CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) -- Cole Stinson completed 19-of-26 passes for a career-high 308 yards Thursday to lead Eastern Illinois to a 45-24 win over Tennessee Tech in the season opener for both teams.
The Panthers (1-0, Ohio Valley), the defending Ohio Valley Conference champions, broke a 10-10 second-quarter tie by scoring 14 points over a 19-second span, including a 31-yard pass from Stinson to Micah Rucker and a 3-yard touchdown run by Chip Keys.
Three first-half turnovers doomed Tennessee Tech (0-1), including two interceptions by quarterback Lee Sweeney. The sophomore completed his first 12 passes, but ended 28-of-41 with two touchdowns.
Rucker finished with nine catches, 169 yards and two touchdowns, including an 18-yard score in the third quarter. Chip Keys added two rushing touchdowns for Eastern Illinois.
Daniel Jackson scored the Golden Eagles' lone rushing touchdown, a 2-yard run in the 3rd quarter.
Eastern Illinois led 24-10 at the half.