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No. 4 EIU rolls past Austin Peay 63-7

Eastern Illinois made short work of Austin Peay in the Governors home opener scoring 27 first quarter point as the fourth ranked Panthers won 63-7 on Thursday night in Clarksville.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (EIU Release) – Eastern Illinois made short work of Austin Peay in the Governors home opener scoring 27 first quarter point as the fourth ranked Panthers won 63-7 on Thursday night in Clarksville.

EIU improved to 5-1, 2-0 in the OVC.  APSU fell to 0-6, 0-2 in the OVC.  EIU returns home Oct. 19 for homecoming against Southeast Missouri.  Kickoff is 1:30 pm at O’Brien Field.  For tickets call 217-581-2106 or online at www.eiupanthertickets.com

EIU scored on its opening drive as Taylor Duncan broke through the line for a 27-yard touchdown with 13:40 to play in the first.  Following a three-and-out by the APSU offense, Duncan found the end zone for a second time from 1-yard with 8:15 to go in the opening quarter.  Duncan rushed for 128 yards as EIU finished with 192 yards on the ground.

EIU converted two APSU turnovers into first half touchdowns.  Jimmy Garoppolo hit Shepard Little for a 43-yard touchdown after the Governors first turnover in the first quarter.  EIU recovered a fumble inside the APSU ten yard line in the final 1:30 with Garoppolo hitting Erik Lora from eight yards out to put EIU up 42-0 at the half.

Lora caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo with 33-seconds left in the first quarter to break Roy Banks’ EIU career receiving yards record.  Lora finished with five catches for 133 yards and three touchdown receptions (12 on the year).   Garoppolo finished with 306 yards passing on 21-of-30.  He was 16-of-23 for 209 yards and three touchdowns in the first half.  Garoppolo scored EIU’s other first half touchdown on a 1-yard run.  Garoppolo passed for five touchdowns, his final one a 66-yard screen pass early in the fourth quarter to Lora.  Garoppolo became the Panthers career leader in total offense passing Sean Payton’s mark of 10,298.

The Panthers defense held APSU to 158 first half yards and 309 yards for the game.  Alex Helms had ten tackles with two for loss.  Jourdan Wickliffe, Pete Houlihan and Seth McDonald all had six tackles

Austin Peay’s score came at 10:14 in the third on a Tim Phillips 9-yard run.  Phillips led APSU with 83 yards rushing.
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