CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Junior quarterback Darian Stone put together one of the finest games of his career to pace the Tennessee Tech offense, and the defense came up with three turnovers as the Golden Eagles rolled to a 41-16 Ohio Valley Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Southeast Missouri.
With the win, Tennessee Tech (4-7/1-6 OVC) handed head coach Watson Brown a record victory, the 126th of his career. It tied Watson and younger brother, Mack (head coach at Texas) for the record for most Division I head coaching victories by brothers.
The pair ties the mark of 362 held by Vince and Bill Dooley. Mack's Longhorns play at West Virginia later Saturday afternoon with the chance to break the record.
Southeast Missouri (2-8/1-5 OVC ) lost on Senior Day in the team's final home contest of the year.
Stone, who has been in-and-out of the lineup all season because of a variety of injuries, rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries, and also completed 13 of 22 passes for 135 yards to account for 297 yards of total offense. Junior Stephen Bush complimented Stone in the ground game, scoring two touchdowns and rushing for a career-best 76 yards on 13 carries.
The Tech defense had numerous standout performances, including a 38-yard interception return by sophomore linebacker Jay Rudwall that led to an early Tech touchdown as the Golden Eagles established dominance in the first half.
Junior Marty Jones grabbed his second interception of the year and eighth of his career, and also caused a fumble and made five tackles. Freshman Jordan Patrick led Tech with six tackles, including a quarterback sack and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. Senior Tra'Darius Goff also made six tackles, had a tackle-for-loss and broke up the pass that Jones intercepted.
Special teams also contributed to the win. Sophomore placekicker, filling in for injured starter Zach Sharp, scored 11 points in the game including the first two field goals of his career and all five PAT kicks. He booted field goals from 26 and 32 yards, both in the fourth quarter.
Tevin McDermott blocked a field goal try on the first play of the second quarter when Tech's lead was still only 7-0. The Golden Eagles used that play to propel them to two touchowns in a 49-second span and build a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Stone directed the team to a 7-for-15 mark on third down conversions. Tech was also 2-for-2 on fourth down tries, and was a perfect 7-for-7 on scoring chances inside the red zone.
Jordan Smith also had a solid game, leading Tech's receivers with a career-high six catches for 68 yards.
SEMO was led by DeMichael Jackson with 104 rushing yards on 17carries, while quarterback Scott Lathrop added 44 yards on 11 tries. Lathrop and backup quarterback Kyle Snyder were 10-for-21 passing for 89 yards. Paul McRoberts had six catches for 66 yards including a 17-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Golden Eagle have an open date on their schedule next weekend, and wrap up the 2013 season on Saturday, Nov. 23, when they host Austin Peay at 1:30 p.m. in Tucker Stadium.
That game will be Senior Day for Tech's 12 departing players. It will also be Military and Public Safety Appreciation Day, and Scout Day.
For ticket information, please contact the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or call (931) 372-3940.
* Southeast Missouri is hosting Military Appreciation Day, and the Redhawks are wearing a camouflage-style uniform. The home team is clad in black pants and red jerseys, with grey camo on the shoulders and down the sides. SEMO wears black helmets. The Golden Eagles are wearing white jerseys with purple and gold trim, and gold pants with their gold helmets.
* Tech owns a 12-9 advantage in the all-time series, with five wins in the last seven games. SEMO, however, won last year's game, 41-38, in double overtime. Nine of the past 10 games in the series have been decided by an average of 4.1 points per game, with a pair of two-point games, three games decided by three points and one four-point contest.
* Tech is in Cape Girardeau for the second straight year.
* The Golden Eagles (3-7/0-6 OVC) are in search of their first OVC win of the year, following a 56-21 loss last weekend at league-leading Eastern Illinois. Southeast Missouri (2-7/1-4 OVC), meanwhile, is coming off a 37-35, come-from-behind victory over Urbana College last weekend.
* A Golden Eagle victory would allow coach Watson Brown and his brother, Mack, to tie the all-time record for most Division I head coaching victories by brothers. The pair enters the day with 361 all-time victories between them, one shy of the record of 362 held by Vince and Bill Dooley. Mack's Texas Longhorns will play West Virginia at 6 p.m., so wins by both Tech and Texas could give the Cookeville natives the record.
* Defensively, Tech brings the top two tackles in the OVC into the contest. Linebacker Tra'Darius Goff leads the league and safety Marty Jones ranks second. Tech has six players in the top 27 of the league in tackles-per-game.
* Junior placekicker Zach Sharp is not with the team, suffering an injury last week that sidelined him at Eastern Illinois early in the game. Sophomore kicker Chris Harris will handle all of the placekicking duties.
* Maleek Hall spent the first nine games as a wide reciever but moved to cornerback last week against Eastern Illinois, and was listed as a starter this week at cornerback. He's another injured player not on the trip. Deosha McColley will make his first career start.
FIRST QUARTER NOTES
* After exchanging punts a couple of times, the Golden Eagles begin to win the battle for field position when Chad Zinchini kicks one that goes out of bounds at the SEMO four.
* Stone breaks off a 36-yard run on second-and-16, down to the SEMO three and gives Tech first-and-goal. On second, Stone takes it behind blocks by Matthew Smith and Jibrin Linge for a touchdown. Chris Harris tacks on the PAT and it's 7-0 Tech. The TD drive was 47 yards in seven plays and took 3:16.
* SEMO moveds inside the Tech 10 on a 35-yard run by DaMichael Jackson and an eight-yard run by quarterback Scott Lathrop.
* Lamar Moore and Jordan Patrick stop Jackson for a three-yard loss, and two incomplete passes later the Redhawks face a fourth-and-goal from the 12 as the quarter ends.
SECOND QUARTER NOTES
* First play of the quarter, Tevin McDermott comes off the right corner and gets his hand on the 29-yard field goal attempt by Alex Knight. That keep Tech on top, 7-0.
* Stephen Bush breaks a couple tackles and races down the sidelines for a 36-yard gain. A facemask penalty at the end of the play adds 15 yards tl the gain, and the Golden Eagles face first-and-10 at the SEMO 29. Stone gains 11, then hits Parker Teeter on a diving catch of the middle for a 14-yard pickup to the SEMO four.
* Stone scores his second TD of the game and Tech leads, 14-0 after Harris' PAT. The TD drive is four plays and covers 80 yards.
* Linebacker Jay Rudwall steps in front of the receiver and makes an interception at the SEMO 40, and races it all the way back to the two. Stephen Bush powers into the end zone and the Golden Eagles are up 21-0. Tech scores two touchdowns in 45 seconds.
* Defense stops SEMO o third down, but a penalty gives SEMO a first down. The Redhawks move all the way inside the Tech 20 on a 10-yard pass from Lathrop to Paul McRoberts. Third-and-nine, and Tech stops Lathrop after four-yard gain, bringing up fourth down. Knight kicks a 27-yard field goal to put the Redhawks on the board. Tech leads 21-3 with 9:22 to go before halftime.
* Another efficient drive underway by the Golden Eagles, including a big first-down catch for Krys Cates. Eric Belew grabs a pass and is hit and brought down, but its first-and-goal at the eight. Bush off right tackle, and he bursts through for his second TD of the game. With 4:07 to play, Harris makes his fourth PAT and it's 28-3.
* Big kick return for SEMO, all the way out the the Redhawk 48. On first down, Malcolm Mitchell gets to Lathrop for a sack and big loss. It's Mitchell's eighth career sack, giving him 6.5 for the year. Third-and-10 and the defense forces an incomplete pass, forcing a punt from the SEMO 48.
* Line drive kick is fielded by Ladarius Vanlier and he brings it back seven yards to the Tech 21. Golden Eagles get one first down, but can't secure a second, bringin Zinchini in for just his second punt of the afternoon. SEMO calls timeout with 44.6 seconds to play. A 41-yard punt and fair catch by Spencer Davis at the SEMO 22.
* Interception over the middle by Marty Jones, his second of the year and eighth of his career. Tra'Darius Goff goes up and deflects the pass and Jones finds it for the turnover.
* Long pass toward the end zone just through the fingertips of Jordan Smith. Stone scrambles, rolls right and throws.....intercepted by the Redhawks.
* Final seconds of the half, and SEMO fires long, long pass downfield that is almost caught, tipped by a defender and a receiver. The quarterback was about eight yards past the line of scrimmage, though, and a penalty is stepped off. With 4.1 seconds left, SEMO has one final play from its own 26. No last ditch chance, as SEMO goes with a run off tackles for a couple yards and Malcolm Mitchell gets the ankle tackle to end the half.
THIRD QUARTER NOTES
* Stone with a 14-yard gain, followed by a 10-yard run has Tech on the move. Pass complete on the sidelines to Vanlier at the three for a first-and-goal. Stone takes it right side behind Wesley Sherrill and Jibrin Linge for his THIRD TOUCHDOWN of the day. With Harris' fifth PAT, Tech leads it 35-3 with 9:12 to play, third quarter. Tech has held the ball for nearly six minutes to open the half and extend its lead.
* Jackson with some big runs to open the possession, and Lathrop eludes a sack by Mitchell, then picks up 10 and a first down at the Tech 15. Lathrop rushes right, pitches to Davis and he goes 15 for the SEMO TD. That trims Tech's lead to 35-10 with 4:46 left in third quarter. A 56-yard drvie in eight plays, takes 4:18 off the clock.
* First down, and Bush goes through the middle for a 13-yard gain to the Tech 46. Third-and-10, and Stone's bullet over the middle is almost intercepted by George Newhouse and Tech will punt. Kicks is fielded at the 13 and returned out to the SEMO 27 with 2:43 left in the third.
* Stone has rushed for 140 yards on 23 carries, and thrown for 99, going 10-for-16. That gives him 239 yards of total offense. Bush has 70 yards on 10 carries.
* Midoho Okpokuwuruk forces a fumble by Lathrop and Malcolm Mitchell recivers at the SEMO 29. TURNOVER for the defense
* Bullet over the middle to Cates is caught...almost. He drops it as he hits the ground at the nine. Third-and-six at the 25. Stone drops one over the middle to Steve Wilson, and he goes down to the 13 for a FIRST DOWN. Tech faces third-and-five at the SEMO 10.....
FOURTH QUARTER NOTES
* Stone in the pocket, looking at good coverage. Heat coming, and he slings one sidearm to Smith in the back of the end zone that is incomplete. Harris will attempt a 26-yard field goal out of the hold by Marty Jones....good. Tech leads 38-10 with 14:50 to play. It's the first career field goal as a Golden Eagle by Harris, who has now scored eight points in the contest.
* No fooling Malcolm Mitchell on the reverse on third-and-six. He stuffs it for a five-yard loss and brings up fourth-and-11 at the Tech 48. Rudwall knocks it down, and Tech takes over on downs near midfield with 11:44 to play.
* Stone hits Smith for an 18-yard gain down to the SEMO 16-yard line. Tech turns the drive into points, as Harris kicks his second field goal, this one from 32 yards, to make it 41-10 with 5:27 remaining.
* Redhawks come up with a couple of big plays, including a 10-yard run by Snyder, a 13-yard complete from Snyder to McRoberts, and a six-yard run for first down by Snyder. A 16-yard pass to McRoberts and a 13-yard run by Snyder sets up a 17-yard touchdown pass from Snyder to McRoberts with 2:06 to play. Redhawks go for two, but the entire Tech defensive line slams the door.
* Tech goes into its "victory" formation for final play of the day.