MARTIN, Tenn. —
Tyrone Goard was frustrated as he walked off the field at halftime.
The senior wide receiver had three catches and a touchdown, but he wasn’t able to shake off a very aggressive UT-Martin secondary most of the time.
“In the first half, the receivers couldn’t do anything,” Goard said. “They were holding us and refs weren’t calling anything. But coach said eventually they would get tired of holding and that’s what happened. They lost track of me and gave me a chance at some deep balls and we took advantage of it.”
The Skyhawks couldn’t hold back Goard for long.
The senior caught a school-record four touchdowns and finished with 175 yards as the Colonels (4-1, 2-0) rallied from a nine-point deficit to claim a 28-16 win over UT-Martin Saturday at Hardy Graham Stadium. Goard hooked up with senior quarterback T.J,. Pryor on three TD passes - 14, 78 and 27 yards.
Pryor finished with 211 yards making him the school’s all-time leader in passing yards (6,085) as the Colonels won their fourth-straight game.
“At first it didn’t look good,” EKU coach Dean Hood said. “We threw several up (long balls) and we either overthrew them or they made a nice play. With the kind of competitors that Tyrone and T.J. are you knew sooner or later they were going to come up with one. We finally did. That was really a big difference in the game.”
Goard and Pryor hooked up on a 14-yard TD pass in the second quarter to put EKU up 7-6, but at halftime the Skyhawks (3-2, 1-1 OVC) had a 13-7 lead.
That advantage grew to 16-7 on a 31-yard Cody Sandlin field goal with 5:10 left in the third quarter.
The Colonels then scored on three of their next four possessions to re-take the lead for good.
Sophomore Jared McClain hit Goard on a 25-yard TD in the right corner of the end zone with 2:31 left in the third quarter to cut the UTM lead to 16-14.
Just a few moments later, Goard hooked up with Pryor again. After a penalty negated a long reception, the senior came open underneath and went up the left sideline almost untouched for a 78-yard touchdown.
“T.J. saw that they dropped three deep with the corners playing hard and once I got past the corner, T.J. had his feet set and he put it right in there and I took off up the sidelines,” Goard said.
On that pass, Pryor moved past Josh Greco on the school’s all-time passing list. The senior entered the game needing just 119 yards to set the mark.
“I didn’t know until the end of the game,” Pryor said of setting the mark. “In the first half we weren’t doing so well, so I didn’t think I was going to be able to get it. The guys stepped up and made some great plays. It’s great accomplishment. It feels great.”
Goard and Pryor delivered the knockout blow moments later.
After UT-Martin punter James Satterfield mishandled a snap, the Colonels got the ball on the Skyhawks 29-yard line. Three plays later, Pryor threw a perfect pass to the senior in the right corner of the end zone to put the Colonels up by 12 points.
“He’s a lifesaver,” Pryor said of Goard. “It’s great to have him out there.”
The Colonels came into the game as the top rushing team in the OVC, but the Skyhawks were determined to stop their ground attack. Senior All-American Matt Denham rushed for 94 yards on 29 carries as EKU was limited to 123 yards, their second-lowest output of the year.
For the second-straight game, EKU did not commit a turnover. In the past four games, the Colonels have committed just one turnover and are a +7 in turnover margin.
“They have been very opportunistic with turnovers against other people,” Hood said. “We just felt like we had to take car of the ball and turn them over.”
The past three meetings between the schools in Martin were all decided by three points or less. Two years ago, the Skyhawks picked up their first-ever win over the Colonels, 10-7.
EKU now leads the all-time series with UTM, 22-1.
The win also moves the Colonels to 2-0 in the OVC heading into a showdown next week at Tennessee State (1-0)
“This is definitely a momentum booster,” Pryor said.
UTM’s Derek Carr also became his school’s all-time passing leader on Saturday. He threw for 223 yards on 17-of-39 passing. The senior now has 6,300 passing yards. The Skyhawks had just 260 yards of total offense against EKU.
“We knew they had good receivers and we knew we had to shut them down,” Bell said. “We just had to play our assignments and be sound on defense. We know we are going to get everyone’s best and that’s what happened today.”
Goard catches four TDs as Colonels rally to knock of Skyhawks, 28-16
MARTIN, Tenn. —
Tyrone Goard was frustrated as he walked off the field at halftime.
- State News
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