Posted: Sep 25, 2021
By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The fortunes for the Tennessee Tech football team shifted quickly on Saturday. As the Golden Eagles were going in for a potential game-tying score with just over eight minutes remaining, the ball got away and Bryce Dewberry returned it 90 yards for a touchdown.
In a matter of seconds, the momentum shifted.
Eastern Illinois held on to take a 28-14 victory over the Golden Eagles at Tucker Stadium.
Turnovers again proved to be a tough obstacle to overcome. With one interception and three lost fumbles, two of those led to scores. The Golden Eagles were able to pick off a pass from Otto Kuhns, but the resulted in a missed field goal.
That negative aside, Tech's offense showed a lot of positives. Drew Martin had a good day passing, completing 26 of his 38 pass attempts for a career-best 315 yards – the most passing yards for a Golden Eagle quarterback since 2019 against Western Illinois. Quinton Cross also had a career-high in receiving yardage as he hauled in seven passes for 140 yards – the 22nd most in program history for a single game.
Cross had the first score of the game as Martin caught him on a connection and the receiver was able to escape a couple of deep defenders and scamper into the end zone for a 62-yard touchdown.
Kuhns threw two touchdown passes to DeAirious Smith – the first for seven yards, the second for 16 just before halftime. Stone Galloway missed the PAT on the first score, keeping Tech ahead, but Kuhns hit DeWayne Cooks for the two-point try on the second to make it a 14-7 Panther advantage at the intermission.
Galloway missed two field goals – 42 and 38 yards respectively – and a PAT, helped as Jamaal Singleton came in quick to try to block the kicks and throwing the Panther specialist off.
Arron Foulkes put EIU up by three scores with just under six minutes to go in the third quarter, scoring on a 24-yard run to end a seven-play, 79-yard drive. Martin and the Tech offense answered, marching down the field 89 yards on seven plays. The series ended as David Gist scored on a one-yard run and Hayden Olsen's PAT made it 21-14 with 2:21 remaining in the third.
Tech was able to force EIU to punt and put together a 16-play, 75-yard drive, but Martin lost the ball at the Panther 10-yard-line and Dewberry scooped it up and broke away from a pair of tacklers for the 90-yard fumble recovery touchdown.
Three of Tech's final four drives in the game ended in lost fumbles.
The Golden Eagles (0-4, 0-1 OVC) ended the game with 379 yards of offense, rushing for 64 yards and passing for 315. Nyquan Washington and Jack Warwick each had eight tackles.
For the Panthers, the offense put together 304 yards on 55 plays, rushing for 121 and passing for 183. Kuhns completed 15-of-26 passes with an interception with his two touchdown passes. Smith had six catches for 109 yards and two scores, while Harrison Bey-Buie rushed for 79 yards on 19 carries.
Jason Johnson recorded 16 tackles for EIU (1-4, 1-0 OVC), while also getting three sacks for 17 yards from Jordan Miles and two sacks for eight yards for Tim Varga.
The Golden Eagles return to action next Saturday as they host Southeast Missouri at Tucker Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Photo | Jim Dillon