Courtesy of Eastern Illinois Athletics
- Eastern Illinois senior class ended its home playing career on Saturday afternoon snapping the program’s 10-game losing streak as the Panthers (1-8, 1-6 OVC) picked up a 28-10 win over Austin Peay.
Eastern Illinois took control of the game in the second quarter as the Panthers erupted for 21 points playing with the wind as gusts of between 15-20 miles per hour affected the contest for the second straight week.
The wind did not seem to affect freshman quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as he found Chris Wright on two long scoring passes in the quarter. Garoppolo was 5-of-6 for 129 yards in the quarter as Wright hauled in touchdown passes of 52 and 39 yards.
Wright’s first touchdown grab came with 1:35 left in the half on the first play of an EIU drive following a short punt into the wind by APSU punter Ryan Key. Wright’s second scoring grab would cap a three-play, 45-yard drive with 12 seconds left in the half. Wright’s score was set up by a Nick Nasti interception that was returned into Governors territory.
Austin Peay took the early lead on a Stephen Stansell 35-yard field goal at the 5:16 mark of the first quarter. Mon Williams gave EIU the lead with a 5-yard run at the 14:56 mark of the second quarter. Williams finished with 27 yards rushing on 7 carries.
The Governors cut the margin to 21-10 with 5:10 left in the third quarter as Terrence Holt had an 11-yard run. Holt finished with 130 yards rushing and 235 all-purpose yards. Ryan White added 107 yards on the ground as APSU finished with 254 yards rushing but only 63 yards passing.
EIU’s defense stepped up forcing four turnovers including three forced fumbles that ended Governors drives. EIU tacked on its final score with 2:40 left in the game as Garoppolo hit Keagan Robinson on a fourth-and-goal from the five yard line. Garoppolo was 12-of-22 for 219 yards and three touchdowns.
Wright had two receptions for 91 yards and the two touchdowns. Erik Lora had four receptions for 52 yards while also rushing for 52 yards on five carries.
The Panthers defense was led by Cory Leman with 11 tackles and Gordy Kickels with 10 tackles.
Darrick Dillard led the Austin Peay defense with 11 tackles. APSU fell to 2-6 overall, 1-4 in the OVC.
EIU returns to action next Saturday with a 5 p.m. game at Tennessee State.