Eastern Kentucky drops to 6-3 (4-2 OVC) on the year following a 24-7 loss to Eastern Illinois.
Highlights tonight on ABC 36 News Weekend Edition.
Check out the boxscore for quick scoring summary.
RICHMOND, Ky. – Visiting Eastern Illinois came into Roy Kidd Stadium and dominated the second half to earn a 24-7 win over the Eastern Kentucky University football team Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Eastern Illinois improves to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Meanwhile, the No. 18 Colonels fall to 6-3 and 4-2.
Eastern Kentucky’s offense sputtered all afternoon long as the Colonels were held to a season-low 81 yards rushing as well as 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) on third downs. EKU entered the contest averaging 201 yards rushing per game and was ranked eighth nationally in third-down conversions at 50.4 percent.
EIU quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a great showing, completing 32-of-51 passes for 266 yards and one touchdown. Running back Jake Walker chipped in with 21 carries for 119 yards and a score.
The first half was a defensive struggle for both teams. The Panthers got on the board first when Walker found the end zone on a one-yard run. Eastern Kentucky responded right before halftime when running back Matt Denham rumbled in with a four-yard scoring run.
Eastern Illinois then scored on its first two possessions of the second half to take control of the game. The Panthers converted three third downs on their first possession, plus a 4th-and-2 play, before Taylor Duncan capped the 16-play drive with a one-yard score. Cameron Berra added a 41-yard field goal midway through the third quarter to extend the lead to 17-7.
Early in the fourth quarter, EIU moved 91 yards in 10 plays to make the score 24-7. Garoppolo found Erik Lora in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown pass with 12:08 remaining.
Eastern Kentucky finally put together a drive a few minutes later, but junior Luke Pray missed a 37-yard field goal try.
EKU’s second half possessions consisted of four punts, a missed field goal and an interception. The Colonels managed just 132 yards of offense in the final 30 minutes.
Eastern Kentucky concludes its road schedule next Saturday, Nov. 3 at Southeast Missouri. Game time is set for 2 p.m. ET.
--Eastern Kentucky’s defense forced four turnovers, but the Colonels were not able to score any points off the turnovers.
--Eastern Illinois’ Erik Lora set a new OVC single-season record for pass receptions (93) when he hauled in the fourth quarter touchdown pass. Samford’s Efrem Hill held the previous mark (92) which was set in 2003.
--EKU had won five straight in the series before today’s loss. The Colonels now hold a 12-8 lead in the all-time series.