EOU SQUEAKS PAST ROCKY

September 19, 2005 12:00 am
IN A SINGLE BOUND: Eastern Oregon University wide receiver Devin Smith (14) hurdles Rocky Mountain College's Marcus Bradshaw (32) as Darin Muni (22) tries to get a hold of Smith's jersey Saturday in Billings, Mont., during the Mountaineers 22-19 victory.   (For The Observer/DAVID GRUBBS).
IN A SINGLE BOUND: Eastern Oregon University wide receiver Devin Smith (14) hurdles Rocky Mountain College's Marcus Bradshaw (32) as Darin Muni (22) tries to get a hold of Smith's jersey Saturday in Billings, Mont., during the Mountaineers 22-19 victory. (For The Observer/DAVID GRUBBS).

Cameron Parkinson

The Observer

BILLINGS, Mont. – The Eastern Oregon University football team won its first game of the year, knocking off Rocky Mountain College 22-19 Saturday, evening their record at 1-1.

"I liked the fact that we competed when things were close," said Eastern head coach Jim Fenwick. "We kept battling back."

Eastern's defense accounted for nine points, sacking the Rocky Mountain quarterback Adam Sanchez in the end zone for a first quarter safety and a fourth quarter interception return for a touchdown by Michael McCoy.

"I was disappointed to give up 19 points," said EOU defensive coordinator Travis Baker. "But when you score nine that is only a 10 point difference so that's not bad."

Senior quarterback Scott Jensen completed passes to 11 different receivers while chalking up 247 yards. Jensen also ran the ball 23 times for 49 yards.

"Jensen played really well," Fenwick said. "He got us out of the rush and made some real big plays."

Tyronne Gross took a second quarter hand-off, fumbled the ball but regained it, and cut across the field for a 97-yard touchdown run.

"They all thought that we were going inside and then he bounced it outside," Fenwick said. "For Tyronne to take it for the touchdown instead of just a 30 or 40 yard gain shows the mark of a good running back."

Eastern outgained Rocky Mountain on the ground 279 to 24, led by Gross' 167 yards on 22 carries.

EOU beat Rocky Mountain 47-0 last year, but this year's contest proved to be much closer.

"We knew that they were a much improved team from last year," Fenwick said.

Jensen had two punts inside the five yard line and also kept a third-quarter scoring drive alive with a 21-yard pass completion off a fake punt.

EOU's offense gained 526 yards, but only scored two touchdowns.

"We gained a lot of yards on offense but we only scored 13 points," Fenwick said. "So there are always things to work and and correct."

Eastern was penalized for 130 yards on 15 penalties.

"I was disappointed with our penalties," Fenwick said. "They took us away from some opportunities."

Eastern's defense gave up a 50-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Sanchez to Jason Hagadone, cutting the Mountaineer lead to 22-19 with under six minutes remaining.

"We gave up too many big plays," Baker said. "But when you blitz the heck out of someone you are going to give up a few big plays."

Eastern Oregon and Rocky Mountain have a rematch set for Oct. 22 at Community Stadium.

"They are a real good team," Fenwick said. "They are on the rise just like us."

Eastern returns to Montana Saturday, traveling to Butte to face Montana Tech. Game time is set for noon.

Eastern Oregon 22, Rocky Mountain 19

Eastern Oregon 2 6 7 7 – 22

Rocky Mountain 0 7 6 6 – 19

First quarter

EOU –Safety, Michael Eby, 9:31

Second quarter

RMC – Justin Venn 3 run (Tyler Cano kick), 5:20

EOU – Tyronne Gross 97 run (kick blocked), 1:53

Third Quarter

EOU – Ben Running 5 pass from Scott Jensen (Cody Bloom kick), 8:26

RMC – Bobby Coleman 32 pass from Adam Sanchez (pass failed), 2:25

Fourth quarter

EOU – Michael McCoy 25 interception return (Cody Bloom kick), 12:23

RMC – Jason Hagadone 50 pass from Adam Sanchez (kick failed), 5:44

EOU RMC

First downs 22 14

Rushes-yards 58-279 19-24

Passing yards 247 254

Comp-att-int 21-33-0 16-40-1

Punts 6-32.5 8-42.1

Fumbles-lost 4-1 0-0

Punt returns-yards 1-10 0-0

Kickoff returns-yards 5-69 4-79

Penalties-yards 15-130 6-44

Third-down conversions 12 of 23 5 of 13

Fourth-down conversions 1 of 2 0 of 0

Sacks by–yards lost 2-5 7-24

Time of possession 41:53 17:46

Individual statistics

RUSHING - Eastern Oregon, Tyronne Gross 22-167, Scott Jensen 23-49, Eddie Robinson 5-27, Jessy Denny 8-36. Rocky Mountain, Justin Venn 12-39, Clint Franklin 3-3, Adam Sanchez 4-(-18).

PASSING - Eastern Oregon, Scott Jensen 21-33-0, 247 yards. Rocky Mountain, Adam Sanchez 16-40-1, 254 yards.

RECEIVING - Eastern Oregon, Ryan Charles 3-20, Deandre Amos 1-9, James Mayfield 2-30, Christopher McSwain 1-49, Devin Smith 4-64, Cameron Ketner 1-7, Eddie Robinson 1-(-2), Jessy Denny 2-4, Jomo Wilson 4-40, David Pitts 1-21, Ben Running 1-5. Rocky Mountain, Justin Airola 4-48, Riley Stephenson 1-11, Jason Hagadone 4-87, Bobby Coleman 5-99, Clint Franklin 1-2, Justin Venn 1-7.

LEADING TACKLERS - Eastern Oregon, Rick Borden 6, Sean O'Brian 5, David Pitts 5, Jimmy Hoffman 5, Bubba Strong 5. Rocky Mountain, Marcus Bradshaw 12, Darin Muri 12, Roger Larson 11, Jason Rixford 11, Rich Wilson 8.