Colonels get first win of the Walt Wells Era, 37-14

Parker McKinney threw for 274 yards and four touchdown passes to lead Eastern Kentucky to a 37-14 win at The Citadel on Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (EKU Sports)– Parker McKinney threw for 274 yards and four touchdown passes to lead Eastern Kentucky to a 37-14 win at The Citadel on Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Colonels will play their first home game of the 2020 season next Saturday, Oct. 3, against Houston Baptist University.  Kickoff at Roy Kidd Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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Saturday’s victory was the first for first-year head coach Walt Wells.

EKU (1-2) grabbed a 20-7 lead early in the second quarter.  McKinney’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Jones with 9:05 left in the first quarter put the visitors in front 6-0.  After The Citadel went in front 7-6 on a 28-yard touchdown catch by Raleigh Webb, McKinney and Jones went to work again.

McKinney got the drive started with a 13-yard toss to Keyion Dixon.  Later in the drive McKinney found Jackson Beerman for 28 yards to The Citadel four.  Two plays later the redshirt sophomore QB found the transfer from Tennessee from two yards away for their second touchdown pass and catch of the game.  The extra-point made it 14-7.

After a Bulldog fumble gave Eastern the ball back at midfield.  McKinney needed just one play to extend the lead.  Dixon made a juggling catch over top of a defender down the middle at the seven yard line and then found the end zone.  The extra-point made it a 13-point lead, 20-7.

Antonio Smith forced the fumble and Shane Burks II recovered it for the Colonels.

Alexander Woznick hit a 21-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter to send EKU to the locker room in front 23-14.

McKinney was 10-for-18 in the first half with 186 yards and three touchdown passes.  Eastern Kentucky out-gained The Citadel 262 to 246 in the first half.

Just three plays into the third quarter, McKinney hooked up with Jones again.  Jones made a spin move along the left sideline and then used a stiff arm to hold off a defender and complete the 53-yard touchdown reception to extend the advantage to 30-14.

After a Daulson Fitzpatrick interception return to The Citadel four yard line midway through the fourth quarter, Alonzo Booth scored on the first play and Eastern went in front 37-14.

McKinney finished 16-for-26 with 274 yards and four touchdowns.  He rushed 13 times for 57 yards.  Booth rushed 18 times for a team-best 91 yards and one touchdown.  Jackson Beerman finished with two catches and game-best 84 yards receiving.  Jones hauled in three catches for 70 yards and three scores.

Matt Jackson finished with a team-high 11 tackles, including a game-best three tackles for a loss, and one fumble recovery.  Smith forced two fumbles to go along with five tackles, including one for a loss.

The Colonels out-gained The Citadel (0-3) in total yards, 428-383.  Eastern forced three turnovers on the game.

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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at Kentsterling.com and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at amiller@wtvq.com or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.