COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State football squad finished the 2015 season on a bitter note as they dropped a 30-24 contest to Tennessee Tech at Tucker Stadium on a Saturday afternoon. TTU snapped a four-game losing streak to the Tigers as they improved to 4-7. 3-5 in Ohio Valley Conference play. TSU closed out the season at 4-6, 1-6 in conference.
The Tigers were productive on offense and were able to outgain the Golden Eagles, 344-265. With less than seven minutes gone in the game TTU had already amassed 134 yards. The Big Blue was able to settle in and hold Tech to 131 yards the remainder of the game.
Transfer running back Erick Evans experienced his best performance as a Tiger. The redshirt-sophomore totaled 168 yards and scored two touchdowns. Both of Evans scores came on the ground as he rushed for 111 yards on 28 carries. Evans added 57 yards on six receptions.
TTU jumped out to a 14-0 lead before the Tigers could get on the board with a 15 play, 67 yard drive that ate up 7:14. Erick Evans found an opening around the right end and dashed 22 yard to cut the lead to 14-6. The Golden Eagles earned two-points after blocking the extra point and returning the ball to the end zone extending the lead to 16-6.
On the ensuing kick-off, Lane Clark lofted the ball midway into TTU’s territory untouched by a Golden Eagle. Trevion Duncan evaded the Tech protection and recovered the ball on the opponent’s 12-yard line.
The Tigers were able to convert on Evans second scoring run of the half. Evans busted in from one yard out. The Tigers would get within two of the Golden Eagles as Ackerman-Carter found Joe Bowens in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion.
TSU opened the second half forcing a three-and-out and followed it up with a nine play, 84-yard drive. Ackerman-Carter was 4-for-5 on the drive for 58-yards and found Patrick Smith for a nine yard scoring pass making the score 23-21.
After the Golden Eagles increased their lead to 30-21, the Tigers received an 18-yard field goal by Clark to get within one score at 30-24.
The Tigers would get a chance to win the game with 2:00 minutes remaining on the clock. TSU opened its final drive on seven yard line, needing to travel 93 yards for the go ahead score. The comeback would fall shot as an Ackerman-Carter pass on fourth and 19 dropped to the ground ending the season for the TSU.
The redshirt-freshman quarterback completed 22-of-40 passes for 221 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Team Captains O’Shay Ackerman-Carter, Aaron Woods, Joshawn Bowens and Dinsdale Jackson …Tennessee tech won the coin toss and deferred … The Tigers chose to receive … Official game start time was 2:39 … Temperature at kickoff was 62 with wind gusts at 17 mph … The game lasted three hours and 28 minutes … Erick Evans scored for the fourth consecutive game … Patrick Smith finished the season with 10 touchdowns and 996 yards.