It was a dam blowout.
Eastern Washington’s inaugural “Dam Cup” rivalry game with Portland State wasn’t nearly as thrilling as the Eagles’ previous Big Sky Conference wins.
EWU, which went on to win the 2010 Football Championship Subdivision title, was due for a dominant performance after edging Northern Colorado, Northern Arizona and Sacramento State in succession.
The Eagles crushed Portland State 50-17 at Hillsboro Stadium on the eve of Halloween, improving to 7-2 and 6-1 in Big Sky play.
EWU running back and eventual NFL draft pick Taiwan Jones – currently with the Buffalo Bills – had his way with the Vikings (2-6, 1-4), rushing for 198 yards in the first half.
Jones totaled 261 yards of offense and three touchdowns.
“All week long we talked that we had to have the perfect game,” Jones said after the game.
EWU quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell completed 13 of his 23 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns in the rout, which was also a breakout game for freshman tight end Zach Gehring.
Gehring hauled in three passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Brandon Kaufman and Ashton Gant also had touchdown receptions for the Eagles.
EWU linebacker J.C. Sherritt, who went on to win the Buck Buchanan Award that season, an honor given to the FCS level’s top defensive player, had a game-high 15 tackles.
Portland State found itself in trouble early when starting quarterback Connor Kavanaugh suffered a hand injury in the Vikings’ first offensive series.
“They did a nice job of punching us in the mouth, literally, physically,” PSU head coach Nigel Burton said after the loss. “But they also went after the strength of our defense – they went after our corners, which most teams don’t find very successful doing.”
T.J. Lee, now a standout defensive back in the Canadian Football League, blocked a punt in the third quarter and recovered in the end zone to give EWU a 34-10 lead.
Cory McCaffrey led Portland State with 100 yards rushing and a touchdown.
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