Nov. 29, 2008

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -Eric Ward threw for 245 yards, Tre Gray had a pair of touchdown receptions and Richmond took advantage of four turnovers to defeat Eastern Kentucky 38-10 in the first round of the Football Championship Series playoffs on Saturday.

The Spiders (10-3), who have won six consecutive games, advanced to play at Appalachian State in the quarterfinals next Saturday. The Colonels (8-4) had a seven-game winning streak snapped and dropped their 13th straight non-conference road game.

Ward was 16 of 23, completing seven passes to Gray for 87 yards. Kevin Grayson caught five passes for 107 yards.

Richmond's Josh Vaughan rushed for 90 yards on 23 carries.

The Spiders broke a 10-10 halftime tie by scoring on their first four possessions of the second half.

After Shawn White returned a short kickoff to the Eastern Kentucky 34, a pair of catches gave the Spiders a first-and-goal on the 9, and Vaughan scored on an 11-yard run around the left side.

The next drive began on the 20 following Patrick Weldon's interception. Ward and Gray connected on a 14-yard score.

Gray's leaping, 23-yard touchdown catch pushed the Spiders' lead to 31-10 with 13:38 remaining in the game.

The Colonels failed on a fourth-and-4 from their 38 setting up the Spiders' final scoring drive. Vaughan then scored on a 17-yard run.

The teams traded turnovers in a scoreless first quarter with each quarterback throwing an interception and the Spiders losing a fumbled punt.

The Colonels had a second fumble recovery deep in Richmond territory negated by a penalty for roughing the punt receiver.

The Colonels began a drive on their 20 late in the first quarter and Cody Watts replaced Allan Holland as quarterback. The new-look offense was successful, moving 48 yards before stalling for a 49-yard field goal by Taylor Long.

Richmond took the lead on a 45-yard pass from Ward to Grayson.

Eastern Kentucky capped a 92-yard scoring drive with Holland's 1-yard run. The Colonels began with 2:07 left and Holland completed six straight passes, the last a 48-yarder to Garnett Phelps to Richmond's 1.

The Spiders retaliated with Andrew Howard's 26-yard field goal after Ward had completed passes of 27 and 19 yards. The Colonels stuffed Richmond's running attack in the first half, holding the Spiders to 30 yards on 16 carries.

The Spiders finished with 412 yards, controlling the ball for 36:09, 12:35 in the fourth quarter.

Eastern Kentucky was limited to 84 yards rushing, the sixth straight game the Spiders have held their opponents to less than 100 yards rushing. Holland was 20 for 35 for 181 yards.