Eastern holds of Tennessee State in 35-34 win

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

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The Panthers needed to get a win over the Tennessee State Tigers after suffering a loss to Southeast Missouri last week, and they did just that beating the Tigers 35-34 at O’Brien Field Saturday.

With the way Eastern started it seemed liked they’d have the momentum the whole way. Redshirt junior Korliss Marshall opened the game with a 66-yard kick return to set up a four-play 24-yard drive ending in a touchdown run by quarterback Mitch Kimble

Redshirt junior Kimble made his return after missing the last two weeks due to an injury.

Just a few minutes later, after forcing a Tennessee State punt, Eastern rolled down the field and scored again off a 1-yard run by redshirt senior running back Devin Church. Eastern took a 14-0 lead just 6:32 into the game.

The Tigers managed to inch their way back because of some penalties by Eastern. Tennessee State got two field goals from Lane Clark and a touchdown run by Ronald Butler.

Clark hit a 52-yard field goal to end the first half and make it 21-13. The biggest penalty, arguably was when Eastern went offside on Clark’s field goal attempt, giving Tennessee State a first down.

The Tigers took advantage of the penalty and put up 7 points instead of what could have been 3. Earl Harrison had a 3-yard run with 6:03 left in the third quarter.

Eastern answered just under two minutes later with a 5-yard touchdown run by Marshall, who spun his was through the defense and into the end zone to give Eastern a 28-20 lead with 4:26 left in the third.

Tennessee State took the lead with back-to-back scores. One came at the end of the third and the second came at the start of the fourth. Eastern fought back and took the lead and held their lead of 35-34.

Clark, who was strong earlier in the game last week, missed a field goal to give Tennessee State a lead from 46 yards.

Eastern improved to 2-1 in the OVC.

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]