Eastern Washington Rallies To Beat UNI, 34-30 [Video]
The UNI Panthers owned a 17-point halftime lead on the road, but couldn't hold it. No. 8 Eastern Washington came from behind to beat the nation's 10th-rated team, 34-30, on Saturday (Sept. 17, 2016).
The Eagles (2-1) sealed the victory when they faked a field goal and scored a touchdown with 46 seconds remaining in the game. Trailing 30-28, Eastern Washington lined up to attempt a 33-yard kick into the wind. Instead, Ryan Hennessey tossed a 23-yard pass to Beau Byus over the middle.
The Panthers (1-2) had a chance to respond, but quarterback Aaron Bailey fumbled the ball as he was being sacked. The Eagles recovered and ran out the clock.
Bailey finished the game with 101 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns. He also completed 13 passes for 174 yards. A.J. Allen finished with a career-high in tackles for the third week in a row, leading the team with 12.
The Panthers controlled the game in the first quarter, holding Eastern Washington to just 10 total offensive yards and no first downs. UNI scored on its first offensive drive of the game, going 75 yards on 11 plays. Bailey crossed the goal line on a one-yard rush, putting the Panthers ahead 7-0 at the 9:31 mark.
UNI extended its lead to 10-0 on a 35-yard field goal from senior Matt Easley later in the quarter. Charles Brown set up the kick when intercepted a pass and returned the pick to the Eagles' 18-yard-line.
Eastern Washington scored its only points of the first half early when Gage Gubrud toss a five-yard touchdown pass to Shaq Hill early in the second quarter.
The Panthers scored touchdowns on their next two drives, expanding their lead to 17 points. Michael Malloy broke free for a 30-yard touchdown run at the 9:38 mark and Bailey got to the endzone on a three-yard rush with 6:06 left to play, putting UNI ahead 24-7 at halftime.
The momentum quickly shifted toward the home team after intermission. Eastern Washington started the second half with a 93-yard kickoff return for touchdown, then cut the Panthers' lead to three points when Hennessey hooked up with Kendrick Bourne on a 37-yard scoring pass midway through the third quarter.
The Eagles took their first lead of the game at the 14:25 mark of the fourth quarter. Hennessey's seven-yard touchdown pass to Stu Stiles put Eastern Washington ahead 28-24.
UNI responded with a pair of field goals to regain the lead. Easley hit a clutch 36-yarder with 11:12 remaining, then kicked a career-long 49-yarder to put the Panthers ahead 30-28 with 4:13 left in the game.
On their ensuing drive, the Eagles drove 75 yards to the UNI 23-yard-line. They faked the field goal and scored the winning touchdown on a 4th-and-13 play.
UP NEXT: UNI returns to action on Oct. 1 when they host Southern Illinois for Homecoming. The Panthers' Missouri Valley Football Conference opener is scheduled to kick-off at 4 p.m. at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
Courtesy: UNI Athletics MediaRoom via YouTube