EWU Starts Fast, Finishes Off WOU, 43-14

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Let down game?

Not for these Eagles.

And certainly not for a Beau Baldwin coached team.

Baldwin’s Eagles came out fast and efficient from their first drive on their way to a 43-14 victory over D-II Western Oregon. Vernon Adams picked up where he left off last week with a 63-yard scoring strike to Cooper Kupp. Adams would connect three more times in the quarter, (yes, quarter) to help Eastern jump out to a quick 29-0 lead. Zack Gehring (4-yard TD), Cory Mitchell (15-yard TD) and Shaquille Hill (58-yard TD) would each be the beneficiary of Adams’ first quarter efficiency. Adams would finish the quarter 8-9 for 189 yards and four touchdowns.

Good thing too. For as fast as the Eagles jumped out to a lead, that is how quickly they sputtered when the second quarter rolled around. In fact, neither team could do much on offense in that quarter. Western Oregon had 43 total yards on offense including this “impressive” line of 6 rushes for 6 yards. Eastern, for their part, fared slightly better but only garnered 96 yards of offense. Here’s how the 2nd quarter possessions ended up:

  1. Punt (WOU)
  2. INT (EWU)
  3. INT (WOU)
  4. Punt (EWU)
  5. Punt (WOU)
  6. Turnover on downs (EWU)
  7. End of half (WOU)

The score remained, 29-0, Eastern Washington at the half.

Western Oregon’s first possession in the third quarter resembled their first half possessions. Ineffective. After giving up 527 yards of total offense to Oregon State last week, the EWU defense tightened things up against the Wolves. 44 yards of total offense given up in the first half was followed up with only 71 yards in the third quarter. Three Wolves possessions resulted in zero points. Their best field position of the quarter came after a Vernon Adams interception at the EWU 27. But even then, the Eagles D proved stout.  Two Ryan Bergman passes for Western Oregon failed to result in points, including two chances at a fourth and four at the eight yard line.

Adams and the EWU offense wasted no time on their first possession of the second half. Aided by a personal foul penalty, the Eagles only needed 2:31 to go 70 yards with an Adams-to-Hill eight yard touchdown pass.

The Wolves would be given another opportunity early in the fourth after a Mario Brown fumble for EWU. Standout defensive lineman, Kraig Akins would recover the fumble and return it to the EWU 40. Two plays later, Bergman tossed a 36-yard pass to all-GNAC wide receiver, Tyrell Williams to cut the lead to 36-7.

After an exchange of punts, the Eagles decided to eat up some clock with the run game. For the series, Jalen Moore would rush 6 times for 36 yards before an Anthony Vitto 14 yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne. Vitto had come in on the prior series for Vernon Adams at quarterback. EWU upped its lead to 36.

One more Western Oregon possession would result in a touchdown but it was too little too late for the Wolves, as Eastern Washington prevails, 43-14. The Wolves lost for the fifth straight time to the Eagles but still lead the all-time series between the two former NAIA foes, 9-7. EWU travels to Toledo next week while WOU heads to Central Washington.

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FINAL COMPARISONS

  • Defensive stat of the night: In the first quarter, the Eagles gained 254 yards of total offense. Western Oregon gained 217 total yards for the game.
  • Misleading stat of the night: The kickoff return battle was won by WOU. Six chances to return for 106 total yards. EWU had zero yards. But…on one attempt.
  • Lopsided stats of the night: Passing – EWU (320) WOU (189); Rushing – EWU (277) WOU (28).
  • Spreading the wealth stat of the night: 10 different EWU players would catch a pass in the game. Shaquille HIll led the way with 8-117 yards and two touchdowns. WOU was almost as generous with seven players catching a pass. Tyrell Williams had 6-97 yards and one touchdown.
  • Do-it-all stat of the night: Vernon Adams’ line – 18-24 for 298 yards, 5 touchdowns passes, 2 interceptions, 7 rushes for 45 yards and 1 punt (yes, punt) for 30 yards. Adams did also “slow down” Kraig Akins on his fourth quarter fumble recovery run just long enough for other Eagle players to bring Akins down. Akins is listed at 6’2″, 270 lbs. Adams is listed at 6’0″, 190 lbs. Picture that in your mind.

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QUOTES

Coach Beau Baldwin

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On the game: “This is one of those games that had a roller coaster feel to it, is the best way I can describe it. I liked the way we started in terms of starting fast. We came out after halftime. Didn’t like some of the lulls and sloppiness that was out here today. Defensively, we played pretty solid all day with the exception, of course, with the penalties. Overall, we played a pretty solid game. And played a lot of guys on both sides of the ball. There’s always good and bad. I love coming out after a 43-14 win feeling like there’s a lot of stuff we can correct and coach here for week 3.”

On starting 2-0: “Feels good. Feels very good. Can’t remember the last time we started the season 2-0 around here. We always play a challenging schedule. Maybe I’m off on that but it feels pretty good.”

On the sluggish second quarter: I felt like we started on fire on both sides of the ball. It’s learning how to sustain it. The guys didn’t let up any. We had a couple of mistakes in the second quarter. We’re going to have quarters like that. On both sides of the ball. You just have to keep responding.

Quarterback, Vernon Adams

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On starting 2-0: “Feels good (to start 2-0). We’re going to come back tomorrow and watch film on Sunday, get ready for Toledo next week, fly out there and hope we get another big win for the program. And keep working.”

On offensive 2nd quarter struggle: “We just want to get a win whether we win by two points or 40 points. Second quarter offensive-wise we kind of went down. We didn’t do much. We got back on in the third quarter. Anthony Vitto finished out the game for us and did really good.”

On penalties: “I’m pretty sure tomorrow we’re gonna get it. We got a lot of 15-yard penalties. We’re going to clean it up. We’ll going to come back tomorrow. Ice bath. Watch film. Work hard. Learn from it. Come Tuesday we’re ready for Toledo.”

On playing in front of the home crowd: “It was awesome. Obviously we’re not in school so we didn’t have everybody but it was still full. We had fun. They were into it. I was into it. The team was into it. Eagle Nation is the best. Go Eags.”

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[Sorry, Eagles fans. I cut off the Vine video below before the players finished E-A-G-L-E-S]

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CadChica Sports

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