Scott, Tucker Help Complete Comeback for EKU

Posted at 6:07 PM, Nov 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-10 18:12:53-05

RICHMOND, Ky. – On Senior Day at Roy Kidd Stadium, it was seniors LJ Scott and Jared Tucker who played the role of heroes in the Eastern Kentucky University football team’s come-from-behind 40-39 win over Robert Morris in overtime.

A 40-yard field goal by Robert Morris (2-8) with 26 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 33-33, forcing overtime.

EKU (6-4) took the ball first in OT and went to Scott on four consecutive plays. The senior running back responded with runs of eight yards, 12 yards and three yards, before barreling in from two yards out to give the Colonels a 40-33 lead. It was Scott’s third touchdown of the day.

RMU responded by scoring on a two-yard pass to Dorian Bowie. The visiting Colonials opted to go for the two-point conversion, but quarterback Jimmy Walker’s pass was swatted away by Tucker in the right corner of the end zone to give the Colonels the thrilling victory.

It is EKU’s fourth win in its last five games.

After Robert Morris opened the game with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, Eastern Kentucky responded with a 14-play, 71-yard drive of its own that ended with a seven-yard touchdown run by Scott. The Colonels’ two-point conversion attempt failed, making it 7-6 with 4:34 remaining in the first quarter.

RMU tacked on a 38-yard field goal late in the first quarter, and then got a 43-yard touchdown run from Terence Stephens early in the second quarter to take a 16-6 advantage.

A 29-yard pass from freshman quarterback Parker McKinney to senior Dan Paul sparked the Colonels downfield on their next possession; however, the drive stalled in the red zone and EKU was forced to settle on a Samuel Hayworth 35-yard field goal, cutting the RMU lead to 16-9 with 9:17 to play before halftime.

RMU intercepted McKinney around midfield on EKU’s next possession, and the Colonials converted the turnover into seven points, as Walker promptly found DeLano Madison for a 24-yard TD. The score gave Robert Morris a 23-9 lead with 1:44 left in the first half.

It looked like that would be the score at halftime; however, with five seconds on the clock, Darrien Tipps-Clemon blocked a Robert Morris punt at the Colonials’ five-yard line and Brentton Ervin scooped it up and scored, making it 23-16 and swinging the momentum to EKU at the break.

The Colonels ran with that momentum early in the second half. After RMU missed a 31-yard field goal on its opening drive of the half, McKinney engineered a seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. The drive was sparked by a 23-yard catch from freshman Jackson Beerman and a 28-yard catch-and-run by sophomore BK Smith to the RMU one-yard line. Scott bullied his way in from two yards out to cap the drive, tying the game at 23-23 with 4:51 left in the third quarter.

With the game still tied early in the fourth quarter, Tucker intercepted Walker and returned it to the Colonials’ 30-yard line. EKU drove it to the three-yard line and then used a 30-yard field goal by Hayworth to take its first lead of the game, 26-23 with 8:41 remaining.

On Robert Morris’ next drive, the Colonials went for it on 4th-and-4 in the red zone and turned it into a 19-yard touchdown catch to retake the lead, 30-26, with 3:37 on the clock.

McKinney and the Colonels responded by marching 71 yards on eight plays. Beerman crowned the drive by making a diving touchdown catch in the left corner of the end zone to make it 33-30, EKU, with 1:20 remaining in the game.

Robert Morris used a 21-yard kick return and a 22-yard pass from Walker to Tim Vecchio to quickly get back into EKU territory. The Colonials then tied the game with a 40-yard field goal by Nick Bisceglia with 26 seconds on the clock.

Eastern was able to cross midfield on its ensuing drive; however, McKinney’s Hail Mary attempt fell short, sending the game to overtime.

Making his first career start, McKinney finished with 186 yards and one touchdown through the air. Scott rushed for 82 yards on 19 carries.

The Colonels will conclude the 2018 regular season next Saturday with a road game at Tennessee Tech.  Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET in Cookeville.