Murray St. 9 TSU 6
TSU entered LP Field in first place in the OVC on Saturday. They came in with a plan to run the ball and control the clock. Things didn’t work out as planned when starting quarterback Calvin McNairl hurt his back and backup Jeremy Perry could not move the offense. McNairl later returned but was not effective. Some may have been wondering how the injury figured into the loss, but head coach James Webster felt different. He said he would not use it as an excuse because he still expected the rest of his team to do their part. He thought his team could run better even though they got 169 yards on the ground. The passing game was not much better with McNairl going 6-13 for 62 yards and a pick. He did add a late touchdown pass to Joseph Hills to make it 9-6. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by Murray St. to seal the win. This was the second straight year that Murray upset the Tigers. Perry could do nothing right and finished 2-6 for six yards and an interception. Murray St. cornerback Nathan Brinkley had a good game with the interception of McNairl and the recovery of the onside kick at the end of the game. Next up for TSU (3-4, 2-1) is an idle week where they will heal up. As for the Racers (2-4, 1-2), they go to UT Martin (2-5, 1-3) to try and win back-to-back games and get even in the conference.
Eastern Illinois 23 Tennessee Tech 15
It was Tony Romo day for the host crowd as his jersey was retired. Still the Panthers had to hold off a late rally by Tech and stop them at the Panther 14 with 12 seconds left. It was 20-0 late in the third when Tech got started with a safety. They came out on the next possession and scored when quarterback Lee Sweeney hit Alden Olverson from 29 to make it 20-9. Sweeney then threw his second touchdown pass of the quarter to Colin Allen and all of a sudden it was 20-15 going into the fourth. After a field goal by E. Illinois made it 233-15 Tech had one more chance. Mauricio Wallace returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards to set up the possible tie but the Panther defense held on and the game was over. Tech hurt themselves with six fumbles, three that they lost, as well as two interceptions by Sweeney. Eastern held the ball for 43:10 and had 23 first downs to Tech’s 14. Next up for Tech (3-3, 2-2) is one of those games they are supposed to win when the host SEMO (1-5, 0-4). Eastern (5-2, 3-1) goes to Jacksonville St. (4-2, 2-0) next week. J State is ineligible for the league title this year.
Eastern Kentucky 31 UT Martin 25
This was the last of three pretty decent games on the slate this weekend. It was homecoming in Richmond and the Colonels did not disappoint their fans as they intercepted four passes in a win that keeps them in first place in the OVC. Even though they had the picks it was just a 21-13 after a Cade Thompson scoring run. It got to 24-19 and then Eastern had to punt to Martin. They had their chance and then muffed the punt away to give the Colonels a first down at the four. C.J. Walker’s two-yard run made it 31-19 and a touchdown as time expired accounted for the final points of the game for Martin. Eastern QB T.J. Pryor finished 19-33 for 235 yards and two touchdowns. His counterpart Thompson was 30-44 for 334 yards, three touchdowns and the four picks. Next up for Eastern (4-2, 4-1) is a trip to Austin Peay (2-4, 1-2) and for UTM (2-5, 1-3) it’s a home game against Murray State (2-4, 1-2).