EOU cruises to win in finale

By Observer staff November 18, 2013 08:36 am

McGinnis-Parker breaks rushing mark in victory

DILLON, Mont. — The Eastern Oregon University football team kept its win streak going, defeating the University of Montana Western 42-20 Saturday. 

The Mountaineers closed out the season with four straight wins, finishing 6-5 overall and 6-4 in the Frontier Conference.  

Chris McGinnis-Parker set the single season rushing record with 164 yards on the ground. The senior running back eclipsed the mark set by Kevin Sampson in 2010, finishing with 1,361 yards, 56 yards more than Sampson.

Jace Billingsley also tied the record for receptions in a season by hauling in 68 passes, matching Phil Nyby.

Ryan Watson led the Mountaineers defense with 13 tackles and an interception. 

The Mountaineers defense forced Montana Western into four turnovers in the game.

EOU wasted no time in marching down the field on its first drive. It took the Mountaineers four plays to go 75 yards in a minute and 40 seconds. McGinnis-Parker capped off the drive with a one yard touchdown run putting EOU on top 7-0.

The lead did not last long after Montana Western’s opening drive. The Bulldogs went down and scored, tying the game at 7-7. After the Mountaineers turned the ball over on downs, Montana Western took its only lead of the game. Dylan Kramer scored his second touchdown of the game putting the Bulldogs on top. The extra point was missed and Montana Western lead 13-7, after the first quarter of play.

The Bulldogs lead did not last long as Eastern Oregon took a 14-13 lead after McGinnis-Parker scored from five yards out. After the Mountaineers defense forced the Bulldogs to punt, EOU’s offense continued to roll. Taking advantage of a short field, the Mountaineers went 34 yards on five plays. Dominique Blackman faked the hand off to McGinnis-Parker and ran in untouched giving the Mountaineers a 21-13 lead.

On the Bulldogs next position, the Mountaineers forced Montana Western to lose 11 yards on three plays and forced them to punt again. Jace Billingsley returned the punt to the Bulldogs 49 yard line. Once Eastern Oregon took control, the Mountaineers scored their fourth touchdown of the game on a 21 yard pass play from Blackman to Justin Hernandez. This touchdown put EOU ahead 28-13, which is the lead the Mountaineers took into halftime.

Montana Western received the opening kickoff in the second half and it looked as if they were going to cut into the Mountaineers lead. However, Adam Bese had a different idea as he intercepted Tyler Hulse’s pass. Eastern Oregon’s offense took advantage of the turnover and went 78 yards on nine plays. Blackman capped off the drive by finding Billingsley for a 26 yard touchdown pass putting EOU on top, 35-13.

Late in the third quarter the Bulldogs added their third touchdown of the game, trimming Eastern Oregon’s lead to 35-20. Dylan Kramer scored from nine yards out, for his third touchdown of the game.

Eastern Oregon added one touchdown to the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. TJ Esekielu went 33 yards to extend EOU’s lead to 22 points, 42-20. On the drive, Esekielu rushed the ball twice for 35 yards.

The Bulldogs acted as if they were going to try to go down the field with 1:42 left in the game as Hulse dropped back to pass and Nick Magrone intercepted the pass. EOU took two kneel downs and EOU came away with a 42-20 victory.