Tennessee State fell behind 24-0 to #24 UT Martin and it ultimately proved to be a hole too great for the tigers to climb out of as TSU suffered their first loss of the season, 31-16.
UT Martin’s first score came at 9:14 in the first quarter on a 3-yard run from Ladar Galloway, the PAT made it 7-0. Three minutes later a 32-yard field goal from Mitch Mersman gave the Skyhawks a 10-0 lead. UT Martin’s next TD, a one-yard pass from quarterback Troy Cook to Caylo Weathers put the Skyhawks up 17-0 over the Tigers at the end of the first quarter.
Devonte Howard blocked a punt for a touchdown which gave Martin a 24-0 lead. Tennessee State finally got on the board when DeVon Johnson took the ensuing kickoff 96-yards to the house; the extra point brought TSU within 17 at 24-7. The tigers would shave two more points off that lead on a safety when the Martin punter kicked the ball out of the end zone after a bad snap.
The score was 24-9 at the end of the first half.
TSU would cut the lead to 8 ,24-16, when they scored with 9:10 in the third quarter off a 1-yard Treon Clark touchdown run. That would be the closest the Tigers would get. Martin’s Ladar Galloway’s 12-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter would increase the Skyhawks’ lead back to 15 at 31-16 and that is where the scoring would cease as neither ball club managed to score in the 4th quarter.
UT Martin will hit the road next week to tangle with Austin Peay with a kickoff time of 6 P.M. CST. TSU plays their first home game of the season next week, the John Merritt Classic, against Eastern Illinois. Kickoff time is 6 P.M. CST.