NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State's late rally attempt came up short as Tennessee Tech held on to defeat the Tigers 20-14 in Ohio Valley Conference play Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum.
Trailing 20-7, the Tigers scored with 13 seconds remaining on a 33-yard pass from Dwayne Buchanan to C.J. Johnson. The Tigers recovered the ensuing onside kick, giving the Tigers one last chance. After a pass completion to the Tech 48-yard line, Buchanan was intercepted by David McMahan as the final horn sounded at the Golden Eagles 10-yard line.
TSU trailed 7-0 at halftime and tied the game on its first possession of the second half. The Tigers covered 57 yards in four plays with Buchanan setting up the tying score with a 54-yard run. Charles Anthony scored on a 1-yard run and Joey Hudak's PAT tied the game at 7-7 at the 13:03 mark of the third period.
The Tigers' lead was short-lived, however, as Jason Ballard broke loose on a 61-yard run less than two minutes later. The Golden Eagles added a fourth quarter touchdown to make the score 20-7 with 6:19 left. A bad snap on the point after led to a two-point conversion attempt which failed.
Tech took the early lead marching 77 yards on 10 plays to open the game. Robert Craft threw 10 yards to Matt Lollar for the TD. Josh Foster's PAT made the score 7-0 at the 11:15 mark of the first period and the score stood the remainder of the first half.
The Golden Eagles had 453 yards to TSU's total of 351 yards. The Tigers were limited to 90 yards of offense in the opening half.
Kenny Irby started the game at quarterback, but left the game with an injury. Buchanan was 11-20-3 passing for 170 yards and the one TD. Irby completed 6-10-0 for 52 yards before leaving the contest. Johnson had seven catches for 104 yards in the contest.
Jason Ballard had 118 yards to lead Tech's rushing attacks. Tech quarterback tandem of Robert Craft and Kuffour comined for 20-38-3 passes for 195 yards.
The Tigers close the season Thursday night at 7 p.m. against Eastern Kentucky in the Coliseum.