Panthers to play Tennessee State Sunday

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

The Eastern football team will be on the road again Sunday, looking for their first win of the season against Tennessee State, the only team the Panthers beat last season.

The game will be a matchup between the only two teams in the OVC who have yet to pick up a win this season.

Eastern dropped its first two games of the season against Southeast Missouri and Tennessee-Martin, teams that finished second and third in the conference last season.

Tennessee State’s losses have come against Austin Peay, last season’s OVC champions, and Jacksonville State.

In the game between these teams last season, Eastern was able to finally break into the win column as a result of a offensive outburst, winning 49-38.

Eastern quarterback Harry Woodbery had one of his best games of the season, going 21-of-34 passing for 206 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Eastern’s rushing attack was very productive as well, with now-graduated running back Darshon McCullough recording 17 carries for 155 yards and a touchdown.

Jaelin Benefield, now in his sophomore season for Eastern, ran for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns and also had 4 catches for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Tennessee State’s top offensive performers from that game have since moved on, and the Tigers will have a new starting quarterback, top runner and top receiver when they play the Panthers Sunday.

Their new quarterback is redshirt-junior Isaiah Green, a transfer from Marshall.

Through two games this season, Green is 25-50 passing for 318 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception.

Redshirt-freshman running back Devon Starling is leading the team in rushing. His 151 rushing yards rank second in the conference this season and he ranks fifth with 5.8 yards per attempt.

The Tigers also have the second-leading receiver in the conference with redshirt-junior Cam Wyche. He has 147 receiving yards this season and is tied for the conference lead with 2 receiving touchdowns.

Eastern’s leading receiver has been redshirt-sophomore DeWayne Cooks Jr., who ranks fourth in the OVC in both receptions and receiving yards.

The game between Eastern and Tennessee State is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m.


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]