Eagles improve to 2-0 with one-sided win over Central Washington
CHENEY, Wash. — The 18th-straight win at Roos Field was a dominating one for the Eastern Washington University football team. The Eagles hosted Central Washington in its home-opener on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 11) in Cheney, Wash., and cruised to a 63-14 victory, the 11th highest scoring game in EWU history.
In a balanced attack on the ground (323 yards) and through the air (322 yards), the Eagles totaled 645 yards and eight touchdowns. The yardage total was the 19th-most in program history.
“We played well in all three phases and we played off of each other. There was some sputtering on offense as far as protection was concerned. We got away from the run a little bit and then we started to lean on a little bit more which opened up the pass. Defensively, there was really only one series that was really in doubt early on, but we buckled down. We caused a couple turnovers and it was great to see those guys make plays to extend the streak to 18 wins on the red in a row. A couple of our young guys also stepped up who haven’t played a ton, like Kameron Lane who played well,” said head coach Aaron Best. “It’s always fun to play at home in front of your home fans and there was a different buzz in the air. Having the ability to play the game we love with fans in the stands was second to none.”
The Eagles scored on their opening drive following a six-yard rush from Eric Barriere. Central Washington would score a touchdown on its ensuing drive, but wouldn’t score again until the end of the fourth quarter, allowing EWU to score 55 unanswered points over the Wildcats. Six of Eastern’s touchdowns came in an explosive first half, allowing Eastern to lead 46-7 at the half. It was the most points ever scored in a half at the Football Championship Subdivision by the Eagles.
Dennis Merritt had 120 of EWU’s 323-rushing yards on 10 carries along with 39 receiving yards to go with two touchdowns as he passed 1,000 career rushing yards to bring his total to 1,039. Justice Jackson also passed the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career with 102 on 11 carries and a touchdown. Eric Barriere, Andrew Boston, Blake Gobel, Conor Crist and Ty Graham accounted for the other scores, while kicker Seth Harrison went 2-for-3 on field goal attempts and was perfect on extra points.
Barriere was 20-for-30 with no interceptions, throwing for 264 yards and rushing for 21 with three touchdowns. Gunner Talkington was 5-for-9 and threw for 58 yards and rushed for 12.
Defensively, Cale Lindsay led the way with eight tackles, two of which were for loss. Kameron Lane and Ty Graham caught their first career interceptions, with Graham taking his back 43-yards for the score. Lane had seven total tackles while Graham had six.
On the receiving end, Talolo Limu-Jones led the way with 41 receiving yards on five catches.