FOOTBALL: Defense smothers Colonels

Danny Schoenbaechler

Erik Dandy knelt on the field with his finger pointed in the


He had just intercepted a Matt Guise pass and took a moment to

enjoy what his Hilltopper defense had accomplished.

The defense led Western to a dominating 36-3 victory over

cross state rival Eastern Kentucky.

The Topper defense, which has not allowed a touchdown in three games this year, held the?Colonels to minus 16 yards rushing for the game.

“We are the best defense in the nation,” Dandy said. “We

wanted to stop the rush and take control f the game.”

Western led just 10-3 at the half, but scored 17 points in

2:51 in the third quarter to blow the game wide open.

After a Lerron Moore five-yard touchdown put Western up 20-3, Antonio Thomas intercepted a pass on the Eastern 41-yard-line. Freshman quarterback Justin Haddix then threw a 41-yard-strike to Casey Rooney for a touchdown.

The Colonels were called for two personal fouls on the play

which meant Western had to kick off from the Eastern 35-yard-line.

Brian Claybourn proceeded to kick an onside kick and recover

it himself.

Four plays later Matt Lange kicked a 38-yard field goal to put

Western in front 30-3.

“We never practiced having it at the 35,” Western coach David

Elson said. “Brian Claybourn did a great job. I didn’t think I’d have the nerve, but that was an easy decision.”

The Eastern offense came in boasting a prolific offensive

attack, but the Toppers disrupted the passing game by blitzing constantly and almost always rushing five men.

“Our defense is built on speed and quickness and I told our

guys that (Eastern) hadn’t seen our speed yet,” Elson said.

Lange set a school record by connecting on all five of his

field goal attempts.

“After his last one he jogged off the field and I said ‘I

think we found a kicker,'” Elson said.

The Toppers (3-0) will now try to carry their momentum into

next week’s game at Auburn.

“Hopefully we can come out and do the same thing against

Auburn,” Haddix said.

Reach Danny Schoenbaechler at [email protected]