Tettleton lifts Ohio to 56-28 win over E. Michigan

It was only seconds after the opening kickoff that the Eastern
Michigan football team found a fitting way to honor a fallen
teammate.

EMU’s Tyler Allen returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a
touchdown against Ohio Saturday at Rynearson Stadium. In doing so,
he became the first Eagles player to record a return touchdown
since Demarius Reed returned a punt for a score in 2011.

Reed was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds early Friday
morning in the hallway of an off-campus apartment building in what
police said was an apparent robbery.

His Eagles teammates took to the field a little more than 24
hours after learning of his death, in a 56-28 loss to Ohio that was
part football game, part tribute in front of 3,237 fans that braved
a cold rain.

Ohio’s Tyler Tettleton threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns,
two in a 21-point burst in the final 5 minutes of the third
quarter.

After the Eagles tied the game at 21 in the third, they were
driving for the go-ahead score when Devin Bass picked off Tyler
Benz in the end zone. On the next play Tettleton connected with
Chase Cochran for an 80-yard touchdown. Tettleton finished three
yards short of becoming the first Ohio quarterback with 8,000
passing yards.

Eastern Michigan (1-6, 0-3 Mid-American Conference) gave the
heavily-favored Bobcats (5-2, 2-1) fits behind Bronson Hill, who
ran for 257 yards and a touchdown.

”I know that our football team and our coaching staff really
wanted to honor Demarius by giving our best effort and we wanted to
give our best effort for four quarters,” Eastern Michigan coach
Ron English said in a recorded statement released by the school.
”I thought our team and our coaches really played hard and really
worked at it under a really difficult and trying last 24 hours or
so.”

Reed, a junior wide receiver from Chicago, had started all six
of Eastern Michigan’s games and was the team’s fourth-leading
receiver with 15 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown. He had also
returned seven punts on the year.

”We lost a terrific leader, a young man who really turned his
life around and a young man who really became a Christian,”
English said. ”This has been really difficult for all of us, but
we really wanted as a team and as a program to honor Demarius today
and we gave our best effort in doing that.”

A moment of silence was held for Reed before the game, and team
captains led the team out of the locker room holding his No. 2
jersey aloft.

Players wore helmet decals and jersey patches with Reed’s number
on them and one staff member even had the number two saved in the
side of his head.

”We’re going to stay together and keep the team together
throughout the remainder of the season and continue to work on
their character as young men, and that’s really what our focus
is,” English said.