#3 E. Washington uses 2nd half surge to defeat ISU
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STORY BY STEVE SCHAACK-ISU SPORTS INFORMATION
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POCATELLO, Idaho- It was an offensive explosion against No. 3 Eastern Washington on Saturday afternoon at Holt Arena as the Eagles and ISU combined for 1,309 yards. In the end, Eastern Washington was too explosive, beating the Bengals 55-34.
Eastern Washington had 743 total yards and Idaho State had 566 yards. The 566 yards for Idaho State was the third most in a game by a Bengal team since 2004.
Justin Arias passed for 441 yards, the ninth best performance in a single-game. He completed 44 passes on 64 attempts with three touchdown passes and one interception. Luke Austin had a career-high 177 receiving yards and one touchdown on 10 receptions. Josh Cook had a career-high 93 receiving yards. Xavier Finney rushed for 102 yards on 22 carries and scored one touchdown.
Cody Sorensen led ISU with nine tackles and Tanner Davis and Jon Davidson each had eight.
The scoring was frantic in the first half as Eastern Washington jumped out to a 10-0 lead with 8:48 left in the first quarter. The Bengals rallied to tie the game at 10 with 22 seconds left in the quarter after a seven-yard touchdown reception by Cameron Richmond with 5:22 left and a 35-yard field goal by Brendon Garcia.
After Eastern Washington went up 17-10 with 10:43 left in the second quarter ISU scored the next two touchdowns to take a 24-17 lead. The score came on a nine-yard strike to Broc Malcom. Then, with 5:05 left in the first half Austin caught a running one-handed49-yard ball from Arias to put the Bengals on top.
The Eagles scored two touchdowns right before halftime to lead 31-24 at the break.
Garcia connected on a 37-yard field goal to start the scoring in the second-half and cut the EWU lead to 31-27 less than three minutes into the third quarter. Eastern Washington then scored the next 17 points to lead 48-27 at the end of the third quarter.
A one-yard Finney touchdown brought the Bengals within two touchdowns at 48-34 with 10:45 left in the game but Eastern Washington added one more touchdown to seal the 55-34 win.
Idaho State closes out the 2013 home season on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. vs. Portland State.
- Luke Austin had a career-high 177 receiving yards and scored one touchdown on 10 receptions.
- 566 total yards is the third most in a game by a Bengal team since 2004. The most is 651 by the 2012 team vs. Black Hills State.
- Justin Arias had 441 passing yards and the ninth best performance by a Bengal. Arias has three games of 400 plus passing yards and he currently boasts the 9th, 10th, 17th and 25th best passing performances in program history. There have been 16 times an Idaho State quarterback had thrown for over 400 yards in a game.
- Luke Austin now has 2,001 receiving yards for his career and is in ninth place on the all-time list for receiving yards. Jaron Taylor (2006-09) is in eighth place with 2,066 yards.
- Luke Austin's 10 receptions move him into a tie for ninth place with Josh Hill at 143. Akilah Lacey (2003-06) is in eighth place with 145 receptions.
- Luke Austin has 17 career touchdowns and sits in seventh place for most receiving touchdowns by a Bengal.
- Justin Arias now sits in fifth place for most passing attempts in a season with 455. He has 267 passing attempts, which ranks fourth for most completions in a season. Arias has 3,039 passing yards this year, ranking him sixth on the single-season Top 10 list for passing yards.
- Josh Cook had a career-high 93 receiving yards.
- Hayden Stout had his first-career interception.
Mike Kramer Post Game Quotes
"It was fun for a while. We told our guys too play as hard as they could, as long as they could and don't look at the scoreboard and we would see how the chips looked at the very end. They had a couple more breaks then we did at the end. It was a great effort by their quarterback and a lot of big performances by their skill guys. We didn't play as well defensively over the top of things as we had hoped too. We didn't get as much pressure on the quarterback."
"In the first half offensively we were whip saw good. We went three and out to start the game and after that we were on fire. For the fourth game in a row we can't start the game three and out. We have to find a way to move the ball early enough in the game. We surrendered the lead on some terrible kick game coverage. If we could have made some kick coverage plays we may have had a different result."
"Justin was getting excellent time to throw the ball and his decision making was right on the roll of a dice. As the dice got done tumbling he was making his decision and the ball was out. He got a little out of sync in the second-half. All in all it was a tremendous performance by our quarterback and our offensive line."