COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Sophomore Marcus Edwards (photo below
left) tied a school record with five of the team's eight
quarterback sacks while Caleb Mitchell (pictured at right)
had two of the team's four interceptions, including one returned
for a touchdown, as the Tennesse Tech defense led the Golden Eagles
to a 34-20 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Eastern Illinois
Saturday night in Tucker Stadium.
The Golden Eagles (3-4/2-2 OVC) limited EIU to 39 net rushing
yards, equaling a school mark with eight quarterback sacks and
forcing six turnovers. The Panthers (0-7/0-5 OVC) lost their ninth
in a row dating back to last season.
Crawford rushed for a career-high 127 yards and two touchdowns
and Dontey Gay added 68 yards on the ground as the Golden Eagles
piled up a season-high 233 rushing yards.
Panther quarterback Brandon Large came off the bench to rally his
squad back from a 17-7 deficit to tie the game at 17-17 in the
third quarter. He passed for 183 yards and one touchdown but was
sacked seven times and was intercepted twice.
Rashad Haynes gave the visitors an early 7-0 lead with a 46-yard
punt return midway in the first quarter. Early in the second
quarter, Mitchell picked off a pass by EIU starter Jimmy Garappolo
and returned it 36 yards for the tying score.
Six minutes later, Matthew
Barker kicked a 43-yard field goal to put Tech on top, 10-7.
Barker finished the way with 10 total points, including a 25-yard
field goal and four PATs.
Later in the half, WIll Johnson forced
a fumble and Marty Jones recovered at the EIU 17, and six plays
later Crawford bullied his way into the end zone from the one to
make it a 17-7 Golden Eagle lead with less than a minute to play
before at halftime.
Eastern Illinois, the defending OVC champion, marched 29 yards into
field goal range and Cameron Berra split the uprights from 42 yards
to make it 17-10 at the break.
The Panthers opened the second half with a 13-play, 72-yard
scoring drive to tie the game on a four-yard TD pass from Large to
Tech answered with a nearly identical drive, moving 71 yards in
eight plays to regain the lead. Tre Lamb pushed into the end zone
from the two for his first career rushing touchdown, after Gay had
picked up 42 yards in the drive on two long carries.
Up 24-17 heading into the fourth quarter, the Golden Eagles added a
two-yard TD from Crawford on the first play of the final stanza to
make it a 31-17 lead. It capped a 10-play, 87-yard scoring
After Barker's second field goal made it 34-17, the Panthers added
a 43-yard field goal by Berra with 8:18 to play to make it 34-20.
EIU made things interesting, marching deep into Tech territory
before Mitchell grabbed his second interception of the contest,
picking off a pass in the end zone to halt the threat.
Dustin Dillehay grabbed the fourth interception of the game for
Tech in the final two minutes, picking off a pass at the Tech 30
and returning it 35 yards into EIU territory, where Tech ran out
Ordu topped the Tech defense in tackles with 11, while Richmond Tooley
added 10 stops and Johnson had nine tackles and caused a fumble.
Mitchell finished with seven total tackles, a quarterback sack, a
tackle-for-loss, two interceptions and also caused one fumble.
Justin Vann had a quarterback sack and an interception.
Gordy Kickells led EIU with 11 tackles and Nick Nasti added 10
The Golden Eagles head to Nashville next week to face Tennessee
State. Kickoff in LP Field is at 6 p.m.
* Tennessee Tech (2-4/1-2 OVC) looks to win back-to-back games
while Eastern Illinois (0-6/0-4 OVC) hopes to break an eight-game
losing streak that dates back to last season. EIU has won five in a
row over the Golden Eagles.
* This is the 17th meeting between these two teams, with EIU owning
a 12-4 lead in the series. Tech's last win was a 40-37 overtime
Homecoming victory in Tucker Stadium in 2004. EIU quarterback Matt
Schabert rallied the Panthers to two late fourth quarter touchdowns
to force the overtime.
* Tech ranks first in the OVC in passing efficiency vs. league
opponents, while EIU ranks first in pass efficiency defense.
* Tech did not have a turnover last week against Austin Peay, the
third time this season that the Golden Eagles did not lose the
ball. Last season at Eastern Illinois, Tech suffered five turnovers
in a 23-15 loss.
Sailes needs 45 yards in kickoff returns to set the school
record for most kickoff return yards in a career. He has 1,374 and
is chasing the record of 1,418 held by Gerald Bentley.
* The teams will be warming up in 66-degree weather, with the
temperature at kick-off expected to drop to 59 degrees with
sundown. By the conclusion of the game, temperatures will have
reached a low of about 48 degrees. Chances of rain are slim at 10%
all evening, and winds will come in the form of a slight breeze
from the north at 4 mph.
First Quarter Notes:
* Eastern Illinois won the
coin toss and deferred; Tennessee Tech will receive at the North
end of the field.
* EIU attempts an onside
kick, received by no. 7 Demetrous
Garrett at the 49. The Golden Eagles advanced to the Panther's
42, but quarterback Tre Lamb fumbled the
ball, and it was recovered by EIU at the 42.
* Tech was forced to punt
from the 11 yard line, and no. 26 Rashad Haynes returned the 46
yard kick for a touchdown. The extra point left the score 7-0 with
7:27 left in the first quarter.
* Another onsides kick by
no. 58 Cameron Berra to Garrett at the EIU 44-yard line. Lamb
pitched to no. 25, Dontay Gay, who rushed to the 39 for a 5-yard
gain. No. 16 Zack Zieglar got the first down for the Golden Eagles
at the TTU 33. Lamb kept the ball but was halted at the 35, and
followed up with a pass to Garrett at the 30-yard line for a 5-yard
pick-up. At fourth and seven, no. 91 Matthew
Barker came out for a career-long 47-yard field goal attempt,
which he was unable to convert.
* With 12:07 left in the
second quarter, no. 15 Caleb Mitchell
intercepted a pass at the Tech 36 yard line, which he returned for
a touchdown. Barker's extra point tied the game at seven-all. The
interception makes Mitchell's third career interception and second
against Eastern Illinois.
* First down at the Tech
33 plus a personal foul puts the Panthers on the Tech 18. On third
and six from the 14, no. 35 Justin Vann
intercepted Jimmy Garappolo's pass at the Tech 8 yard line,
returning it to the Tech 12 where he was forced out of bounds. The
pick was Vann's career fourth.
* Lamb carried the ball to
the 28 yard line for a first down, and followed up with another
carry for nine yards to the 37. Zieglar gets the first down. A
penalty on the Tech 55 spots the Golden Eagles at the EIU 40, where
a handoff to Cody Forbes yielded
another 14 yards for Tech. The Panthers halted Tech at the 33 and
Barker posted a 43-yard field goal. The scoring drive was a total
of 12 plays for 62 yards in 4:18. With 6:12 left on the
clock, Tech leads by a score of 10-7.
* Marcus Edwards
got his fourth sack of the season to force the Panthers to punt
from the 19. The ball was spotted at the TTU 35. Edwards currently
leads the team in sacks.
* Tech recovered a fumble
forced by Will
Johnson recovered by Marty Jones on the
17. The Golden Eagles put on a 6-play, 17 yard scoring drive in
2:37, capped off by Crawford rushing for a 1-yard touchdown.
Barker's extra point made the score 17-7 with 48 seconds left on
* EIU proceeded to put on
a seven play, 29-yard drive in 43 seconds capped off by a field
goal by Cameron Berra to end the half with a score of 17-10 at the
end of the half.
* The Panthers started off
the quarter with a 13 play, 72 yard scoring drive in 5:59 to make
the score 17-16. A false start on the offense moved the ball back
to the eight yard line for a re-kick on the extra point, but Berra
tied the game at 17-all with 8:46 left on the clock.
* Dontey Gay rushed for
42 yards and the Panthers shouldered a 15-yard penalty to foster a
2:32 scoring drive by the Golden Eagles. A quarterback keep by Lamb
gave Tech the touchdown to complete the 71-yard answer in 8 plays,
2:32 with 6:16 left on the clock.
Crawford (photo at left) rushed for a two yard
touchdown to kick off the fourth quarter, capping off a
10-play, 87-yard drive that took a total of 4:02.
* At the Tech 20, no. 15
Caleb Mitchell sacked Garappolo, forcing a fumble that was
recovered by no. 5 Jamere Hogue at the
Tech 13. The Panthers held Tech to a field goal attempt which
Barker converted to make the score 34-17 with 12:56 left on the
* Edwards recorded his
second sack of the game at the TTU 32 to push the Panthers back for
a loss of six,but a
personal foul left the Panthers at first and goal from the six. On
second and goal from the five, Edwards earned his third sack of the
game and on fourth down, Edwards notched his fourth sack of the
game, forcing the Panthers to kick a field goal. The field goal
completed an 11-play, 50-yard drive that ate up 4:31 off the
* Edwards is just one away
from the school record of five sacks in one game.
* Justin Vann got his second sack of the game at the 14 yard
line with 2:56 left on the clock, as the Golden Eagles tried to
hold the Panthers in the red zone. At second and goal, Garappolo's
pass was intercepted by Mitchell for his second pick of the game
with under three minutes left in the game.
* Marcus Edwards tied the school record for sacks in a game by
bringing down Garappolo at the EIU 33 with less than a minute to
* At the TTU 30, Dustin Dillehay
picked off Garappolo and returned the ball to the EIU 35. The ball
was spotted back to the 40, and Tech took a knee and the win to
close out the game.
* Crawford notched his
first career 100+ yard game, and the first 100+ yard game for Tech
this season. He was 19-127 on the night.
* Marcus Edwards tied the
school record for sacks in a single game with five.
* With 233 rushing,
the Golden Eagles have logged a season record in rushing
* The Golden Eagles held
EIU for 43 rushing yards.
* Tech had three
interceptions total on the game and forced five turnovers, turning
the ball over once themselves for a +4 turnover margin.
* With eight sacks on the
night, TTU tied the school record for total sacks in a game.