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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Hoosiers survive battle with Colonels

Eastern Kentucky was supposed to be a good warm-up game for IU to open the season.
 
The Hoosiers got more than they expected Thursday in a 19-13 win against the Colonels at Memorial Stadium.

“Anytime you can get a win, I think that is really big,” IU football coach Bill Lynch said. “I thought we did some good things on both sides of the ball. I always felt it is a lot easier to improve after a win than it is after a loss.”

Despite an efficient start to the first offensive drive of the season, freshman running back Darius Willis fumbled the ball on the Eastern Kentucky 17-yard line. But just two plays later, senior linebacker Will Patterson got the ball back for the Hoosiers.

His sack in the end zone on Eastern Kentucky quarterback Cody Watts with 10:38 remaining in the first quarter put IU on the scoreboard first with a 2-0 lead.

On the second drive for the Hoosiers, junior quarterback Ben Chappell took control. Four consecutive completions – including three to sophomore wide receiver Tandon Doss for 49 yards – set up a one-yard touchdown by junior running back Trea Burgess to put IU up 9-0.

Though down early, Eastern Kentucky brought the game within two points with 6:17 remaining in the first quarter. Watts threw a strike to wide receiver Garnett Phelps down the left sideline for the score on the third play of the drive.

IU added to its total with a 38-yard field goal by freshman kicker Nick Freeland with 13:04 remaining in the half.

The next drive for the Hoosiers was all Chappell. He completed three passes for 42 yards to the Eastern Kentucky 38-yard line. Chappell then threw a perfect lob pass into the end zone to sophomore wide receiver Demarlo Belcher for the 19-7 lead.

“They didn’t want to come up and press,” Belcher said of the touchdown score. “They were not biting on any of our quick stuff, so we thought we would go deep. They fell for it on the deep post.”

A late field goal by the Colonels sent both teams to the locker room with a score of 19-10.

The second half was a defensive stalemate. Outside of a successful field goal by Eastern Kentucky with 6:06 remaining in the third quarter, no team was able to put points on the board.

The confident-looking Chappell in the first half was nowhere to be seen in the second half. This was most evident on a badly overthrown deep pass that was intercepted by Eastern Kentucky’s Jeremy Caldwell in the end zone.

The game-saving play for the Hoosiers came with 11:49 remaining in the fourth quarter. Senior cornerback Ray Fisher stripped Watts of the football with the Colonels driving on the IU five-yard line and down six points. Senior defensive end Jammie Kirlew recovered the fumble to preserve the IU lead.

Chappell said although the game ended in a close score, any win is crucial for future success.

“Eastern Kentucky played a really good football game and we could have done a few things better,” said Chappell, who threw for 326 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. “But it’s a win. Everyone says the biggest jump is from game one to game two, so we are ready to make that jump.”

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