Eastern Illinois Falls in Overtime at Eastern Kentucky

RICHMOND, Ky.  (EIU Athletics) - Eastern Kentucky kicked a 29-yard field goal in the first overtime session as the Colonels came back to beat Eastern Illinois, 36-33, on Saturday night in Richmond.

EKU remained undefeated as the No. 16 ranked Colonels moved to 6-0, 3-0 in the OVC.  EIU dropped to 1-5, 1-1 in the OVC.   The loss snapped EIU's 13-game Ohio Valley Conference win streak dating back to the 2012 season.

EIU lead 23-5 at the half but EKU scored 28 points in the second half to lead 33-26.   The Panthers tied the score with 1:04 to play as Jalen Whitlow hit Adam Drake for the second time on the night for a touchdown pass.   Jourdan Wickliffe had his second interception of the night to end regulation.

EIU turned the ball over on its possession in overtime, setting up Andrew Lloyd's game winning kick

Eastern Illinois offense was sharp during the first half on Saturday night as the Panthers led 23-5 at the break.  Freshman kicker Nick Bruno was solid making three field goal attempts from 24, 39 and 25 yards.  Two of the field goals came after EIU stalled inside the 20-yard line.  Bruno added a fourth field goal in the 3rd quarter from 35-yards out.

EIU broke through to the end zone at the 8:52 mark of the second quarter as Jalen Whitlow scampered in for a 12-yard touchdown.   Whitlow had 48 yards rushing in the first half finishing with 88 for the game.  Shepard Little was the Panthers leading rusher with 122 yards on19 carries.

EKU's first half scoring was contributed to by an EIU special teams miscue.  On a punt inside its own 20-yard line the snap rolled low through the end zone for a Colonels safety.  EKU's other points came on an Lloyd 24-yard field goal with 3:52 left in the half.  The Panthers defense was able to make a stand inside the 5-yard line.

The final first half EIU score was a 2-yard back shoulder touchdown pass from Whitlow to Drake with 39 seconds left in the half.   Drake had nine catches for 110 yards in the first half, it marked his third 100-yard receiving game of the season.  He finished the game with 13 catches for 146 yards and two scores.

The Colonels scored 28 second half points with two second half turnovers leading to EKU points.   EIU fumbled inside its own 30-yard line leading to a short touchdown pass from Jared McClain to Devin Borders with 13:04 to play in the game.   That score cut EIU's lead to 26-19.  

Special teams played a factor in two additional scores.  EIU drove into field goal range but Borders blocked a field goal attempt with 11:11 to play that would have put the Panthers up two scores.   EIU's defense would hold only to see EIU fumble the punt return to set up the Colonels game tying drive, a Dy'Shawn Mobley 1-yard TD run.   Mobley had 118 yards on 30 carries with two touchdowns.

Each team forced three turnovers in the contest as the two teams each recorded over 100 tackles in the game.   Pono Choy led EIU with 14 tackles.   Kamu Grugier-Hill had ten tackles with a sack and fumble recovery.  Brandon Stanley led EKU with 16 tackles.

EIU returns to action next Saturday at Southeast Missouri.

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