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WKU pulls out 20-17 win at Middle Tennessee State; Houston Baptist holds on for 33-30 win at EKU

KyForward staff

Western Kentucky University began Conference USA play on Saturday by pulling out a 20-17 road victory at Middle Tennessee State.

WKU quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome threw two touchdowns passes, including an 11-yard scoring toss to Joshua Simon for a 20-10 lead with six minutes left in the game. Middle Tennessee (0-4) responded by scoring a touchdown with 2:07 remaining, but WKU recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.

Pigrome completed 21 passes in 36 attempts for 188 yards. He also rushed for a team-leading 55 yards as the Hilltoppers improved to 1-2.

WKU’s Tyrrell Pigrome (1) gains yardage against Middle Tennessee State on Saturday. (Photo by Steve Roberts)

WKU owned a 326-319 advantage in total yards. The Hilltoppers also received a pair of field goals from kicker Brayden Narveson, who booted a 53-yarder in the win. It was the third-longest field goal in WKU history.

WKU linebacker Kyle Bailey led the defense with 10 tackles, including five solos. DeAngelo Malone and Eli Brown each recorded a sack for the Hilltoppers, who play host to unbeaten Marshall (2-0) next Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

EKU COMEBACK FALLS SHORT: Bailey Zappe tossed three scoring passes as Houston Baptist escaped with a 33-30 win at Eastern Kentucky on Saturday in Richmond.

The Huskies (1-3) blocked a potential game-tying PAT with 4:04 remaining and returned the ball for a two-point conversion to seal the win. EKU (1-3) rallied from a 24-7 halftime deficit to get within 31-30 after quarterback Parker McKinney threw a 27-yard touchdown to Keyion Dixon. The extra-point kick was blocked, and Tra Fluellen returned it 98 yards for two points to extend the Houston Baptist lead to 33-30.

McKinney fumbled on a scramble near midfield with 2:03 remaining, ending EKU’s final rally.

The Colonels turned the ball over three times, while the Huskies did not have a turnover.

McKinney finished 25-of-40 passing for 296 yards. He threw three touchdown passes and rushed for 59 yards. EKU’s Alonzo Booth led the team with 108 yards on the ground and scored a touchdown. Dixon finished with six catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Zappe was 35-of-46 passing for 380 yards to lead Houston Baptist.

EKU plays at Troy on Oct. 17.

(Information compiled from WKU, EKU and staff reports)

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