No. 14 Northern Iowa Surges Past No. 7 Eastern Washington 38-35 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

No. 14 Northern Iowa Surges Past No. 7 Eastern Washington 38-35

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Cooper Kupp and the Eagles fell at UNI on Saturday. Cooper Kupp and the Eagles fell at UNI on Saturday.

by EWU Media Relations

Penalties, injuries and poor field position conspired against the Eastern Washington University football team at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Saturday.

The seventh-ranked Eagles rallied from a 21-14 deficit to take the lead, but 14th-ranked Northern Iowa scored 17-unanswered points in the fourth quarter thanks to its passing game and a late interception and went on to defeat Eastern 38-35 in a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision showdown.

With three EWU starters already missing the game because of injuries, two more were felled against the Panthers. Add that to 159 yards of penalties and a more than 10-yard average difference in punting, and the Eagles couldn't capitalize on a 526-yard passing performance that broke the school record.

"We have to clean up a lot of things," said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. "There are a lot of little things in all areas - from a coaching aspect, from a playing aspect and from a discipline aspect. I don't think there was a lack of effort, but there are certain areas we have to own the fact that we have to be a lot sharper. We have to know that everything matters all week and everything matters when we go on the road. I give Northern Iowa credit - they did a great job."

Eastern quarterbacks Jordan West and Reilly Hennessey combined to complete 37-of-47 passes for four touchdowns, helping the Eagles overcome a running game that managed just 26 yards on 25 carries.

Wide receiver Cooper Kupp had another splendid performance with nine catches for 179 yards and touchdown catches of 18 and 73 yards. However, he suffered a hip pointer and couldn't play in the second half.

Saturday's game began the 40th season of football at the UNI-Dome, where the Panthers are now 197-50-1 all-time - including six wins over the Eagles.

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