Last season EKU struggled with Morehead State into the third quarter before pulling away for a 56-24 win at Morehead. That was not the case this season. The Colonels scored on their first play from scrimmage, put up 25 points in the first quarter, 46 points in the first half and cruised to a 55-13 win in front of 16,700 fans in the home opener at Roy Kidd Stadium.
On EKU’s first offensive plays Dy’Shawn Mobley took a handoff and raced 61 yards off tackle for his first touchdown at Eastern. On the extra point the Colonels pulled off a variation of the old “swinging gate” play. Longsnapper Taylor Speaks curved the snap all the way over to Channing Fugate who was standing behind the wall of EKU players. Fugate trotted into the end zone for 2 points and the Colonels led 8-0 only 20 seconds into the game.
After a 3 and out by Morehead the Colonels added an Andrew Lloyd field goal to push the lead to 11-0. Another Eagle three and out was followed by 2 play, 57 yard drive to give EKU an 18-0 lead. Mobley ripped off a 54 yard run on the first play followed by a 3 yard Jared McClain dive into the end zone.
Morehead State’s offense then showed some signs of life as they embarked on a 16 play, 65 yard drive down to the EKU 8 yard line. The Eagles would clank a field goal attempt off of the right upright and miss on their lone serious scoring opportunity of the first half. From there EKU continued to roll and put the game on ice early. In all the Colonels scored on their first five drives and seven of their first eight drives.
The first half ended with the Colonels electing to let the clock run out instead of using their timeouts and punching in one more score with the ball at the Morehead State 4 yard line following a Patrick Graffree 62 yard interception return. It would not matter. At that point the score was 46-0 in favor of Eastern and the rout was on. The Colonels rolled up 380 yards of offense in the first half.
The second half was largely the EKU reserves getting some reps. Morehead State was able to score a couple of touchdowns against the Colonels backups while EKU got a 40 yard touchdown run from Jared Sanders and also scored 2 points on a rare defensive PAT when Tyrelle Curry scooped up a loose ball on a MSU PAT and raced 98 yards to give the Colonels 2 points.
For the third week in a row both Bennie Coney and McClain took snaps in the first half for EKU. Both quarterbacks produced 2 touchdowns. Coney finished 7-10 through the air for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. He added 3 carries for 15 yards on the ground. McClain ran the ball 3 times for 21 yards and a touchdown and was 1-3 for 9 yards and a touchdown through the air.
Nearly everyone in uniform contributed for the Colonels: 27 different players recorded at least one tackle. 10 different players scored. 7 players recorded a rushing attempt led by Mobley’s 127 yards on only 6 carries. As a team the Colonels rushed 44 times for 369 yards–an average of 8 yards per carry. Mobley, Jeff Glover and Joel Brown all scored their first touchdowns in an Eastern uniform.
The competition gets much tougher next week when the 25th ranked Colonels travel to Martin, TN to take on the UT-Martin Skyhawks in a key early OVC matchup. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 PM at Hardy Graham Stadium.