CHARLESTON, ILL. – Trailing by as many as 21 points in the second quarter, the Tennessee State football team stormed all the way back to earn a hard-fought 41-40 road victory over Eastern Illinois on Saturday at O’Brien Field in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams.

Saturday marked the first win for TSU (2-0, 1-0 OVC) over EIU (0-4, 0-1 OVC) since the 2011 season.

TSU took its first lead of the game with 7:31 to go in the fourth quarter when Demry Croft hit DeVon Johnson for a 49-yard touchdown pass for a 35-34 advantage.

After EIU responded with a touchdown just over a minute later, Earl Harrison capped a TSU drive with what proved to be the game-winning four-yard touchdown run with 3:06 left in the fourth.

On EIU’s final possession, Justin Culpepper blocked a 47-yard field goal attempt to preserve the victory.


  • TSU outgained EIU in total yards, 544-466
  • The Tigers finished with 349 yards passing and 195 yards rushing
  • The defense held EIU to 73 yards rushing, marking the second time the Tigers opponents did not amass 100 yards on the ground
  • TSU totaled 31 first downs, opposed to 20 by EIU
  • The defense held Eastern Illinois to 5-of-14 on third down conversions
  • The Big Blue recorded eight tackles for loss, including two sacks
  • TSU won the Time of Possession battle, 34:55-25:05
  • The Tigers finished 6-of-7 in Red Zone Scoring Chances
  • The defense had eight pass breakups on the day

Courtesy: TSU Athletics


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