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Eastern Washington University Football

EWU notebook: Efton Chism III keeps climbing up all-time lists; running game finds success

Eastern Washington’s Tuna Altahir rushes against Portland State on Saturday in Hillsboro, Ore.  (Courtesy EWU Athletics)
By Dan Thompson The Spokesman-Review

HILLSBORO, Ore. – Junior receiver Efton Chism III continued his climb in the Eastern Washington record book.

In Saturday’s 47-35 loss to Portland State, the EWU receiver had nine catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.

He has 2,282 career receiving yards, moving him to No. 18 on the school’s all-time list.

With three games left this season, Chism is 339 yards behind 10th-place Freddie Roberson, who has 2,621. To get into the top three, he would need to pass Brandon Kaufman’s total of 3,731. Second all time is Eric Kimble (4,140).

Reaching the ultimate mark seems a bit less realistic, though: From 2013 to 2016, Cooper Kupp had 6,464 receiving yards.

This season, Chism has 62 catches for 673 yards and five touchdowns, all team highs. Next is fellow junior Nolan Ulm with 32 catches, 396 yards and three touchdowns.

Running game finds gaps

For the second time this season, Eastern Washington’s rushing attack gained more than 200 yards, gaining 217 against the Vikings.

Junior Justice Jackson, who missed last week’s game with an injury, ran for 126 yards, his best with the Eagles and the second 100-yard game of his career. Jackson became the first EWU running back to gain 100 yards or more this season. He also passed quarterback Jared Taylor’s single-game high of 121 yards, which he had against Idaho.

EWU’s Michael Wortham, another junior quarterback, gained 12 yards on four carries and scored for the fifth time this season.

He also returned a kickoff a season-long 58 yards.

Redshirt sophomore Tuna Altahir also had 40 yards on 10 carries.

Slow day for Kokich

For just the third time in his career at Eastern, senior punter Nick Kokich did not perform his primary duty of punting the ball.

The last time Kokich did not punt in a game was on Sept. 25, 2021, one the Eagles won 50-21. He also went puntless in a 62-10 win over Cal Poly on March 27, 2021.

He did, however, line up as if he were going to punt once .

Instead of kicking it, he threw the football for a 4-yard completion to Austin York. York was tackled short of the first-down marker.

Kokich is 3 for 4 for 43 yards as a passer in his 47 career games with the Eagles.