EKU Colonels come up short at No. 1 Sam Houston

Bearkats dominate first half, EKU second half not enough

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (EKU Athletics) – Eastern Kentucky fell to No 1. Sam Houston 42-28 at Bowers Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

EKU trailed just 7-0 at the end of the first quarter before the Bearkats put 14 points on the board in the second quarter to build a 21-0 halftime lead.

Eastern Kentucky opened the second half with a seven-play, 75-yard drive. Parker McKinney hit Jayden Higgins for a 20-yard gain and, following a defensive pass interference penalty, connected with Dakota Allen for 27 more yards. McKinney capped the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to two scores with 12:49 left in the third quarter. Sam Houston used a pair of touchdown to extend its lead to 35-7, but Davion Ross responded with a 98-yard kickoff return to make the score 35-14.

The Colonel defense forced a three-and-out and EKU’s offense opened the fourth quarter by covering 74 yards in just four plays. McKinney lofted a 28-yard touchdown to Jaden Smith to pull EKU within 14, 35-21, with 14:17 to play. McKinney connected with Braedon Sloan for a four-yard score with 20 seconds left.

McKinney went 28-for-45 for a season-high 338 yards and two touchdowns through air. Matt Wilcox Jr. had nine receptions for 103 yards, while Jayden Higgins hauled in three passes for 72 yards. Kyle Bailey led the Colonel defense with 10 tackles.

Eastern Kentucky concludes its regular season next Saturday as the Colonels host Jacksonville State for the 2021 Opportunity Bowl at 2:00 p.m. at Roy Kidd Stadium.

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