WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It wasn't pretty but the Boilermakers found a way to secure their first victory of the season against Indiana State 20-14 on Saturday afternoon at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Akeem Hunt returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and also ran for 82 yards on 22 carries for the Boilermakers.
"We practiced that play play in practice and we had a drawn script for the scout guys and they ran it just like ISU ran it. It worked out right, and when I came off the edge there was no one there, so it worked out for the better," said Akeem Hunt.
It didn't take long for Purdue to come back down to earth after Hunt was stuck for no gain on a fourth and one from the Boilermakers' 41 yard line.
Sophomore kicker Paul Griggs added to Purdue's frustration moments later after he missed a 49-yard field goal later in the quarter one play after miscommunication on a snap cost the Boilermakers 11 yards.
Purdue's offense finally got on the board with a 10-play drive that ended with an 18-yard field goal by Griggs.
Purdue held the Sycamores to 71 yards and four first downs in the first half.
B. J. Knauf took a handoff 16 yards for a touchdown on a sweep, and the Boilermakers took a 17-0 lead with 5:08 left in the third quarter.
Indiana State got on the board on a 4th & 9 when Sycamore QB Mike Perish found George Cheeseborough deep down the right sideline to cut Purdue's lead to 17-7 with 2:44 left in the third quarter.
Griggs made another field goal early in the fourth quarter, a 37-yarder, to give the Boilermakers a 20-7 lead.
Indiana State reached the Purdue 36-yard line in the final minute before Ricardo Allen stepped in front of Mike Perish's pass with 19 seconds remaining and gave Darrell Hazell his first win as Purdue's coach.
"There's been a lot of times where you win ugly, or you lose pretty, but you learn to appreciate the wins, because it is hard to win. Obviously we made it a little bit harder than we should have, but at the end of the year that still goes in the win column," said Darrell Hazell.
Purdue improves to 1-1 on the season and will be back in action next Saturday night when the Boilermakers host Notre Dame. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.
A shooting on Lafayette's south side is under investigation.
It's been nearly a month since a tornado damaged Southwestern Middle School and Mintonye Elementary School, giving faculty the task of helping students transition to their new surroundings.
Donations are being accepted to help around 300 seniors receive a holiday gift.