BOZEMAN, Mont. -- Junior quarterback Matt Nichols threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third as preseason co-favorite Eastern Washington kept its Big Sky Conference hopes alive with a 34-17 victory over mistake-prone Montana State at Bobcat Stadium.
The Eagles (3-4, 2-2) broke open a close game Saturday with three consecutive second-half touchdowns after the Bobcats (3-4, 1-2) had taken a 17-14 lead on a 35-yard field goal by freshman Jason Cunningham with 10:17 to play in the third quarter. EWU took the lead for good on an 18-yard pass from Nichols to Aaron Boyce with 5:50 to play in the third quarter. The Eagles then put the game away on a 3-yard run by Alexis Alexander to open the fourth quarter and a 25-yard scoring strike from Nichols to wide receiver Brynsen Brown with 11:40 in the game.
MSU sophomore quarterback Cody Kempt threw two interceptions, the Bobcats lost two fumbles and Cunningham missed two chip-shot field goals as the 'Cats lost their second straight at home. The Eagles tallied their first touchdown after recovering a fumbled MSU punt return at the 2, then scored their second on a 37-yard interception return by cornerback Ryan Kelley.
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