Updating OVC football results, standings

Eastern+head+coach+Adam+Cushing+%28center%29+and+the+rest+of+the+sideline+celebrate+a+stop+in+the+Panthers+game+against+Tennessee-Martin+at+OBrien+Field+on+Saturday.+Eastern+lost+the+game+28-17+to+the+Skyhawks.+

Rob Le Cates | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern head coach Adam Cushing (center) and the rest of the sideline celebrate a stop in the Panthers’ game against Tennessee-Martin at O’Brien Field on Saturday. Eastern lost the game 28-17 to the Skyhawks.

Autumn Schulz, Assistant Sports Editor

Week 7 of Play for the OVC had six teams going head-to-head to fight for a chance to raise their standings with one team winning in overtime and another by just one point. 

The weekend kicked off with No. 16 Tennessee-Martin taking on Eastern Illinois at O’Brien Field resulting in a 28-17 Skyhawk victory over the Panthers. 

The win marked the fifth straight for the Skyhawks, their longest winning streak since 2006. They are now 5-1 overall and 2-0 in OVC play. 

The Panthers are now 1-6 overall and 1-1 in OVC play. 

The Skyhawks led at the end of the first quarter, but the Panthers would hang on to the lead until a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns sealed the win for the Skyhawks. 

The Skyhawks scored first after a blocked punt was scooped up and returned 34-yards for a touchdown by D’Carrious Stephens. The Panthers responded with a successful 33-yard field goal on the next drive to cut the lead 7-3. 

The Panthers would continue to build a lead after capitalizing on a turnover and gaining good field position, putting them on top 17-7 going into halftime. 

The Skyhawks outgained the Panthers in the third quarter 176 to 16, possessing the ball for a little over 12 minutes but had nothing to show for it until the fourth quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, quarterback Keon Howard connected with wide receiver Donnell Williams to give the Skyhawks a 21-17 lead. 

The game would end with Zak Wallace finding the endzone from two yards out to seal the final score of 28-17. Keon Howard was 12-of-21 passing for 166 yards and one touchdown. 

An overtime victory was in the books for Tennessee State as they faced off against Tennessee Tech last Saturday in Nashville. 

The 20-13 victory over the Golden Eagles gave first-year coach Eddie George back-to-back victories. It also marked the first time that Tennessee State has won consecutive games in five seasons. 

The biggest moment of the game came when Tigers wide receiver Dayron Johnson scored on a 13-yard catch in overtime as a result of safety Cory Rahman intercepting Golden Eagles quarterback Willie Miller. 

Miller threw for 126 yards with one touchdown and one interception. 

Tigers quarterback Geremy Hickbottom was 20-of-34, passing for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns with an interception. 

Murray State slipped by Southeast Missouri by one point last Saturday evening, sealing a 32-31 victory. 

The Racers drove 47-yards in one minute and seven seconds, giving kicker Aaron Baum the chance to nail a 35-yard field goal that would send them home victorious. 

The Racers built their lead early in the first half after two rushing touchdowns and a field goal from Baum, giving them a 16-10 advantage at halftime. 

However, the Redhawks owned the third quarter after they scored 21 unanswered points, putting them ahead 31-16. However, the Racers wasted little time in the fourth quarter. 

Quarterback DJ Williams found Damonta Witherspoon for a 16-yard touchdown to cut the lead 31-22. The lead was then further cut 31-29 after wide receiver Malik Honeycutt scooped up a punted ball on the ground and returned it for 52 yards. 

The Racers defense then held the Redhawks to just 12 yards in the fourth quarter. Conversely, the Racers had eight first downs and three consecutive first downs in the final game-winning drive. 

Racers running back Damonta Witherspoon ran for 81 yards in the game with a team-high 56 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. Defensively, Eric Samuta led the Racers with 12 tackles. 

Murray State is now 3-3 overall. 

All seven teams will be back in action this Saturday.

 

Autumn Schulz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]