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RICHMOND, Ky. – Senior quarterback T.J. Pryor added two more records to the one he already held as Eastern Kentucky University rolled to a 45-14 victory over Austin Peay Saturday afternoon at Roy Kidd Stadium.
No. 23 Eastern Kentucky improves to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the OVC with the win while Austin Peay falls to 0-7 and 0-5.
Typically, completing your first seven passes – two of which were for touchdowns – and leading your team to scores on four of its first five possessions for a 28-7 halftime lead is impressive on its own. Pryor did all that and broke a pair of school passing records in the process.
On Eastern’s first offensive play, Pryor hit a wide open Cameron Baily for an 84-yard scoring pass. That tied the school mark of 46 career touchdown passes held by Jim Guice (1964-68). In the second quarter, Pryor hooked up with fellow senior Tyrone Goard from 28 yards out to break the record and give the Colonels a 21-0 lead.
Pryor’s second touchdown pass was his sixth straight completion to start the game and the 479th of his career. That completion broke Josh Greco’s (2004-07) school record of 478 completions. Two weeks ago in a victory over UT Martin, Pryor broke Eastern’s record for career passing yards.
On EKU’s next possession, senior running back Matt Denham ran it in from five yards out, his second scoring run of the game, and the Colonels’ fourth score in their first five possessions.
Eastern Kentucky rolled up 302 yards of offense in the first half, out-gaining the Governors by 87 yards despite holding the ball for four fewer minutes. EKU’s four scoring drives were on one, nine, six and two plays. Two of the drives lasted 11 and 48 seconds.
Senior defensive back Justin Bell’s 16-yard interception return for a touchdown with 9:21 left in the third quarter gave the Colonels a 35-7 lead and put the game away.
Jake Ryan accounted for both of Austin Peay’s scores. He completed a four-yard pass to Darryl Clack in the second quarter and a 38-yard touchdown pass to Mikhail Creech in the third quarter. Ryan went 19-for-32 for 173 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Colonels finished with 474 yards of offense – 219 on the ground and 255 through the air. Pryor passed for 232 yards. He was 8-for-13 with two scores and an interception. Denham ran for 114 yards to go along with his two touchdowns. Bailey caught three passes for a career-high 125 yards and a touchdown.
The Governors finished with 316 yards of offense. APSU turned the ball over three times, compared to just one for Eastern.
The Colonels will play at Tennessee Tech next Saturday, Oct. 20. The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET.
--Austin Peay has not won in Richmond since 1977. The Governors are now 2-21 all-time in Richmond.
--T.J. Pryor’s career numbers now stand at 481-of-861 for 6,547 yards with 47 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. He sits atop the EKU career record book in completions, passing yards and touchdown passes.
--Matt Denham has rushed for at least 100 yards or more in 13 of his last 15 games.
--Stanley Absanon’s 82-yard kick-off return in the second quarter was the longest by a Colonel this season. The previous long was 38 yards.
--Justin Bell intercepted his second pass of the season, and sixth of his career, in the third quarter. He returned it 16 yards for a touchdown.
--Ichiro Vance made his first career interception in the third quarter.
--Matt Denham needs 64 yards to move into EKU’s career top-10 rushing list.