RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s football team fell behind 28-0 at halftime and suffered a 56-7 defeat to eighth ranked Jacksonville State University on Saturday at Roy Kidd Stadium.
JSU (4-1, 3-0 OVC) took the kickoff to start the game and drove 60 yards in nine plays to grab a 7-0 lead with 11:02 left in the first quarter. Zerrick Cooper finished off the drive with a 5-yard scoring toss to Josh Perason.
The Gamecocks added another touchdown later in the first quarter, and two more in the second. While attempting to punt from its own 16-yard line five minutes into the second quarter, Phillip Richards’ knee hit the ground while catching the snap, inadvertently downing the ball at the one yard line. Leander Burrowes took the handoff on the next play and scored to push the visitors’ lead to 21-0.
Jacksonville State out-gained Eastern Kentucky 287-49 in the first half, including 152-12 on the ground. The Colonels had an edge in time-of-possession, but converted just 2-of-8 third down situations.
EKU (2-3, 1-1 OVC) forced JSU into two turnovers in the third quarter – a fumble recovery by Nakiya Smith and an interception by Ben Bascom; however, the Colonels were unable to convert either into points.
The Gamecocks, meanwhile, used a 16-yard touchdown pass from Zion Webb to Jamari Hester to go ahead 35-0 with 5:31 left in the third quarter.
Jacksonville State then opened the fourth quarter by marching 93 yards on seven plays, capped off by a 29-yard touchdown snag by Lajarret Ford. The Gamecocks added another score with 7:04 on the clock to make it 49-0.
EKU finally broke through when Austin Scott found Daryl McCleskey Jr. for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 5:18 remaining in the game.
The Colonels will travel to face Tennessee-Martin next Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.
Eastern Kentucky is now 222-57-1 all-time at Roy Kidd Stadium.
Phillip Richards’ 54-yard punt in the second quarter is the longest punt of his career.
Nakiya Smith recovered his first career fumble in the third quarter.
Ben Bascom’s interception late in the third quarter was his second of the season and the third of his career.