The Colonels (2-2) certainly wanted to wrap up an early-season, three-game non-conference road swing with a big win over an over-matched opponent.

And they did that.

It wasn't, however, as easy as they might have expected.

EKU trailed after the first quarter and needed a couple of late touchdowns to pull away for a 35-10 victory over Presbyterian College (0-2) on Saturday in Clinton, S.C.

Senior Daryl McCleskey Jr., had 138 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown.

"We played well enough to win," EKU coach Mark Elder said in a postgame radio interview.

The Colonels snapped a two-game losing streak, but it certainly wasn't an overwhelming performance. EKU missed two field goals, had two interceptions and allowed four sacks (all in the first half).

EKU had 452 yards of offense and got into Presbyterian territory 10 times and scored on only five of those possessions.

Redshirt freshman Parker McKinney came off the bench in the first half and led the comeback. He completed 14-of-20 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns, while also adding a rushing touchdown.

Conor Blount started for the fourth-straight game. The Oregon State transfer was 3-of-7 for 38 yards with an interception and did not play in the second half.

"Parker really played well," Elder said. "I was pleased with what I saw from him. He completed 70 percent of this passes. He ran around a bit when things broke down."

The Colonels did not commit a turnover in losses on the road to Louisville and Indiana State. On the first possession against Presbyterian, Blount threw an interception.

EKU took the lead when Alonzo Booth scored on a 1-yard touchdown run just 4:23 into the game.

The Blue Hose responded with a seven-play, 51-yard drive that was capped by a Jarius Jeter 21-yard touchdown run. Presbyterian took a 10-7 lead on a 21-yard field goal by Parker Maddrey with 36 seconds left in the first quarter.

McKinney got the offense going moments later.

He hit Keyion Dixon on a 45-yard pass - the team's longest reception of the season. On the first play of the second quarter, Dixon caught a 10-yard TD pass.

McKinney came up big again just before the half, scoring on a 5-yard TD run to out EKU on top 21-10.

"We needed the defense to get a stop so we could get a chance to drive again before the half," Elder said. "We put together a great drive. We went 70 yards. Our guys executed very well."

The lead remained at 11 points through the third quarter.

McCleskey delivered the knockout blow early in the final period when he got loose on a 63-yard touchdown run. McKinney later hit Jaelin Carter on a 1-yard run that really sealed the win.

Sophomore defensive back Joseph Sayles had two interceptions for the Colonels.

The Blue Hose finished with just 224 yards of total offense (124 passing) and had two turnovers.

"I thought our defense do a solid job," Elder said. "There were just those two series where they weren't fired up. But, overall I was pleased."

Presbyterian College plays in the Big South, but next season is set to join the non-scholarship Pioneer League. The loss was the 11th-straight for the Blue Hose.

The Colonels are set to return to action Saturday night at Roy Kidd Stadium against Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee State.

React to this story:

4
0
0
0
1

Recommended for you