The Eastern Kentucky University football team took down Western Carolina on Saturday night in Cullowhee, 31-28 and marked their first win in the ASUN Conference.
The Catamounts took an early lead in the first quarter with back to back field goals, 6-0.
The Colonels scored a quick touchdown in the first quarter with a handoff play from quarterback Parker McKinney to Purdue transfer, Da’Joun Hewitt, allowing the Colonels to take the lead, 7-6.
WCU was quick to answer back in the second quarter after breaking up the Colonels defense, 13-7.
The Catamounts were able to stay on top until a drive was stopped by EKU defensive back, Roy Baker who intercepted a pass and took it 78 yards the other way.
“I just jumped the ball, almost scored but just ran out of gas at the end,” Baker said in a post game interview with the Richmond Register.
A quick snap from McKinney to Hewitt for his second touchdown of the game and a lead for the Colonels going into the half, 14-13.
The Colonels came back out in the third quarter with the same momentum and McKinney made a connection with wide receiver, Mo Edwards Jr., allowing EKU to extend their lead, 21-13.
The Catamounts quarterback, Rogan Wells made his own play and drove to the 50-yard line. WCU cut into the Colonel lead late in the third quarter, 21-20.
Hewitt was on fire for the Colonels, punching in his third touchdown of the game at 2:20 in the third quarter.
“We knew coming out that they were going to twist a lot and we didn’t really know what to expect with the new defensive coordinator but we know he likes to tend towards the twisting stuff,” Hewitt said. “First half, we were just trying to fill them out and figure them out and by halftime, we kind of knew what they were going to do. I couldn’t be as patient in the back field towards the second half, I kind of hit the hole.”
The Catamounts made a quick break but not fast enough for EKU defensive back, Jaden Woods who intercepted the second ball of the night for the Colonels.
The Colonels took the safe route with a 21-yard field goal from Patrick Nations to push EKU ahead, 31-20.
WCU Wells with a trick play into the end-zone for a late touchdown in the game and adding a two-point conversion with only 3:18 to play, 31-28.
EKU was unable to make a play, forcing a punt to the Catamounts with 15 seconds left in the game. WCU was not able to make the 56-yard field goal attempt, giving the Colonels their first win, 31-28.
“I’m proud of our guys for fighting till the end of 60 minutes with a win, it’s a good thing,” head coach Walt Wells said. “It’s good for us to play that long and to be in a situation like that, it will just help us down the road.”
The Colonels had a total of 123 yards rushing compared to WCU’s 226. EKU had a total of 238 yards passing compared to the Catamounts 275.
The Colonels will head to Louisville next Saturday, Sept. 11. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.