Hairston TD off interception helps E. Kentucky top Tarleton

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RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Eli Hairston returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown late in the game and Eastern Kentucky stymied Tarleton 20-3 on Saturday.

The Colonels (3-2) had been nursing a 13-3 lead until the pick-6 iced the win. Tarleton's Steven Duncan had ducked away from a blitzing Ubong Udom coming off the edge, but his sidearm pass to the right flat was picked off by Hairston, who ran untouched to the end zone.

Tarleton, of the Western Athletic Conference, and Eastern Kentucky, of the Atlantic Sun, are members of the ASUN-WAC Challenge, a one-season alliance between the two conferences to share an automatic qualifying bid to the FCS post-season playoffs.

EKU's Parker McKinney gave the Colonels a 7-3 lead with his 30-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, and Patrick Nations had added field goals of 22 and 48 yards by late in the third quarter.

Duncan completed 12 of 26 passes for 129 yards and threw two interceptions for the Texans (2-3).

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