MARTIN, TENNESSEE — It was a tale of two halves in Martin, Tennessee, Thursday night as the hometown UT Martin Skyhawks handed the visiting Northwestern State Demons a 42-20 loss.
The first half was a different story. The visitors from Louisiana took a 20-14 lead to the lockers halfway through the contest on the strength of Shelton Eppler’s right arm. The senior slinger from Navasota, Texas, via Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, finished the game with 387 yards passing completing 43-of-62 attempts. He also threw three touchdowns – all of them in the first half to spot the Demons a lead. Eppler also led his team in rushing with 45 yards on nine carries. But the Skyhawks were just getting started. Junior running back Peyton Logan finally gave UT Martin the lead for good at the 4:22 mark of the third quarter on a 21-yard touchdown run. He later finished the scoring with a 53-yard touchdown run to cap a 149-yard rushing performance on just 13 carries. In between Logan’s two scores, the Skyhawks’ defense and special teams got in on the action. Terry Williams struck first on a 55-yard punt return at the 2:13 mark of the third quarter before Wanya Moton effectively put the game out of reach on a 78-yard interception return to make it 35-20 with just 5:06 to play in the game. Logan’s second touchdown a couple of minutes later put an explanation point on the Skyhawks’ season-opening win.
— Kendall Webb