CHENEY, Wash. -

Head coach Beau Baldwin and the eighth-ranked Eastern Washington University football team were just playing the percentages.

The Eagles scored on a successful fake field goal with 43 seconds to play to rally past No. 10 Northern Iowa 34-30 in another NCAA Football Championship thriller Saturday (Sept. 17) at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.

Eastern fell behind by 17 points at halftime, but then used a 93-yard kickoff return to open the second half by true freshman Antoine Custer Jr. as the spark to ignite EWU. Sophomore quarterback Reilly Hennessey – limited to holding for placekicks this season until the UNI game -- relieved starter Gage Gubrud in the third quarter and had three touchdown passes, including a game-winning 23-yard strike sophomore tight end Beau Byus.

"In my head I just tried to play the percentages, that's all it really is," said Baldwin of electing against a 40-yard field goal into the wind. "We thought that was a higher percentage to hit, and we did something a little different. We didn't run that for the first time out here. Like anything, you better be executing it in practice and working on it, then be willing to go for it when the moment arises."

Eastern survived its preseason schedule 2-1, including victories over Washington State of the Pacific-12 Conference and a 50-44 loss in overtime to top-ranked and five-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State in which the Eagles missed a 49-yarder that could have won it. Eastern opens Big Sky Conference play on Sept. 24 at 1-2 Northern Arizona, a 73-3 winner over New Mexico Highlands Saturday.

 "It's a huge win – I'm not into moral victories, but through this schedule, to be 2-1 is an indication we've done a lot of good things," said Baldwin, whose team lost at UNI 38-35 last year in a game that featured four ties and four lead changes. "Now, we also have some things we have to continue to correct and find ways to grow as a team. We're going to keep grinding and fighting, and I'm happy with the fact we can learn off a win against a very good ball team."