JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – East Tennessee State is used to fighting all four quarters in their Southern Conference showdowns and that was no different Saturday afternoon against VMI as the Buccaneers held on to win 27-20 at Greene Stadium.
The No.14 Buccaneers looked like they’d roll in Johnson City after outscoring the 18th-ranked Keydets 21-3 in the first half, but the Virginia squad responded by pacing the last two quarters 17-6.
Randy Sanders’ squad was led by running back Quay Holmes, who finished with 161 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Fellow back Jacob Saylors recorded 85 yards on 11 attempts.
Quarterback Tyler Riddell has seen better games, but he still finished with 130 yards and one touchdown. His favorite target was Will Huzzie, who hauled in three balls for 85 yards.
Despite losing the game, the Keydets finished with more total yards as they outgained the Buccaneers 374-372. The Johnson City rushing attack ran wild against VMI’s defense, chalking up 242 yards.
Whatever the Buccaneers offense was lacking today, they picked up on defense with the blackshirts forcing three turnovers that led to 14 points.
East Tennessee State moves to 5-1 in the conference with the win, sitting in a first place tie with Mercer, who was on a bye week.