Scores

Final

Idaho State 31

(0-4, 0-1 Big Sky)

E Washington 45

(2-2, 1-0 Big Sky)

3:37 PM ET, September 27, 2008

Roos Field, Cheney, WA

1 2 3 4 T
IDST 0 21 10 031
EWU 7 14 10 1445

Top Performers

Passing: M. Nichols (EWU) - 382 YDS, 5 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: D. Morris (EWU) - 20 CAR, 94 YDS

Receiving: A. Boyce (EWU) - 9 REC, 135 YDS, 3 TD

E. Washington 45, Idaho St. 31

Associated Press

CHENEY, Wash. -- Matt Nichols passed for 382 yards and five touchdowns, leading Eastern Washington to a 45-31 victory over Idaho State Saturday in the Big Sky Conference opener for both schools.

The Eagles (2-2, 1-0) got two fourth-quarter scoring passes from Nichols and outgained the Bengals (0-4, 0-1) 221 yards to minus-16 in the final period to break away from a 31-31 tie.

The Eagles entered the game ranked No. 11 in NCAA Division I-Football Championship Subdivision.

Idaho State lost its 10th straight game over two seasons.

Russel Hill kept Idaho State in the game, completing 24-of-36 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns.

With the score tied at 31 early in the fourth quarter, Nichols' 61-yard scoring pass to Brynsen Brown gave Eastern Washington a 38-31 lead with 11:44 left.

After a Bengals punt, Nichols completed a 15-yard screen pass to Alexis Alexander for a touchdown and a 45-31 lead with 4:17 on the clock.

Three big plays kept Idaho State in contention in the first half. A 53-yard shovel pass from Hill to JD Ponciano early in the second quarter tied the score at 7 for the Bengals. A 49-yard interception return by Phillip Arias set up Hill's 14-yard touchdown toss to Jaron Taylor. Hill's 71-yard touchdown pass to Taylor with 19 seconds left in the first half tied the score at 21.

Aided by a facemask penalty against Eastern Washington, Idaho State took the second-half kickoff and marched 80 yards to grab a 28-21 lead, its first lead of the season.

The Eagles responded with Nichols' third scoring pass to Aaron Boyce, a 35-yarder that tied the score at 28. Boyce also had scoring receptions of 25 and 10 yards, finishing with nine catches for 135 yards.

Brown had four catches for 104 yards, while Dale Morris rushed for 94 yards for Eastern Washington.

Taylor made six receptions for 112 yards for the Bengals.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
IDST
EWU
1st Downs1924
Total Yards393507
Passing312382
Rushing81125
Penalties14-1388-77
3rd Down Conversions2-135-12
4th Down Conversions0-10-0
Turnovers12
Possession29:0830:52

Passing Leaders

Idaho StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Hill24/363128.731
Eastern WashingtonC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Nichols26/403829.651

Rushing Leaders

Idaho StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Cornist11716.5021
Knickrehm11272.5111
Eastern WashingtonCARYDSAVGTDLG
Morris20944.7022
Jimerson6305.0011

Receiving Leaders

Idaho StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor611218.7271
Ponciano15353.0153
Eastern WashingtonRECYDSAVGTDLG
Boyce913515.0335
Brown410426.0161

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERIDSTEWU
TD08:09Aaron Boyce 25 Yd Pass From Matt Nichols (Felipe Macias Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERIDSTEWU
TD14:02J.D. Ponciano 53 Yd Pass From Russel Hill (Jarrett Huk Kick) 77
TD09:30Aaron Boyce 10 Yd Pass From Matt Nichols (Felipe Macias Kick) 714
TD06:42Jaron Taylor 14 Yd Pass From Russel Hill (Jarrett Huk Kick) 1414
TD05:02Jason Belford 7 Yd Interception Return (Felipe Macias Kick) 1421
TD00:19Jaron Taylor 71 Yd Pass From Russel Hill (Jarrett Huk Kick) 2121
THIRD QUARTERIDSTEWU
TD10:43Clint Knickrehm 4 Yd Run (Jarrett Huk Kick) 2821
TD09:14Aaron Boyce 35 Yd Pass From Matt Nichols (Felipe Macias Kick) 2828
FG05:05Jarrett Huk 48 Yd 3128
FG01:16Felipe Macias 35 Yd 3131
FOURTH QUARTERIDSTEWU
TD11:35Brynsen Brown 61 Yd Pass From Matt Nichols (Felipe Macias Kick) 3138
TD04:17Alexis Alexander 15 Yd Pass From Matt Nichols (Felipe Macias Kick) 3145