CAPE GIREADU – For the first time this season, the Tennessee Tech (4-7/1-5 OVC) football team notched an OVC win. The Golden Eagles defeated Southeast Missouri University (2-8/1-5 OVC) 41 – 16 Saturday. The win snapped Tech’s six game losing skid in the conference.
“It gives us some confidence,” head coach Watson Brown said. “We looked like we did earlier in the year before Darian got hurt.”
Junior quarterback Darian Stone had his best game of the season thus far on Saturday. Stone rushed for 162 yards on 29 carries, including three touchdowns. Stone also was 13 – 22 passing for 135 yards.
To go along with his outstanding performance on Saturday, Stone was named OVC Offensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.
Stone and the Tech offense wasted no time getting things on track Saturday. Stone scored his first of three rushing touchdowns from 2-yard line. The drive was highlighted by a 36 yard scramble by Stone on second and 16.
SEMO looked to answer Tech’s score. On the first play of the second quarter, the Redhawks attempted a 29-yard field goal. Junior cornerback Tevin McDermott gave the ball back to the Tech offense at the 20-yard line when he blocked the attempt.
Tech took advantage of the opportunity, taking the ball 80 yards in five plays before finding the end zone again. Stone scored from four yards out, giving the Golden Eagles a 14 – 0 lead.
On the second play of SEMO’s next series, sophomore linebacker Jay Rudwall picked off SEMO’s quarterback. Rudwall returned the ball 38 yards before he was tackled at the 2-yard line. Junior running back Stephen Bush plunged into the end zone on first down for the Golden Eagles giving them a 21 – 0 lead with just over 13 minutes to play in the second quarter.
The Tech defense surrendered a field goal on SEMO’s next possession. The Golden Eagle offense responded with a 14 play, 71-yard drive. Bush again found his way into the end zone, this time from seven yards out, giving Tech a 28 – 3 advantage with four minutes to go before halftime.
Tech and SEMO traded punts and turnovers to end the half. The OVC’s top two leading tacklers teamed up to get the ball back to the Tech offense with 28 seconds to go before halftime. Junior linebacker Tra’Darius Goff tipped a pass in the air which was intercepted by redshirt junior Marty Jones. Goff leads the OVC in tackles with 96 and is followed closely by Jones who has tallied 91.
Jones racked up five tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception for the game. For his efforts, Jones was awarded the OVC Defensive Player of the Week by the conference.
Each team scored 13 points in the second half making the final score 41 – 16 in favor of the Golden Eagles. Tech has a much needed bye week coming up this weekend before hosting in-state rival Austin Peay on Saturday, Nov. 23.