Redhawks claim first victory of the season during Family Weekend, 29-10
A 38-yard field goal by junior kicker Nicholas Litang four minutes into the second quarter started a scoring streak for the Redhawks that ended in victory over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels Saturday 29-10.
“We can see every single game we are getting better and better, and to see it pay off this game, that was huge,” senior outside linebacker Chad Meredith said.
Redshirt freshman defensive back Bydarrius Knighten stopped Eastern Kentucky in the first drive of the game at their 2-yard line, keeping the Colonels out of the end zone right away. This was the beginning of Eastern Kentucky’s struggle in the red zone, as senior kicker Lucas Williams missed a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Southeast’s offense took advantage of Eastern Kentucky’s slower defense with long carries by junior running backs Marquis Terry and Cameron Sanders. Terry ended the game with 31 carries for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
“I felt great, just keep pushing, that’s what I had to believe,” Terry said. “Probably no one outside of us believed we probably could get this win, but we believed in us and I wanted to go out there and do it for my team.”
Coach Tom Matukewicz said this is the first game Terry’s parents came out to watch, as it was Family Weekend at Southeast.
The longest play of the game was by Sanders, who took a handoff from senior quarterback Jesse Hosket and ran for 77 yards for a touchdown.
Hosket threw for zero touchdowns this game, but had nine completed passes on 23 attempts. The Redhawks also went four for five in the red zone. The one attempt they missed was the final chance to score, but the team took a knee to signal the end of the game.
“Third down in red zones, if you win those you win the game, and that’s what we did,” Meredith said.
The defense helped make plays late in the second half. Three interceptions from Eastern Kentucky allowed Southeast to run the ball down the field and get into scoring position. Meredith said the main focus for the Redhawks defense against the Colonel offense was stopping the run and getting their quarterback to throw the ball.
A sack by sophomore inside linebacker Zach Hall with 8:17 left in the game gave the Redhawks their first safety of the season.
Matukewicz said the team played well, but there are some penalty problems that need to be fixed. Southeast had 12 penalties for 110 yards, which is less than the 14 for 129 yards they had at their first home game against Southern Illinois on Sept. 16, but more than the five for 60 yards they had on the road against Eastern Illinois Sept. 23.
“We didn’t turn [the ball] over, we turned them over,” Matukewicz said.
Southeast has a week off before coming back to Houck Stadium for the homecoming game against Tennessee Tech at 1 p.m. Oct. 14. After that, they will spend the rest of October on the road, going to Austin Peay Oct. 21 and then to Jacksonville State on Oct. 28.