Eagles Can’t Catch the Cougars, WSU 59-24

Written by Brandon Clearwaters

Saturday marked the 400th game for Eastern Washington as members of the FCS. And, The Eagles were looking to replicate one of their most memorable games a 45-42 upset over Washington State back on September 3, 2016. In the first game between the in-state rivals since the upset, The Cougars would be just too much for the Eagles and there would not be a repeat as EWU would suffer a 59-24 loss.


The first quarter of was dominated by the Cougars offense who would a total of 181 passing yards at the end of the frame. WSU had the ball for a total of ten minutes of the first quarter and would take a 14-0 lead entering the second quarter, with a rushing touchdown by James Williams, and pass from Grant Minshew to Easop Winston.


The Eagles just couldn’t stop the Cougars in the first half of Saturday’s game as Cougars quarterback Minshew would complete 25 of 33 passes for 263 yards. At the end of the 1st half, the Cougars had 283 total yards. while the Eagles would only have 162 total yards. The Eagles struggled in the turnover margin in the first half as Gage Guburd would throw two interceptions and would only complete 7 of 18 passes for 98 yards.


With only 1:04 left before halftime the Eagles looked to take a chunk out of the Cougars lead, When Gubrud led a 82-yard drive that ended with a 26-yard strike to Andrew Boston. The Cougars would take a 28-10 lead into the locker-room at halftime.


Entering the 2nd half the Eagles were still looking for answers on how to stop the Cougars. The Eagles started the 3rd quarter on a Gage Guburd 34-yard pass to Zach Eagle for a touchdown, Making it a two-score game 28-17.


The scoring would hit a rapid pace late in the third quarter; with only 4:37 left in the quarter the Cougars would get another long touchdown drive, going 99 yards to take a 35-17 lead. Then with 3:54 left in the 3rd quarter Dennis Merritt would get his first career catch as an Eagle, that would be a 44-yard pass for a touchdown to help the Eagles. The lead would now be 11-points as the Cougars led 35-24.


WSU would pull away as Gage Guburd would throw his 3rd interception of the game. This would hurt the Eagles as Guburd would finish the night only completing 14 of 36 total passes for 231 yards. EWU would finish the game committing three turnovers for the whole game. The Cougars would put the nail on the coffin with 1:21 left in the game, they would score on a 6-yard pass from backup Trey Tinsley to Robert Lewis to take the 59-24 win over the Eagles.


Next up, the Eagles return home to face the Cal Poly Mustangs to open Big Sky Conference play on September 22nd with a 1:05 PST kickoff at Ross Field.

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