Tech wins season opener behind Lamb, Urbano career-bests
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Former high school teammates and current Tennessee Tech seniors Tre Lamb and Adam Urbano put on an offensive show on Thursday night as the Golden Eagles defeated the Hampton Pirates 41-31 in the 2012 season opener. Lamb and Urbano both recorded career-high marks in the game as head Coach Watson Brown remained unbeaten in Tech home-openers.
Lamb and Urbano, who were high school teammates at Calhoun High School in Calhoun, Ga., led the Golden Eagles offensive juggernaut that put up 548 yards of total offense on 82 plays. The 548 yards were the second highest total of a Watson Brown led team at Tech. Lamb completed 24 of 35 passes for 339 yards and tied a career-high with four passing touchdowns. His 339 yards were the second most of his career.
Urbano, who transfered from Georgia Southern two years ago, had his best game as a member of the Golden Eagle football team and of his career, rushing for 158 yards and one score on 25 carries. His previous career-high of 153 yards came at Georgia Southern.
Also a member of the Calhoun High School squad with Lamb and Urbano, Da'Rick Rogers, who transfered to Tech earlier this week from the University of Tennessee, put up solid numbers in his Golden Eagle debut. The leading receiver in the SEC one year ago, Rogers finished with three grabs for 75 yards and a key touchdown with four seconds left in the first half.
Senior receiver Zack Ziegler had a career-best two touchdown grabs in the game and added 43 yards. He scored the first points of the game, sneaking behind the defense for a 34-yard touchdown off the arm of Tre Lamb. His second touchdown, a nine-yard reception from Lamb, came in the fourth quarter and ended a 17-point run by the Pirates.
Another receiver, sophomore Cody Matthews, had a career night for the Golden Eagles, hauling in three passes for a team-high 89 yards.
Lamb climbed up the Tennessee Tech record book lists in the game, moving up to fifth on the all-time list for career passing yards and up to sixth on the all-time list for career offense. The 339 yards marked just the second time he passed for over 300 yards and marked the ninth 200-yard game of his career.
Hauling in his first career touchdown, junior Ryan Tilghman made a circus-like, one-handed grab in the corner of the endzone in the second quarter to give the Golden Eagles a 14-0 lead.
Sophomore kicker Zach Sharp chipped in two field goals in the game, one from 25 yards and one from 28 yards. He added 11 total points on the night.
* Tonight's matchup marks the first time the Golden Eagles and the Pirates will meet.
* This game is also the first for Tech against any Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) program.
* The 2012 season is Tennessee Tech's 92nd year of intercollegiate football.
* Tech and Hampton both wrapped up the 2011 season at 7-4.
* For the third straight season, Tre Lamb will suit up as the Golden Eagle starting quarterback.
* Tech has not lost a home-opener in Watson Brown's five season as the Golden Eagle head coach.
* Tennessee Tech is playing its season opener at home for the first time in three years after opening on the road at Arkansas and Iowa the past two seasons.
* The Golden Eagles senior class features 19 players.
* On offense, 9 of Tech's 11 projected starters have previous starting experience, while Wade Plemons and Ryan Tilghman are making their first career starts.
* The Golden Eagle defense boasts seven starters with starting experience and four making their first career start; Tommie McBride, LaDarrius Verge, Tra'Darius Goff, William Dillard.
* The Tech players are looking fresh in their all-purple uniforms with their tradition-rich white helmets tonight.
* Game-time temperature is a balmy 80 degrees with light to no wind and a sweat-inducing 80 percent humidity.
* Cookeville native Stephen Bush will not dress tonight and Tennessee transfer Da'Rick Rogers will wear #12 for tonight's contest.
* Game captains tonight for Tech will be #4 Will Johnson, #48 Tommie McBride, #9 Tre Lamb, and #16 Zack Ziegler.
* Tech has won the toss and will receive the ball to open the 2012 season.
FIRST QUARTER NOTES
* Adam Urbano rushes for a 14 yard gain on the first play from scrimmage of the 2012 football season for the Golden Eagles.
* Lamb scrambles away from some quick pressure and finds Ziegler wide open for a 34-yard score and the first Tech touchdown of the season.
* The Golden Eagles first drive was 7 plays, covered 70 yards, and took just 2 minutes and 10 seconds.
* The Tech defense forces a three-and-out on Hampton's first drive and the Golden Eagle offense will start its second drive from its own 30-yard line.
* Hampton offensive lineman Norman Booker injured on the previous play and has been carted off with an apparent leg injury.
* The Pirates suffer another injury as Hampton defensive back John Rose is attended to by the trainers after making the tackle.
* Lamb hits sophomore receiver Cody Matthews for a 31-yard gain down to the Hampton 17 yard-line.
* Fantastic one-handed grab by Tilghman who wrestles the ball away from the defender for a 17-yard touchdown reception.
* The second scoring drive for the Golden Eagles lasted three minutes and spanned 82 yards in eight plays.
* Tremendous pressure by freshman Avery Rollins to force an incomplete pass on third-and-nine.
* Tennessee transfer and junior reciever Da'Rick Rogers makes his Golden Eagle debut with a six-yard reception on his first play of the game.
* Lamb avoids significant pressure and completes a 43-yard pass to Cody Matthews for a Tech first down.
* Urbano gets around the right end of the defense and squeezes inside the pylon for a four-yard touchdown run.
* On the third scoring drive of the first quarter Tech ran eight plays for 75 yards in 3 minutes and 36 seconds.
* The Golden Eagle offense is rolling as the first quarter comes to a close. Tech leads 21-0 and has racked up 21 first downs for a total of 232 yards (69 on the ground and 163 through the air) and three touchdowns.
SECOND QUARTER NOTES
* Brilliant pass break-up by senior Will Johnson in the endzone to prevent a Pirate touchdown.
* Hampton gets on the board with a six-yard rush by Blake Hayes to wrap up a 75-yard, 14-play drive that ate up nearly six minutes of clock.
* With 7:46 left in the second quarter, the Golden Eagles appear to be going for it on fourth down with one yard to go.
* First down as junior Doug Page pounds ahead for a one-yard gain.
* Huge gain for Tech as Da'Rick Rogers make an acrobatic catch down the sideline for a 52-yard gain to the Hampton nine-yard line.
* The completetion pushes Tre Lamb into fifth place on the Tennessee Tech all-time list for career passing yards. He now has 224 yards in the game with two touchdowns.
* With the pass, Lamb has recorded his ninth career 200-yard passing game.
* Kicker Zach Sharp adds a Golden Eagle field goal from 28 yards out. Tech leads 24-7 with 5:33 to play in the first half.
* The Tech scoring drive went nine plays for 61 yards and ate up 3 minutes and 45 seconds.
* Bud Golden busts up the middle for a 15-yard gain and a Golden Eagle first down. Tech within field goal range with less than a minute remaining.
* Rogers runs a flag route and makes an incredible leaping, toe-tapping grab in the back corner of the endzone for a 17-yard touchdown reception with 4.7 seconds left in the first half.
* Golden Eagle scoring drive spanned 3 minutes and 25 seconds, covering 76 yards in 14 plays.
* At the half, the Golden Eagles lead the Pirates 31-7.
* Sophomore Cody Matthews recorded a career-high 89 receiving yards in the first half on three receptions.
* Adam Urbano covered 72 yards on the ground in 11 carries and a touchdown. His 72 yards is the fourth-best performance of his Golden Eagle career.
* Tre Lamb climbed the Tennessee Tech all-time list for total career offense to sixth with over 4,000 total yards.
* Da'Rick Rogers has three receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. He has caught all three passes he has been targeted on.
* Lamb completed 19 of 26 passes attempted for 279 yards and three scores in the first half. The performance is already the fourth-best of his career. His career-best is 348 yards against Tennessee State last season.
* Tech's 31 first half points are the most since Week 2 of last season against Maryville when they scored 42 points in the first two quarters.
* Urbano scored his second career rushing touchdown as a Golden Eagle.
THIRD QUARTER NOTES
* Hampton kicks off the second half in a big way, returning the kick off 100 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore Jorrian Washington with the return.
* The Pirates add a field goal off the leg of Taurean Durham. The 40-yard field goal cuts the Golden Eagle lead to 31-17.
* Hampton kicker Taurean Durham is doing it all right now, forcing a Ladarius Vanlier fumble on the kick-off return. Golden Eagles recover, but are forced to punt after a quick three-and-out.
* Zach Ziegler fumbles the punt and Hampton recovers at its own five-yard line.
* Hampton running back Jeremiah Schwartz punches in a one-yard score. Tech leads 31-24 with 3:42 left to play in the first half.
* Lamb gets the Golden Eagle attack back on track with a 20-yard completion to senior Tremaine Hudson.
* The completion gives Lamb his second career 300-yard passing game and the second highest passing total of his career.
* Urbano eclipses the 100-yard mark for the third time ever as a Golden Eagle. He now has 106 yards on 17 carries.
* At the end of the third quarter Tennessee Tech leads Hampton 31-24. The Golden Eagles are at the Hampton nine-yard line threatening to score.
FOURTH QUARTER NOTES
* Zach Ziegler with his second receiving touchdown of the game puts the Golden Eagles ahead 38-24. The nine-yard score gives Ziegler 43 yards on the game.
* Lamb completed his fourth touchdown pass of the game, tieing a career-high for touchdown passes in a game. He is just one shy of the Tech record of five.
* With 332 passing yards, Lamb is just 16 shy of his career-best 348 yards.
* The Tech drive lasted 3 minutes and 46 seconds and covered 76 yards in 11 plays.
* Urbano is just nine yards shy of his Tech career-high 137 rushing yards.
* Zach Sharp adds three with 25-yard field goal to give the Golden Eagles a 41-24 lead.
* The Golden Eagle drive lasted nine plays and covered 29 yards in 4 minutes and 23 seconds.
* Tech has 515 yards of total offense tonight, the second highest under the Watson Brown era.
* Hampton scores with 2:16 remaining off a two-yard passing touchdown from Travis Champion.
* The Pirates onsides kick is recovered by Golden Eagle sophomore Austin Tallant. Tech leads 41-31 with 2:16 left in the game.
* Urbano records a Golden Eagle career-best 143 yards on the ground with 24 carries.
* With his final carry of the game, Adam Urbano recorded a career-high 158 yards on 25 carries.
* Tennessee Tech wins the first game of the 2012 season 41-31 over the Hampton Pirates.