FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 356 yards and three touchdowns and added a score on the ground as Eastern Washington capitalized on Northern Arizona’s turnovers to win 36-28 on Saturday.
The Lumberjacks (2-3, 1-2 Big Sky) had three fumbles and one interception, which led to 10 points for the Eagles (2-4, 2-2).
The Eagles started the game with a 27-yard field goal by Jarrett. But Northern Arizona scored touchdowns on its first two possessions.
“It’s a hard place to play and we got down a little bit early,” said Eagles coach Beau Baldwin. “Our defense made some huge, huge plays in terms of turnovers, and our offense made some big plays scoring points. Ultimately we found a way to win against a very good NAU team.”
The Eagles responded with two consecutive touchdown drives to take a 17-14 lead midway through the second quarter.
Northern Arizona’s Daniel Adler fumbled at the Eagles’ 5-yard line on the ensuing possession, but the defense held Eastern Washington to a three-and-out and Grossart connected with Jake Hess for a 1-yard touchdown with 44 seconds left in the half.
The Eagles managed seven plays on their following drive as Jarrett hit a 47-yard field goal as the clock expired and cut the deficit to 21-20.
Northern Arizona kicker Matt Myers missed a 26-yard field goal in the third quarter. The Eagles later retook the lead, 26-21, on a 62-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell to Greg Herd but failed on the two-point conversion.
Mitchell accounted for all but 34 of Eastern’s total of 390 yards of offense, completing 27 of 40 passes. He now has 50 touchdown passes in his career to move into a tie with Bill Diedrick for fourth most in school history. It was the fifth 300-yard passing game of his career, and his third this season.
“He made a lot of plays for us, but I’m just really happy about the team effort,” said Baldwin. “It’s tough to overcome the amount of guys we’ve lost – we have a lot of young players in the lineup who haven’t played a lot. But they are stepping up and finding a way. These last two wins have had some familiarity from last year – it feels very similar. Just one at a time though – we are excited about next week and playing Northern Colorado.”
Bauman fumbled the ball early in the fourth quarter and the Eagles recovered on the Lumberjack 8-yard line. Mitchell ran it in for a score two plays later for the first rushing TD of his career at EWU.
Bauman ran 22 yards for a touchdown on the ensuing possession, but after holding the Eagles to a three-and-out, cornerback Randy Hale fumbled the punt return, leading to a 37-yard field goal by Jarrett and a decisive 36-28 lead.
Northern Arizona’s Cary Grossart threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns while Zach Bauman ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Mike Jarrett added three field goals for the Eagles and Herd made seven catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.
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