By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
J.J. Jude had a breakout performance in a lopsided victory over Morehead State last month.
But since that four-touchdown game, the redshirt freshman running back has been slowed by an ankle injury.
On Saturday, Jude finally looked to be back at almost full speed in the Colonels’ win at Southeast Missouri State. He rushed for 114 yards on 20 carries and had a 28-yard touchdown run on EKU’s first possession of the game.
“It’s still a little bit tender, but Tim (Pike), our trainer, has been working on it every week,” Jude said of his ankle. “I am still trying to get back to 100 percent. Hopefully, I will be all right for the next couple of games.”
Jude had 195 yards on 33 carries (both career highs) in the win on the road over Morehead.
A week later, he was forced to the sidelines in the opening half of a loss at Eastern Illinois. The former Johnson Central High School standout didn’t play against Austin Peay (Oct. 5), then after an open week was back in the line-up against Tech.
In a 24-10 win over the Golden Eagles (Oct. 19), Jude had just 60 yards on 12 carries.
He got off a to quick start Saturday in Cape Girardeau.
Jude got loose for a touchdown on EKU’s third play from scrimmage and also had rushes of 18 and 10 yards in the first half.
At halftime he had 80 yards on 10 rushes as the Colonels took a 24-0 lead into the break.
“Right now, we are all meshing well together and we are playing team football,” Jude said.
The Colonels (5-3, 3-1 OVC) finished with 213 yards rushing in the win, which was their third-straight victory. They currently led the Ohio Valley Conference in rushing offense (213.2) and rushing touchdowns (20 - tied with Jacksonville State).
Berry finds the end zone
Senior punter Jordan Berry has been a part of some very memorable (and tricky) moments since he arrived at EKU.
Still, he had never scored a touchdown until Saturday’s win over SEMO.
The Colonels lined up for a field goal on the SEMO 25-yard line in the second quarter and Berry, the holder, took the snap and sprinted around the right side of the line.
The Australian-born kicker went untouched into the end zone and then tossed the ball high in the air before jumping into the arms of several of his teammates.
“I had no idea what to do when I got across the line,” Berry said.
On Sunday, Berry was named the OVC Specialist of the Week. In addition to his touchdown run, the senior had three punts for 178 yards (59.3 yard average).
Berry blasted a 76-yard punt in the first quarter, which was just two yards short of the school record. Earlier this season, he connected on a 75-yard punt.
Led by Berry, EKU leads the OVC and is fourth nationally (FCS) in net punting at 40.5 yards.
Berry was also named a College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Punter Performer of the Week following the win over SEMO.