JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Michael Torres of Eastern Illinois intercepted a pass and returned it 40-yards for a touchdown with 3:23 to play to stop Jacksonville State's attempt to tie the game and give the Panthers a 37-23 win Saturday.
The victory keeps Eastern Illinois (7-3, 6-1) in the race for the Ohio Valley Conference championship.
Jacksonville State (6-4, 5-2) trailed only 23-20 after Cedric Johnson scored on a 13-yard run at 6:21 in the second quarter. The Panthers stretched their lead back to 10, when Quinten Ponius returned the second half kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.
The Gamecocks narrowed the Eastern Illinois lead to 30-23 at 10:20 in the third quarter on a 24-yard field goal by Gavin Hallford.
The Panthers were led by Ademola Adeniji, who ran 29 times for 158 yards and scored two touchdowns. Johnson completed 14-of-21 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns for the Gamecocks and threw two interceptions. Johnson also ran the ball 14 times for 100 yards.