SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Jordan Talley ran in from 1 yard out for the winning touchdown in overtime as Eastern Washington beat Sacramento State 42-35 in Big Sky Conference play on Saturday night.
The game was sent to overtime when Bo Levi Mitchell threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Nicholas Edwards and Mike Jarrett kicked the extra point with 55 seconds left in regulation.
Mitchell and Edwards connected for four touchdowns, including two others in the fourth quarter that helped the Eagles (4-4, 4-2 Big Sky) climb back from a 28-13 deficit. Mitchell completed 29 of 45 for 357 yards. Edwards made 11 catches for 197 yards.
Tommy Edwards threw 18 for 26 for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Hornets (3-4, 2-3). Garrett Safron, Bryan Hilliard and Stephen Tezanos-Pinto each added a touchdown for the Hornets.
Mike Jarrett added a pair of field goals for the Eagles.
The victory kept EWU perfect in 11 tries against the Hornets in Sacramento.
“This game came down to the heart of our players,” Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin said. “Our players are scrapping, fighting and finding a way – they are not giving up and getting down on each other. They deserve this – they fought their guts out all the way to the end against a very good team on their home turf.”
The game was a flashback to last season, when Eastern rallied for six victories after trailing in the fourth quarter.
Eastern held on a fourth-and-goal play from its 3-yard line to preserve its fourth consecutive victory and keep alive its hopes of defending its 2010 NCAA Division I championship.
“We just responded,” Mitchell said. “It’s one of those things we had to do last year – we just had to dig down deep. It’s everything we work for and it’s our playoff game, so go win it. Thankfully, we came out and did that.”
“Those two were at it again,” Baldwin said of Mitchell and Edwards. “Bo’s last three games have been unreal and Nick has been consistent all season. And I’m proud of our offensive line that has gone through a lot of changes. We have a lot of players banged and bruised, but we’re still finding ways to put up points and get yards. A lot of credit has to go to them first and foremost.” Edwards tied a school record with his four TD receptions.
Jamie Buenzli had four TD against Nevada on Sept. 12, 1987, and Joe Pierce had four against Central Washington on Sept. 13, 2003.
Montana St. 31, N. Colorado 21: DeNarius McGhee threw two second-half touchdown passes as the Bobcats kept the Bears (0-8, 0-6) winless with a victory in Greeley, Colo.
Cody Kirk ran for a touchdown and career-high 202 yards for Montana State (7-1, 6-0), which extended its winning streak to seven games.
Montana 28, N. Arizona 24: Jordan Canada made a 46-yard run for the winning touchdown to lift the Grizzlies over the Lumberjacks in Flagstaff, Ariz.
The Grizzlies (6-2, 5-1) were down 24-21 late in the game after Matt Myers gave the Lumberjacks (2-5, 1-4) the lead with a 40-yard field goal.
S. Utah 35, Weber St. 28: At Odgen, Utah, the Thunderbirds (4-4) scored 25 straight points to rally from an 11-point, third-quarter deficit and defeat the Wildcats (3-4) in the in-state rivals’ final meeting as nonconference foes.
Southern Utah will leave the Great West Conference to join Weber State in the Big Sky next year.
Portland St. 36, Willamette 10: Connor Kavanaugh had 162 yards passing and three touchdowns in the first half as the host Vikings defeated the Bearcats.
Willamette (3-4), a Division III team, helped Portland State’s (4-3) cause with two fumbles and a failed fake punt attempt in the first half.
BYU 56, Idaho St. 3: Riley Nelson passed for 215 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 62 yards and another TD to lead the Cougars (6-2) to a victory over the Bengals in Provo, Utah. Idaho State (2-6) has lost 16 straight games to FBS opponents.