CONWAY, Ark. (AP) —
Parker McKinney scored on a 40-yard run midway through the fourth quarter, Joseph Sayles blocked Hayden Ray’s attempt at a game-tying field goal and Eastern Kentucky scored 25 unanswered points to stun Central Arkansas 38-35 in the ASUN-WAC Challenge on Saturday.
The Colonels (5-1, 2-0) trailed 35-13 after Central Arkansas (2-4, 1-2) used Darius Hale’s 6-yard TD run to cap a five-play, 75-yard drive with 8:13 left in the third quarter. Patrick Nations started the EKU run at the 3:11 mark with his third field goal of the game. Kmare Carey set up the next score when he forced and recovered a fumble by Christian Richmond on the ensuing kickoff at the Bears’ 15-yard line. Four plays later, McKinney connected with Jayden Higgins for a 5-yard TD and hit Jaden Smith for the 2-point conversion to pull the Colonels within 35-24 heading to the final quarter.
After a three-and-out by Central Arkansas, McKinney directed a seven-play, 62-yard drive — ending with Kyeandre Magloire’s 4-yard TD run — in 100 seconds. The 2-point try failed and left EKU trailing 35-30 with 13:08 remaining in the game. McKinney came up with his go-ahead TD run on the Colonels’ next possession and then connected with Smith for the 2-point conversion and a 38-35 lead. The Bears drove down to the EKU 28-yard line before the drive stalled with 2:14 left to play, setting up Sayles’ block.
McKinney completed 24 of 40 passes for 224 yards with two TDs and one interception. He also ran for 65 yards on six carries.
Breylin Smith finished 19-of-31 passing for 330 yards and a score — a 70-yard strike to Tyler Hudson — for Central Arkansas. Hudson caught nine passes for 251 yards. Hale rushed for 99 yards on 20 carries with three TDs.
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