CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) -- Nick Hill threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another on Saturday as the No. 4 seed Southern Illinois defeated Eastern Illinois 30-11 in a first-round Football Championship Subdivision playoff game.
The Southern Illinois quarterback finished with 234 yards through the air and 32 yards on the ground to bring the Salukis (11-1) their third consecutive first-round playoff victory.
Less than 5 minutes into the game, Hill connected with wide receiver Alan Turner for a 21-yard touchdown to put the team up 7-0 mere seconds after Eastern Illinois running back Ademola Adeniji lost a fumble on the Panthers first offensive play of the game.
Southern Illinois never surrendered the lead, holding the Panthers (8-4) scoreless until the 2:35 mark of the third quarter when the team converted a 42-yard field goal to make it 20-3.
Hill answered with a six play, 46-yard drive that culminated in a 5-yard, spinning run into the end zone by the quarterback to put his team up 27-3.
The Panthers threatened late after quarterback Bodie Reeder hooked up with tight end Jordan Campanella for a 7-yard touchdown and tight end Trent Steckel for a 2-point conversion to make it 27-11 with just more than seven minutes remaining.
Southern Illinois answered and ran down the clock almost within the 2-minute mark before settling for a 26-yard field goal to bring the lead out of the Panthers reach.
The win gave Southern Illinois its second first round playoff victory against Eastern Illinois in three years.
The Salukis next opponent will be Massachusetts, who defeated Fordham 49-35 Saturday.