Lightning struck early for the Golden Eagles as they built a quick lead, then bad weather followed, forcing officials to halt the game with 5:01 remaining in the second quarter as Tennessee Tech earned a 43-0 victory over Lane College Thursday night in Tucker Stadium.The win was Tech's first of the season (1-2) and the team's sixth consecutive victory on its home field. Lane (0-4) was the first Golden Eagle opponent from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.Dontey Gay rushed for two touchdowns to pace the offense, finishing with 89 yards on just seven carries. Jocques Crawford had six carries for 57 yards including a four-yard TD run to open the scoring.
Meanwhile, the defense added a pair of scores in a game that last just 24:59. Marty Jones returned an interception 32 yards for Tech's third TD to make it 20-0, and Travis Adkins plucked a fumble out of mid-air and raced 17 yards to paydirt for the final touchdown and a 41-0 lead with 11:13 to play in the second quarter. The final points came on a safety when the Lane punter ran out the back of the end zone followed a low, bouncing snap. The Tech defense limited Lane to a minus 23 yards of total offense, setting a school record for fewest yards allowed. The Dragons had minus 23 rushing yards on 15 carries, picking up 15 yards but losing 38. Lane was 0-for-2 passing for zero yards. Tech set another school record by holding the Dragons without a first down.
Tre Lamb was 4-for-6 passing for the Golden Eagles for 47 yards, throwing a seven-yard TD pass to Tim Benford early in the second quarter that made it a 34-0 margin.A highlight of the night was Henry Sailes' punt returns. He returned three punts for 71 yards, an average of nearly 24 yards per return.Defensively, Will Johnson led Tech with five tackles, a quarterback sack and a fumble forced.
There was a 30-minute delay for lightning with 12:10 to play in the second quarter with TEch leadin 27-0. The teams left the field and many of the 8,522 fans left the stadium. When play resumed, the GOlden Eagles scored two plays later for a 34-0 lead.Six minutes later, more lightning flashed in the Cookeville sky and once again the field was cleared. Officials discussed the situation with the head coaches and declared that the first half was finished. There would be a 30-minute delay and the game would resume in the third quarter.However, heavy rains came and more lightning. Following another lengthy delay, the officials met with the coaches and checked the NCAA rules book, and the decision was made to officially end the game at that point.The Golden Eagles now have extra time to prepare for their next game, which is their Ohio Valley Conference opener at Southeast Missouri on Saturday, Sept. 25. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. in Houck Stadium in Cape Girardeau, Mo.