The much-maligned Eastern Washington University Eagles used the power of Homecoming weekend to revive their season. Most likely out of the picture for an FCS playoff, the Eagles set out to prove that they are not the team that stumbled out of the gates this season losing 4 of their first 6 games. Having dropped out of the top 25 for the first time in many years, the Eagles turned their fury towards the visiting Northern Colorado Bears to the tune of a 54-21 beatdown.
The score wasn’t even as close as it looked as the Inferno saw the Eagles jump to a 40-0 lead by halftime. QB Eric Barriere threw for 445 yards and 5 touchdowns. WR Talolo Limu-Jones had a big day with 4 catches for 96 yards and TDs. The Eagles would also find their mojo on the ground as they collectively ran for 174 yards on the ground.
Special teams locked up the game for the Eagles as a blocked punt by redshirt freshman Justin Patterson led to a field goal. EWU would also take a 34-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Joe Lang after a force by Tre Weed.
“Any points we’ll take at this point, whether it is from offense, defense or special teams – luck or no luck, they all count the same,” said Eastern head coach Aaron Best, whose team has a bye before playing at Montana on Oct. 26. “Defense flat-out owned the day in the first half. We got a little bend-ish and not break-ish in the second half, but the defense was put in some situations of having to go back out there after some three-and-outs by our offense after halftime. Kudos to the Coach Eti Ena and his staff – they did a great job of game-planning and the players did a great job of executing.”
Eastern played its first game as an unranked team since 2011. The Eags were ranked 46 straight weeks and are hoping to earn some credit by the end of this season to get back into the polls. EWU s 3-4 and 2-1 in Big Sky play. Eastern has a bye week before taking on the Grizzlies in Montana on October 26th.