NASHVILLLE --- Tennessee State broke loose from a 3-0 halftime lead to post a 26-8 homecoming victory over the visiting Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks Saturday night.
The Tigers, playing just their second home contest of the season, turned the momentum of the game completely in their favor with a big play late in the third period. Junior Carlos Wright returned a Skyhawk punt 78 yards for a touchdown to make the score 13-0 with 2:56 remaining in the third period. The Tigers had led 6-0 to that point on a pair of field goals of 23 and 22 yards by Joey Hudak.
“We needed to go out and win a game and the guys came through,” said TSU head coach James Reese. “Down the stretch of the game we were able to get some of younger guys much needed playing time.”
The Tigers scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to build the lead to 26-0.TSU marched 96 yards in 12 plays with Charles Anthony concluding the march on a two-yard run.The PAT was blocked and TSU led 19-0 with 5:45 left.
Backup quarterback Riley Walker connected with C.J. Johnson on a 41-yard pass play to the UT Martin one-yard line to setup Sugar Sanders’ 1-yard plunge for TSU’s final score.
UT Martin avoided the shutout as Brady Wahlberg threw 15 yards to Orenthus Taylor. Wahlberg kept the ball for the two-point conversion to make the score 26-8 with less than two minutes remaining.
Anthony finished the game with 155 yards on 16 attempts. Sanders wound up with 91 yards on 13 carries.
TSU finished the game with 376 yards total offense. The win was TSU’s seventh straight homecoming victory.