Quick scores spark Eastern to easy win
It didn’t take long for the Eastern Oregon football team to squash any hopes of a Dickinson State upset bid.
Twelve seconds, in fact.
That’s how long it took for EOU’s Jace Billingsley to return the opening kickoff 92 yards to spark the Mountaineers to a 57-3 romp over the Blue Hawks in a Frontier Conference contest at Community Stadium in La Grande.
The shellshocked Blue Hawks didn’t help their cause. On its first play from scrimmage, DSU running back Jesse Carney fumbled in the backfield, which was recovered by Eastern’ Anthony Lyngar at the Blue Hawks’ 39.
The Mountaineers took advantage of the miscue by driving the 39 yards in 10 plays, capped by Chris McGinnis-Parker’s 3-yard run up the middle for a 13-0 Eastern lead at the 11:29 mark of the first quarter.
EOU would add a 22-yard field goal to take a 16-0 lead after the first quarter and from that point the rest of the game was academic.
McGinnis-Parker broke the 1,000-yard mark for the season with 219 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 40 yards and another score. Mahonri Bostrom added 10 carries for 105 yards as the Mountaineers finished 445 yards rushing.
Eastern quarterback Dominique Blackman was solid under center, completing 10-of-16 passes for 146 yards and a score.
The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Mountaineers, who improve to 4-5 overall and 4-4 in the conference. Dickinson State, which is in its second season in the Frontier Conference, has lost four straight games and is 1-10 on the season and 0-9 in conference. The loss is the 16th straight for the Blue Hawks in conference play.
The Eastern defense was rarely tested as Dickinson State could do little on offense. The Blue Hawks were held to just 142 yards of total offense, including just 23 yards through the air. The Eastern defense forced four turnovers.
The Mountaineers close the season with two road games, including next Saturday at Southern Oregon in Ashland. The two teams met in September in La Grande with the Raiders overcoming an early 7-0 deficit and cruising to a 73-20 win.