CHENEY, Wash. (AP) — Talolo Limu-Jones had career highs with 11 receptions for 231 yards before leaving with an apparent ankle injury, Eric Barriere threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns to Andrew Boston as Eastern Washington beat Montana 34-28 on Saturday night in a matchup of two of the top teams in the FCS.
Eastern Washington (5-0, 2-0 Big Sky), ranked No. 6 in the FCS coaches poll, scored 21 straight fourth-quarter points to take a 31-21 lead. Barriere hit Boston for a 9-yard touchdown to cap a 13-play drive on the second play of the period. After fourth-ranked Montana went three-and-out, Barriere hit Limu-Jones down the middle for a 58-yard gain and on the next play Micah Smith scored on a 2-yard run before Barriere ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Eagles the lead for good.
Dennis Merritt capped a five-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring run to make it 31-21 with 9:42 remaining but Malik Flowers returned to ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to pull the Grizzlies within three. Flowers has five career kick returns for touchdowns, a conference record — one shy of the FCS mark.
Eastern Washington’s Jackson Cleaver kicked a 30-yard field goal with 1:21 left to cap the scoring.
Montana (3-1, 1-1) drove to the EWU 13 before a throw into the end zone as time expired fell incomplete.
It was the 19th time the teams faced each other as ranked opponents.
Merritt finished with 23 carries for 103 yards. His 10 touchdowns this season are most in FCS.
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