EKU self-destructs after taking fourth-quarter lead in 45-21 home loss

10/08/2017 12:47 AM

RICHMOND — After clawing back from a 17-point halftime deficit to capture a three-point lead early in the fourth quarter, Eastern Kentucky University gave up 28 points in the final seven minutes of Saturday’s game in a 45-21 home loss to Tennessee State University.

TSU scored 21 of those points by returning three interceptions for touchdowns on three straight EKU possessions. Defensive back Vincent Sellers picked off Tim Boyle on the first two possessions — running them back 34 yards and 44 yards, respectively – while cornerback Terrell Bonds intercepted Austin Scott and scored on a 36-yard return when Scott stepped on in relief.

EKU head coach Mark Elder called the late-game meltdown “as big of a self-destruction as I’ve been a part of, as I’ve seen to be honest with you, unfortunately.”

“We’ve obviously got to finish,” Elder said after the loss. “We’ve just got to stick to the plan and finish because it’s 6:53 (when TSU scored to take a 24-21 lead in the fourth quarter) and it’s a real ball game, and then it ends up being a blowout.”

TSU (4-2, 1-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference) took a 17-0 lead in the first half, but EKU (1-4, 1-2 in OVC) quickly grabbed momentum in the second. Boyle scored from the 1-yard line on a quarterback sneak before tossing a pair of short touchdown passes to Ryan Markush and taking a 21-17 lead.

Markush, who grabbed five passes for 74 yards and those two scores, and defensive back Eric Reed, who finished with seven tackles, also said the Colonels need to find ways to finish – and win – games.

“We fought real hard and came back, but we’ve just got to finish the game and just finish stronger and just find a way to win,” Markush said after the game.

Reed added that the team needs to “get started as well.”

“We’ve got to get started sooner,” Reed said. “I think those are our two biggest deals or keys we’re going to focus on this week especially, starting and finishing.”

The Colonels travel to Jacksonville, Ala., to take on Jacksonville State (4-1, 2-0 OVC) next week.


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