E. Tennessee St. keeps pace in SoCon race downing VMI 27-20

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — Quay Holmes ran for 161 yards and scored twice and FCS No. 14-ranked East Tennessee State held off 18th-ranked VMI 27-20 on Saturday.

The Buccaneers (8-1, 5-1 Southern Conference), Chattanooga and Mercer all sit atop the conference with 5-1 records. Chattanooga plays Mercer on Nov. 13 and ETSU plays Mercer on Nov. 20. Chattanooga beat East Tennessee State 21-16 earlier in the season.

Holmes ran for scores of 4 and 2 yards just 90 seconds apart late in the first quarter. Jared Folks’ 13-yard interception return of VMI quarterback Seth Morgan set up a short field for ETSU, and following the score, Zion Alexander intercepted Morgan and returned it 27 yards to again set up a short field leading to Holmes’ touchdown.

The Keydets attempted to rally but saw a 13-play, 65-yard drive come to an end when Tyree Robinson recovered Collin Ironside’s fumble that was forced by Caman Cody at the ETSU 10-yard line.

Morgan threw for 248 yards for VMI (6-3, 4-2).

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