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Colonels Second-Half Comeback Falls Short

Posted: 8:53 PM, Sep 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-14 20:53:57-04
EKU Athletics

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – — Despite a strong defensive effort, the Eastern Kentucky University football team lost at Indiana State University, 19-7, on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

The Colonels (1-2), trailing 10-0 at the break, got the ball to start the second half, but turned it over on downs at their own 34 yard line. The defense came up big in response, limiting the Sycamores to a 25-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide left.

Eastern strung together a long scoring drive on its second possession of the third quarter. Alonzo Booth carried three times for 11 yards. After an incomplete pass, quarterback Conor Blount picked up 14 yards on the ground to the EKU 45. Moments later, facing a 4th-and-2 at the Indiana State 47, Booth caught a pass out of the backfield and rumbled seven yards for the first down.

A pass interference call helped Eastern get to the 25 yard line. A 3rd-and-4 completion to Jerome Gross from Blount made it 1st-and-goal at the eight. Booth covered the rest on three carries, the final coming from a yard out to reach the end zone. The kick made it a three-point game, 10-7, with 2:45 left in the third. The 15-play drive covered 80 yards in 6:07.

ISU answered right back with a 58-yard scoring drive that resulted in a 31-yard field goal with 14:55 remaining in the fourth quarter. On the ensuing possession, Eastern drove deep into Indiana State territory. A 17-yard pass to Keyion Dixon from Blount was initially ruled a game-tying touchdown, but the call was reversed on review. The Colonels went for it on 4th-and-2 and turned the ball over at the eight yard line.

A 9-yard Peterson Kerlegrand touchdown run with 2:29 to play in the game sealed it for the Sycamores.

Indiana State (1-2) converted a field goal on their first possession of the game and a touchdown midway through the second quarter to build a 10-0 halftime advantage.

Daryl McCleskey Jr. led the Eastern Kentucky ground game with 103 yards on 13 carries. Booth finished with 33 yards on nine carries with the touchdown. Blount was 15-for-23 for 83 yards. Ben Bascom led the team with nine tackles. Aaron Patrick had seven stops and a sack.

Kerlegrand totaled 132 yards on 23 touches for Indiana State. Sycamore quarterback Ryan Boyle finished 11-for-18 for 133 yards.

The Colonels will conclude their stretch of three straight road games next Saturday at Presbyterian College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.