMOND, Ky. – After the two nail-biting road games against FBS opponents, the EKU football team closed out its home opener in style.
The No. 19-ranked Colonels scored 24 consecutive points in second half and pulled away for a 40-17 victory in front of 16,906 fans at CG Bank Field at Roy Kidd Stadium.
EKU wasted no time on its opening drive, marching 61 yards in 11 plays, gaining 54 of those yards through the air, before settling for a 24-yard field goal from Patrick Nations.
EKU’s defense forced a three-and-out on the first CSU drive. On the ensuing punt, Jaden Smith gained 56 yards in an electrifying run for the longest Colonel punt return in eleven years. Two plays later, EKU found the end zone for the first time as Parker McKinney hit Smith for an eight-yard score to give EKU a 9-0 advantage.
After a Charleston Southern field goal sailed wide left, McKinney completed passes of 16 and 20 yards before finding Dakota Allen for a 39-yard touchdown reception to put the Colonels up 16-0 with 46 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Buccaneers got on the board with a field goal in the second quarter and pulled within six after turning an interception into a 28-yard touchdown pass to make the score 16-10 at halftime. However, CSU would pull no closer the rest of the way as EKU opened the second half with a tip-ball interception from Josh Haye and turned the possession into a 32-yard field goal from Nations to give the Colonels a 19-10 lead with 8:36 to go in the period.
On CSU’s ensuing possession, Eli Hairston picked off a pass to put EKU in scoring range. Kyeandre Magloire capped the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run to put EKU up 26-10. EKU tacked on another touchdown
A 41-yard touchdown pass from McKinney to Jayden Higgins made the score 33-10 Colonels with 1:43 left in the third quarter. EKU would cap its 24-0 run with a five-yard strike from McKinney to Jyran Mitchell 5:54 to play. The score was McKinney’s 51st career passing touchdown, which moved him into a tie with TJ Pryor for the EKU career record.
McKinney completed 20 of his 29 attempts for 342 yards and four touchdowns. Higgins hauled in seven catches for a career-high 175 yards, while Dakota Allen racked up 60 yards on three receptions and Smith added 42 yards on three catches. Magloire rushed 17 times for a game-high 64 yards. TK McLendon Jr. notched 2.0 sacks on the night and Hairston led the defense with seven tackles.
EKU opens ASUN plays next Saturday as the Colonels visit Austin Peay for a 4:00 p.m. kickoff.
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