There is little doubt that the Eastern Kentucky University football team's defense is ready for the season opener. The defense held the offense without a point in the first half of the team's scrimmage Saturday morning at Roy Kidd Stadium.
Sophomore linebacker Chris Kelly started the scoring with a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown on the second drive of the game. Eastern's defense came away with another interception and held the offense on a 4th-and-short situation in the first half as well.
"The defense was just flying around," head coach Dean Hood said. "From behind the offense, it seemed like sometimes there were 12 or 13 guys out there. That's the way you want to attack [an offense]. This time of year, you still expect the defense to be ahead of the offense."
Junior safety Chris Owens tallied the second interception, stepping in front of freshman quarterback Barton Mann's pass deep in the defense's territory. Just before the end of the opening half, senior linebacker Anthony Brown made a big fourth down stop on an attempted sweep play with sophomore wide receiver Deno Montgomery.
The offense regrouped after the intermission and scored touchdowns on two consecutive drives. Junior quarterback Jared McClain found redshirt freshman Devin Borders behind the defense for a big pass play along the left sideline to set up the first score. Senior fullback Roman Lawson capped the drive with a five-yard touchdown catch.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Kyle Romano directed the second team offense to a score on the following possession. The key play of that drive was a 29-yard completion to freshman Tranard Chester to the five-yard line. Redshirt freshman running back Thomas Owens found the end zone on the ensuing play, scampering around the right side of the line.
Sophomore defensive back Trey Thomas gave the defense one more turnover when he made a diving interception off a McClain pass.
The Colonels concluded the scrimmage with field goal and punting situations. Both kickers – senior Luke Pray and junior Andrew Lloyd – made their long field goal attempts from 42 yards out.
EKU kicks off the 2013 schedule with a Thursday night home opener against Robert Morris on Aug. 29. This will mark the first season opener at home and on a Thursday night since 1993.
Fans can reserve 2013 season tickets by contacting the EKU athletics ticket office at 859-622-2122 or clicking here.