MURRAY, KY (9/24/12) – Eastern Illinois converted a two-point conversion in the first overtime to hand Murray State a 50-49 defeat in a wild, back-and-forth game that last four hours Saturday evening at O’Brien Field.
The Racers (1-3, 0-1 OVC) got the ball first in overtime and quickly drove down the field as Duane Brady caught a pass in the flat and broke a tackle along the sideline for a 13-yard gain. Two plays later, Jaamal Berry went up the middle for the touchdown.
The Panthers (2-2, 1-0 OVC) got the ball and went to the ground as they ran the ball up the middle three-straight plays to set up a 4th-and-1. They went to the option and picked up just enough to keep the drive alive. They continued to run the ball before Jimmy Garoppolo found Chavar Watkins for a nine-yard touchdown.
EIU decided to go for the win and called for a trick play as wide receiver Erik Lora took the ball and hit Von Wise just over the goaline for the victory.
The Panthers jumped out a quick lead as Lora caught a pair of touchdown passes on the first two drives to give EIU the 14-0 lead. MSU came back on their next possession and used an eight-play drive to get on the scoreboard. Quarterback Casey Brockman capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
After Lora caught his third touchdown pass of the quarter, the Racers responded by scoring the next 26 points in the first half to take a 33-20 lead into halftime.
Brockman hit Nevar Griffin for a three-yard touchdown, before hitting Jordan Morrow for a 15-yard scoring on a screen pass. Kicker Jordan Benton added a pair of field goals around a Jaamal Berry two-yard touchdown run.
The second half saw the Racers move the ball down the field, but they were not able to find the endzone and had to settle for field goals. Benton connected on three second-half field goals, and was a perfect 5-for-5 on the day.
On the other end, the Panthers offense, which had just 94 yards of offense over the final 21:38 of the first half, scored three touchdowns in the first 15:27 of the second half.
Brockman finished the day by going 43-for-64 for 423 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also rushed for 31 yards and a score.
Running back Duane Brady led the ground attack with 72 yards on 16 carries, while also catching four passes for 30 yards.
Walter Powell continued his strong season as he had 13 catches for 142 yards. It was his second-straight career day, after catching 12 passes a week ago. Morrow added five catches for 70 yards, while Dontel Watkins had five grabs for 54 yards.
The Racers return to action Sept. 29 as they return to Stewart Stadium to take on Tennessee Tech. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
Information provided by John Brush
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