Golden Eagles stay undefeated in OVC play, turn back SEMO 38-31

Golden Eagles stay undefeated in OVC play, turn back SEMO 38-31

Dontey Gay enjoys historic night with 146 rushing, 101 receiving yards

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech's offense put up big numbers Saturday night and the defense put together several game-saving, second-half stands to give the Golden Eagles a dramatic 38-31 victory over defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Southeast Missouri at Tucker Stadium.

The win pushed Tech to 2-0 in OVC play, keeping it in a tie with Jacksonville State for the top spot in the league. The Golden Eagles moved to 3-1 overall in their best start since 2006.

Senior Dontey Gay had an historic night, becoming the first player in Tech history to produce 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in the same game. Gay had 146 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and caught seven passes for 101 yards to give him a career-best 247 all-purpose yards. It was his third 100-yard rushing game this season and fifth of his career.

Quarterback Tre Lamb also notched a career number, throwing for 283 yards on 27-for-37 passing accuracy. He rushed 11 times for 54 yards to finish with 347 yards of total offense.

With just over five minutes to play, sophomore Cody Forbes gave Tech a short field with a 36-yard kickoff return after SEMO had battled back to tie the game at 31-31. The Golden Eagles puncuated a downfield march with a four-yard touchdown run by Gay with 2:38 left to play that proved to be the game-winner.

From there, Tech's defense forced an incomplete pass on fourth down with 1:11 left on the clock. The Redhawks would have one more chance, taking over at their own 11-yard line with seven seconds left, but a last-ditch pass completion couldn't carry the Redhawks beyond midfield after two laterals.

Wide receiver Tim Benford finished with nine catches for 98 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the second half with cramps. The nine catches left Benford just one shy of his career-high. He had eight receptions for 92 yards by halftime. In all, Tech racked up 511 yards of total offense compared to 495 for Southeast Missouri.

Defensively, the Golden Eagle unit came up huge in the game's crucial moments, stopping Southeast Missouri on three fourth-down attempts, all in the second half. Freshman defensive back Austin Tallant led Tech's effort, notching 13 tackles, forcing a fumble and breaking up a pass. Howard Griffin had 12 tckles and Jake McIntosh had 10 stops.

Perhaps no stop was bigger than a goal-line stand late in the third quarter in which Tech held SEMO out of the end zone on three consecutive plays from inside the one-yard line, taking over on downs. Defensive lineman Jordan Johnson was in on all three stops, along with a host of other Golden Eagle tacklers.

The defense was tested again with Tech clinging to a 38-31 lead with seven minutes left and Southeast driving at midfield. Facing fourth-and-one, the Redhawk ballcarrier was shut down by Marcus Edwards.

SEMO would get the ball back, however, and took quick advantage of a Dontey Gay fumble as Levi Terrell broke a 40-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 31-31. Terrell finished the game with 15 carries for 154 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Matt Scheible was 13-for-25 for 175 yards and rushed 16 times for 87 yards. SEMO receiver D.J. Foster grabbed seven passes for 115 yards.

Blake Peiffer led the SEMO defense with 17 tackles including one tackle-for-loss, and also forced a fumble. Bryan Blanfort added 11 tackles.

The Golden Eagles head out on the road next weekend to face the UT Martin Skyhawks in the first of three Sgt. York Trophy games. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.

Pregame notes

-It's Family Weekend and TTU, and we are 40 minutes from kickoff at Tucker Stadium.
-Beautiful night for football! It's currently 70 degrees at Tucker Stadium with temps expected to dip into the low 60s by late in the game.
-Lots of purple on the field tonight. The Golden Eagles are wearing their home purple unis with gold lettering, purple pants and white helmets. Southeast Missouri is in road white uniforms with red lettering, black pants and red helmets.
-With a Tennessee Tech win tonight and a Jacksonville State loss to Eastern Illinois, the Golden Eagles can gain sole possession of first place in the OVC.
-In observance of Coach to Cure MD week, TTU coaches are wearing a white patch on their sleeves. Please visit or text CURE to 90999 to donate $5.
-If history is any indication, fans can expect a close game tonight. Four of the last six meetings between TTU and SEMO have been decided by three points or less.
-Golden Eagle marching band taking the field! Fifteen minutes until kickoff.
-Game captains for Tennessee Tech are Jamere Hogue, Malcolm Jones, Scott Schweitzer and Jake McIntosh.
-Game captains for Southeast Missouri are Bryan Blanfort and Matt Scheible.
-Tennessee Tech wins the coin toss and elects to receive.

1st quarter

-Tech will begin its first drive of the evening at their own 31 yard line.
-Golden Eagles fail to convert on 4th and 1. SEMO takes over at TTU 40 yard line.
-SEMO's Drew Geldbach hits the crossbar on a 49-yard field goal attempt. Tech takes over at its own 32 yard line.
-Tech moves into SEMO territory when Tre Lamb hits Tim Benford over the middle for a 17-yard gain and first down at the SEMO 43 yard line.
-Another TTU first down on a five-yard run by Dontey Gay on the option. Ball at SEMO 31 yard line.
-Gay breaks free for another Tech first down all the way to the 10-yard line. Fourteen yard gain on the sweep to the right side.
-Zach Sharp splits the uprights on a 27-yard field goal attempt to give Tech a 3-0 lead. Third down pass attempt into the end zone fell incomplete.
-Spencer Davis breaks 40-yard kickoff return for SEMO. Redhawks take over at own 47.
-Austin Tallant breaks up long third-down pass to stall SEMO drive and force 4th and 7.
-SEMO punt goes out of bounds at the TTU 17 yard line, where the Golden Eagles will start their second drive of the evening.
-TTU's defense has held SEMO without a first down over its first two drives.
-Doug Page breaks a tackle en route to a TTU first down on a 15-yard pass from Tre Lamb. Ball at the SEMO 28.
-Lamb pass intended for Cody Matthews falls incomplete on third down. SEMO takes over at own 38 yard line after Tech punt.
-Matt Scheible hits D.J. Foster on a deep sideline route on 3rd and 15 all the way to the Tech 35. Great leaping catch on the play by Foster. First down SEMO.
-First quarter ends with SEMO facing 4th and 1 from the Tech 26 yard line.

2nd quarter
-SEMO converts first down on short run up the middle by Ron Coleman. Ball at TTU 23.
-Lennies McFerrin gives Redhawks another first down run to the TTU 12.
-Blake Adams turns back SEMO ballcarrier on 3rd and 2, forcing 4th and 2 from the Tech 5.
-SEMO kicker Drew Geldbach converts a 21 yard field goal, tying the game at 3-3 with 11:48 remaining in the quarter.
-TTU starts drive at own 20 yard line.
-Dontey Gay explodes through a big hole up the middle to the 44 yard line. Fifteen yard gain for the Tech first down.
-Gay accounts for another Tech first down on 10 yard pass from Lamb. Ball at SEMO 46.
-Incomplete pass from Lamb intended for Benford on 3rd and 7. Golden Eagles down punt at SEMO 11-yard line.
-Ron Coleman breaks 19-yard first down run to the SEMO 30 yard line.
-Corey Watson breaks up SEMO third-down pass attempt, forcing 4th and 7. Golden Eagles take over at own 31 after Redhawk punt.
-Total offense: Tech 137, SEMO 105
-Gay breaks 13 yard run on screen pass from Lamb. First down Tech at own 44.
-Lamb hits Benford over the middle for another first down at the SEMO 44.
-SEMO flagged for late hit out of bounds on Lamb after five-yard run. First down TTU at SEMO 25.
-Lamb eludes SEMO pressure, steps up in pocket to deliver 19 yard pass to Benford at SEMO 7 yard line. First down Tech.
-Benford has six catches on the night. His career best is ten.
-Lamb quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line into the end zone. Touchdown Golden Eagles.
-Zach Sharp extra point is true. Tech leads 10-3 with 5:10 left in the half. Eight-play, 69 yard drive for the Golden Eagles.
-SEMO will begin its drive at its own 30-yard line.
-Levi Terrell busts a long run up the middle for a SEMO first down at their own 46.
-Another first-down fun from Terrell up the middle to the Tech 43.
-Scheible screen pass to Art Mueller goes for a SEMO first down at the TTU 25.
-D.J. Foster catches 10-yard pass from Scheible for another Redhawk first down at the TTU 15.
-On a designed QB run, Scheible absorbs a hit, then pitches to Levi Terrell, who runs in for a 15-yard touchdown. Extra point is good. Tech 10, SEMO 10 with 1:57 left in the half.
-Big return by Cody Forbes to the Tech 41 yard line with 1:49 left.
-Lamb completes pass to Doug Page for a 3rd and 6 conversion. Ball at the SEMO 48.
-Lamb breaks 13 yard run for first down to SEMO 35.
-Lamb delivers 20-yard strike to Benford to move to SEMO 15 with 30 seconds remaining.
-Lamb steps up in pocket to deliver 15 yard touchdown strike to Benford in the end zone. Benford makes diving in right corner of end zone. Tech 17, SEMO 10 with 19 seconds left.
-Benford has eight catches for 92 yards and a TD. He is two catches away from his personal single-game record of 10 catches.
-SEMO takes over at its own 42 yard line with 12 seconds to play.
-Last-second heave by Scheible falls incomplete. Tech leads 17-10 at halftime.

3rd quarter
-SEMO has a 117-88 advantage in rushing yards through the first half, while Tech has a 162-58 advantage in passing yardage.
-SEMO will begin the second half at its own 29 yard line.
-Levi Terrell busts a 13-yard run up the middle for a SEMO first down to the 42 yard line.
-Terrell gets the handoff again but fumbles. Recovered by Tech. Fumble forced by Dwight Evans, recovered by Austin Tallant. Tech ball 1st and 10 at SEMO 47.
-Dontey Gay goes all the way to the 13 yard line on a short pass from Lamb. 34 yard gain and a TTU first down.
-Tech calls timeout facing 3rd and 1 from the 4 yard line.
-Tonight's attendance: 8,251 fans.
-Cody Forbes fights his way into the end zone on a carry up the middle. Four-yard TD run followed by Sharp extra point puts Tech up 24-10 with 12:44 remaining in quarter.
-Five-play, 47 yard drive for Tech, took 1:41 off the clock.
-SEMO begins drive at Tech 39.
-SEMO converts third down on 16-yard pass from Scheible to D.J. Foster. Ball at Tech 39.
-Scheible explodes up the middle for a 19-yard rushing gain on 3rd and 15. Ball at TTU 25.
-Redhawks continue to move chains, Renard Celestin runs 13 yards to TTU 13.
-Levi Terrell carries 12 yards for the SEMO touchdown. PAT good. Tech 24, SEMO 17 with 10:00 left in the quarter.
-Touchback. TTU begins drive at own 20.
-Dontey Gay breaks a tackle to get to the outside and break a 16-yard run for a first down on 3rd down. Ball at Tech 32.
-Gay has seven carries for 59 yards and four receptions for 66 yards for a combined 125 total yards.
-Lamb delivers 10-yard pass to Gay for a TTU first down at their own 46.
-Lamb hits Neil Gannaway over the middle for another first down and a 15-yard gain to the SEMO 38.
-Cody Forbes fumble recovered by Ryan St. John at the SEMO 34. 2nd and 9.
-The fumble recovery was the first of St. John's career.
-Two-yard run by Gay gives Tech another first down at SEMO.
-Gay again up the middle, carrying a tackler with him to the SEMO 10 and another TTU first down.
-Touchdown Dontey Gay! 10 yard run through a gaping hole up the middle. Sharp adds PAT to give TTU 31-17 lead with 4:35 left in quarter.
-Matt Moran and Luke Woodason combine on a tackle, pinning SEMO at their own 19 to start the drive.
-Tech calls timeout with SEMO facing 3rd and 10 from its own 20.
-Scheible delivers perfectly-placed pass to Foster on 3rd and 10. 18 yard gain to the 48 yard line and a first down.
-SEMO moving the ball. 16 yard first down run by Levi Terrell to TTU 32.
-Big plays continue for the Redhawks. Scheible 29 yard QB keeper to the TTU 3 yard line.
-TTU goal line stand stops SEMO on three consecutive rushes. 4th and 1 at the TTU 1 yard line.
-Golden Eagles hold on 4th down! Stop by Jordan Johnson and a host of other TTU tacklers. First and 10 Golden Eagles from the 1.
-Jordan Johnson was in on all three stops by the TTU defense at the 1-yard line. Second down, third down, and fourth down.
-Tech leads 31-17 at end of the 3rd quarter. Tech has 3rd and 10 from its own 1 yard line.

4th quarter
-Tech punts from the back of its own end zone. SEMO takes over at TTU 27.
-Scheible delivers 10 yard first down pass to Foster. First and 10 at TTU 15 yard line.
-Scheible completes short out to Tyler French. First down SEMO at Tech 2.
-Fullback Ron Coleman pushes it in from 1 yard out. Touchdown SEMO. With PAT, score is Tech 31, SEMO 24 with 11:49 remaining.
-Levi Terrell has 12 carries for 110 yards and two TD for SEMO while D.J. Foster has six catches for 103 yards.
-Total offense: Tech 387, Semo 366
-TTU drive begins at own 34 yard line.
-Gay breaks huge 20-yard run to SEMO 41 yard line. First down TTU.
-Lamb connects with Gay for another Tech first down to the SEMO 30.
-Gay has 16 carries for 114 yards and six catches for 87 yards for 201 all-purpose yards.
-Lamb makes something out of nothing by reversing field and running for a first down to the SEMO 17. Nine yard pickup on the scramble.
-SEMO recovers Gay fumble at own 17 yard line. Recovery by Alonzo Nevarez. Personal foul on TTU after the play pushes ball to SEMO 27, where Redhawks take over.
-Tech defense looking for big stop with 8:40 left to play.
-SEMO first down on pass from Scheible to Tyler French. Eight-yard gain to SEMO 40.
-Injury timeout. SEMO facing 3rd and 5 from own 45.
-Scheible pass complete to Chantae Ahamefule but short of first down. 4th and 1 at SEMO 49.
-Big stop for the Golden Eagles! Terrell loses yardage on stop by Marcus Edwards. Tech takes over 1st and 10 at SEMO 48.
-Gay fumble on run up the middle. SEMO recovers at Tech 49 yard line. Recovered by Steve Hendry. 5:46 left to play.
-Terrell breaks 40-touchdown run up the middle, shakes a Tech tackler inside the 10 yard line. With PAT, SEMO ties game at 31. 5:28 left to play.
-Big kick return by Cody Forbes to the Tech 47 yard line, where the Golden Eagles take over.
-Gay racks up some YAC yardage on 19-yard pass from Lamb. First down Golden Eagles at the SEMO 33.
-Lamb picks up first down on QB sneak on 3rd and 1. Ball at SEMO 22 with 3:35 left.
-Demetrous Garrett catches 21-yard screen pass to set up 1st and goal at SEMO 4 yard line.
-Gay scampers 4 yards to paydirt! TD Tech with 2:38 left to play. PAT gives Golden Eagles 38-31 lead.
-Corey Watson brings down SEMO kick returner at 14 yard line. 86 yards for the Redhawks to go with 2:31 left in the game.
-Two rushing plays give SEMO first down at own 24. Timeout Tech with 1:53 left.
-Ron Coleman carries for four yards and a SEMO first down at own 36. 1:24 left to play.
-LaDarrius Verge brings down Schieble run on third down. 4th and 6 SEMO from their own 40. 1:17 left to play. Timeout SEMO.
-Pass incomplete! Cory McDonald defended on the play. Tech takes over at SEMO 39 yard line with 1:11 to play. SEMO has two timeouts remaining.
-Freshman Austin Tallant has 13 tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
-Tech faces 3rd and 3 at SEMO 33 with 1:00 left.
-Gay is 22 carries for 146 yards and two rushing TD, also has 7 catches for 101 yards, giving him 247 all purpose yards.
-Bud Golden is stopped on the play. 4th and 6 from the 33 for Tech. Clock ticking down...
-Tech takes delay of game penalty. 15 seconds left.
-Golden Eagles punt. SEMO takes over at own 11 yard line with 7.3 seconds left.
-Pass complete but clock expires! Tech wins 38-31, improves to 2-0 in OVC.