Colonels fall at Austin Peay 31-20

Parker McKinney completed 21-of-36 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown with one interception
Parker McKinney completed 21-of-36 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown with one interception
Parker McKinney completed 21-of-36 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown with one interception(EKU Athletics)
Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 9:51 PM EDT
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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – EKU raced out to a 20-3 halftime lead, but could not withstand a furious rally from Austin Peay as the Colonels fell to the Governors, 31-20, in the ASUN opener for both squads on Saturday night.

Parker McKinney completed 21-of-36 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown with one interception. McKinney also led EKU’s ground game with 57 yards rushing. Jaden Smith caught a game-high seven passes for 76 yards, while Jayden Higgins finished with five catches for 81 yards. Chase Lasater set a season-high with 15 tackles, while TK McLendon Jr. and Eli Hairston each added 10 stops.

EKU opened the scoring with a 46-yard field goal from Patrick Nations at the 8:53 mark of the first quarter. Two plays later, Joseph Sayles stepped in front a Governor pass and returned the interception 40 yards for his first career touchdown to extend the Colonel lead to 10-0.

Leading 10-3 midway through the first quarter, EKU used a Matthew Ballentine interception to take over at midfield. The Colonel offense then found the end zone when McKinney swung a pass to Jaden Smith, who shook free of his defender and scampered 17 yards for the touchdown. The pass was McKinney’s 52nd career touchdown, breaking the school’s career touchdown record set by TJ Pryor.

After a stop by the Colonel defense, Smith returned the ensuing punt 28 yards and EKU tacked on three more points with a 23-yard Nations field goal to take a 20-3 lead into halftime.

However, Austin Peay rallied for 28 consecutive points in the second half and held EKU scoreless to secure a 31-20 victory. EKU returns to CG Bank Field at Roy Kidd Stadium next Saturday for a 6:00 p.m. contest against Southern Utah.

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