The Tigers of Tennessee State University got a double dose of bad news playing at the Eastern Kentucky Homecoming game. TSU was manhandled in a 49-7 loss and their starting QB, Antonio Heffner suffered a leg injury late in the first half. Preliminary reports are that he suffered a broken leg. With the loss, TSU’s record slips to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the OVC.
The game started ominously with Eastern Kentucky taking their opening possession 52 yards in four plays for a 7-0 lead at the 12:11 mark. The Tigers answered scoring a TD on their third possession at the 3:23 mark after an 11-play 86 yd drive. But less than a minute later (2:27) EKU snapped off a 3-play, 55 yd drive to move ahead 14-7.
The second quarter was all EKU as they converted two interceptions into TDs, the first on a 68-yd interception return by Derrick Huff (9:15) and the second on a 7-play, 83 yd drive late in the period (4:21). TSU quarterback Antonio Heffner was sacked and suffered his leg injury around the 3:00 mark of the period.
The second half, without Heffner, the Tigers’ offense was ineffective. The third quarter saw the TSU gain just 52 yds in Total Offense (47 rush, 5 pass) and in the fourth quarter the Tigers fared much the same gaining 55 yds in Total Offense (18 rush, 37 pass). The beleaguered defense yielded 154 yds of Total Offense (130 rush, 24 pass) in the third quarter and 113 yds (95 rush, 18 pass) in the fourth quarter.
On the game TSU gained just 296 yds of Total Offense (169 rush, 127 pass) and Eastern Kentucky chalked up 537 yds of Total Offense (364 rush, 173 pass). Overall, the Colonels converted four TSU turnovers (2 interceptions and 2 fumbles) into TDs.
Offensively, Javarris Williams led TSU rushers with 66 yds on 14 carries with 1 TD. Before his injury, QB Antonio Heffner passed for 85 yds and rushed for 21 yds. WR Chris Johnson led all receivers with 55 yds on 4 receptions.
Defensively, LB Remond Willis led the Tigers with 8 tackles (5 solo) followed by DE Shaun Richardson who finished the game with 7 tackles (3 solo), 1 sack (10), 1 forced fumble and 1 pass break up.
Next week (10/27), the Tigers return to play at home for the first time since September 1st. Their opponent will be Eastern Illinois, an OVC opponent. Kickoff is scheduled 4:00p at LP Field.