EWU Tops Bearkats To Open The College Football Season - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

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EWU Tops Bearkats To Open The College Football Season

Jalen Moore breaks off a big run in the second quarter to help Eastern pul level at the half. (Photo: Josh Ouellette)l Jalen Moore breaks off a big run in the second quarter to help Eastern pul level at the half. (Photo: Josh Ouellette)l
CHENEY, Wash. -- Eastern Washington earned the right to host the first college football game of the 2014 season as one of the premier power houses in the FCS. The ever-growing program capitalized with a big 56-35 win over long-time nemesis Sam Houston State on the Inferno at Roos Field on Saturday.

Vernon Adams lived up to the hype as the 2013 runner-up for the Walter Payton Award (FCS MVP) by leading the Eagles (1-0) to an early touchdown after they received the opening kickoff. Adams found Blair Bomber in the back of the endzone from three yards out to get Eastern on the board first.

The momentum quickly shifted as the second quarter started. Bearkats (0-1) running back Keshawn Hill broke free in the middle of the field and couldn't be caught as he took it all the way to the house for a 79-yard touchdown run. Under 20 seconds later Sam Houston State's Trenier Orr intercepted Adams pass as his receiver slipped and took it back 55 yards for the pick six.

In a matter of 17 seconds the Bearkats took a 14-7 lead over Eastern Washington.

Adams hit Kendrick Bourne for a 13-yard touchdown pass a couple of minutes later in the quarter to tie things up for the Eags at 14-14.
Sam Houston State answered right back with another big play for a score, this time a 53-yard keeper near the home sideline for Bearkat quarterback Jared Johnson to re-take the lead.

Jalen Moore gave Eastern fans a reason to cheer before the half, breaking off a 34-yard touchdown scamper to tie things up at 21-21.

Watch SWX's special presentation "Inside Eastern Washington Football" by clicking this link: http://bit.ly/1oiJZ0E


The Eagles scored the lone touchdown of the third quarter on another Adams to Bomber three-yard TD pass and it proved to make all the difference late in the contest.

Eastern earned the first score in the fourth quarter on a one-yard up-the-gut rumble in by fullback Zach Wimberly to take a 35-21 lead.

Sam Houston State got hot in the fourth quarter with Jared Johnson finding his grove with the gun after missing open receivers earlier in the game. The Bearkats QB rallied and led multiple drives to keep Eastern Washington on its toes, bringing SHSU within seven points twice in the final frame.

In the end the day belonged to the Eagles as they added sandwiched a defensive stop with two touchdowns late in the fourth to secure the win.

Quincy Forte finished the day with 23 carries for 152 yards to lead the EWU rushing attack that gashed the Bearkats for 317 yards and 3 touchdowns. Moore carried the ball eight times for 86 yards and two of the Eagles rushing scores.

Adams didn't disappoint, rallying from the early interception to settle down and end his day 26-48 for 306 yards and 4 TDs. Adams also ran 12 times for 61 yards and multiple key first downs. Eagles backup QB Jordan West even got involved on the fun completing a late fade pass for a 5-yard touchdown to Cooper Kupp to extend Eastern's lead to two scores.

Kupp, the reigning Jerry Rice Award winner (FCS best receiver) racked up 62 yards on 7 catches despite picking up a knock on a punt return in the first half. Bomber and Kendrick Bourne each caught two touchdown passes.

Eastern Washington will stay at Roos Field to face the University of Montana Western next Saturday at 6:05 p.m. PT. The Bearkats will return to Bowers Stadium next Saturday to host Alabama State at 4:30 p.m. PT.

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