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The Eastern Echo Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Eagles Fly High on Homecoming; roll Ball State 24-10

Samson Evans becomes EMU's new all-time touchdown leader en route to win

While the weather and Ball State planned on raining on Eastern Michigan University’s Homecoming parade, the Eagles remained steadfast through it all. Back at home after a devastating road loss, the Eagles looked to regroup and reload against Ball State, and they did just that, soaring over the Cardinals 24-10 on Saturday. 

The key to this game for the Eagles came from the preparation and the mindset that came after the loss to Central Michigan last week, as coach Chris Creighton said, “We had a really good week of practice, our scout teams were really good, the focus was good. You can just tell when guys are hungry to get better."

Capitalizing on trips to the red zone, the Eagles dominated the time of possession, keeping the ball out of the hands of Ball State's playmakers, finishing the game with 33:04 minutes of possession.

Turning Point

As special as Samson Evans' 32nd touchdown was, it was also momentous in getting the rest of the team fired up. On Ball State's two-yard line, the Eagles lined up in a no-huddle shotgun ready to punch it in, as Evans walked it in to start a two-score run that BSU stopped with only 2:35 to go in the 2nd quarter with a touchdown pass from Layne Hatcher to Tanner Koziol to bring the total score to 10-17 EMU.

Later in the game, the Eagles put up the final touchdown of the game in the third quarter. A short pass from junior quarterback Austin Smith turned into a 50-yard run after the catch from Hamze El-Zayat. That score marked El-Zayat’s second receiving touchdown of the year.

Unsung Hero(s)

There were numerous players that coach Creighton championed in the post-game interview, shining lights on all three phases of the game. When speaking of the offense Creighton said, “With the offense, it would be the offensive line. We had some guys going in and out, some guys playing for the first time, and they didn’t get noticed until they gave up a sack. For us to play guys on the offensive line, multiple people, the offensive line is definitely an unsung hero."

On the defense Creighton said, “I’ll tell you this, Adrian Gonzalez wore number zero today and he’s playing on our defensive front. It starts with our interior of the D-line and works out from there. So I’ll say the interior of the defensive line, the Peyton Prices, the Melvin Swindles, and the Adrians, and Tim Grant-Randall who ended up getting an interception”.

A New King is Crowned  

EMU running back Samson Evans would make history on Saturday as he officially passed Eagles legend Gary Patton for most career touchdowns in school history.

Evans would find the end zone for the 32nd time in his career, as he rushed for a two-yard touchdown in the first quarter to edge his name on top of Patton’s. 

Along with the touchdown, Evans finished the game with 14 carries for 42 rushing yards, as well as one reception, for nine receiving yards. 

Check it out: Evans breaks Eagles' all-time career touchdown record