Observer staff

The Eastern Oregon football team had a performance to forget against defending Frontier Conference champion Montana Tech.

Orediggers quarterback Quinn McQueary threw for 341 yards and five touchdowns, and fifth-ranked Montana Tech used a 56-0 run en route to a 62-14 blowout victory over No. 23 EOU Saturday in Butte, Montana.

The Orediggers finished with 647 yards of offense and became the sixth opponent to eclipse 60 points against the Mountaineers since the start of the 2000 season. Pacific Lutheran (2000) and Carroll College (2010) both scored 61 points in victories. The only team to score more on EOU in the last 17 years than Montana Tech did Saturday is Southern Oregon. The Raiders scored 73 points in a win in 2013, and 68 and 63 in 2012.

Eastern Oregon finished with 234 yards of offense in the loss. Kai Quinn threw for 126 yards and two touchdowns, but the team managed just 64 yards on the ground.

Interestingly, the game couldn’t have started any better for EOU. The Mountaineers blocked a punt on the opening series of the game — similar to their season-opener against SOU — and scored two plays later when Quinn hit Brenden Kelly for a 37-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

But Tech quickly asserted itself. McQueary threw a 26-yard TD pass to Zeb Bloom and a 65-yarder to Chris Kelly around a Jed Fike 44-yard touchdown run to give the Orediggers a 21-7 lead after one quarter. He added a touchdown run of his own and two more touchdown passes in the second for a 42-7 halftime lead, and the rout was on.

It marked the first time EOU gave up 40 points or more in a half since SOU scored 41 the first half of its 73-20 win in 2013.

Tech outgained Eastern in the first half, 422-86.

Kelly, who caught a seven-yard TD pass in the third quarter, was one of the few bright spot for the Mountaineers. The junior finished with seven catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Eric Prom and Travis Jones recovered fumbles for EOU. Haziel Ledezma had eight tackles, and former La Grande standout Zack Jacobs recorded seven.

EOU (1-3 overall, 1-3 Frontier) has a bye week before hosting winless Montana State-Northern for homecoming Oct. 7.