Scores

Final

Jacksonville St 24

(11-4, 5-3 OVC)

E Washington 35

(12-2, 8-0 Big Sky)

4:05 PM ET, December 14, 2013

Roos Field, Cheney, WA

1 2 3 4 T
JVST 7 14 3 024
EWU 7 14 7 735

Top Performers

Passing: V. Adams Jr. (EWU) - 324 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: Q. Forte (EWU) - 24 CAR, 190 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: A. Clark (EWU) - 11 REC, 181 YDS, 1 TD

Eastern Washington pulls away to beat Jacksonville State

Associated Press

CHENEY, Wash. -- Vernon Adams was still kicking himself over throwing two momentum-killing interceptions when he got a glimpse how easily things could have been worse.

It happened early in the fourth quarter of Eastern Washington's 35-24 Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal victory over Jacksonville State, when his teammate Albert Havili returned an interception 77 yards for the clinching touchdown.

"It's looking like they're driving down to take the lead," said Adams, the Eagles' Payton Award finalist, "and just like that Albert knocks the wind out of them. He makes that pick and we're going crazy on the sidelines."

The freshman linebacker's big play backed a 190-yard rushing day by Quincy Forte and gave the third-seeded Eagles one more home game next Saturday against seventh-seeded Towson in the FCS semifinals. The winner earns a trip to Frisco, Texas, for the national championship game on Jan. 4.

Jacksonville State (11-4) had made things hard on the Eagles in the first half behind the running and passing of Eli Jenkins, but lost the freshman quarterback to a knee injury shortly before halftime. Backup Max Shortell passed for 173 yards in the second half, but threw two interceptions and the Gamecocks managed just a field goal the rest of the way. They also lost rushing leader DaMarcus James to a thigh bruise early in the third quarter.

Jenkins rushed for 118 yards and completed 12 of 14 passes before his exit, including a 10-yard touchdown to Anthony Johnson as Jacksonville State built a 21-14 lead in the second quarter.

"We always have a plan, because there are things that Max can do," said Jacksonville State coach Bill Clark. "I would just like to have seen what happens with Eli in there."

Before Jenkins' injury, Adams marched the Eagles 77 yards for the tying score, connecting with Ashton Clark on a 41-yard touchdown. Forte then crashed in from 7 yards out for the second of his two touchdowns on the first possession of the third quarter, giving the Eagles the lead for good.

That was also the last damage done by Eastern Washington's powerful offense, which rolled up 545 yards but hurt itself with three turnovers, including a fumble and an interception in the end zone.

"When you're facing one of the best eight teams in the country, games are going to have that choppy feel and they're not always going to be perfect," said Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin. "You just have to find ways to win and our guys have been great at that."

Adams, the FCS passing efficiency leader, completed 18 of 29 passes for 324 yards, 181 of those coming on 11 completions to Clark. Adams also connected on a 29-yard scoring pass in the first quarter to Cooper Kupp, the freshman receiver's 21st touchdown reception of the season.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
JVST
EWU
1st Downs2925
Total Yards528545
Passing303324
Rushing225221
Penalties3-273-22
3rd Down Conversions11-194-8
4th Down Conversions0-11-3
Turnovers23
Possession32:4827:12

Passing Leaders

Jacksonville StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Shortell12/221737.902
Eastern WashingtonC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Adams18/2932411.222

Rushing Leaders

Jacksonville StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jenkins141188.4045
Pope14493.5014
Eastern WashingtonCARYDSAVGTDLG
Forte241907.9236
Adams8222.8010

Receiving Leaders

Jacksonville StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Barge69515.8042
Brown88710.9022
Eastern WashingtonRECYDSAVGTDLG
Clark1118116.5141
Kupp49924.8143

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERJVSTEWU
TD05:52Cooper Kupp 29 Yd Pass From Vernon Adams (Kevin Miller Kick) 07
TD00:55Gavin Ellis 3 Yd Pass From Telvin Brown (Griffin Thomas Kick) 77
SECOND QUARTERJVSTEWU
TD10:48Anthony Johnson 10 Yd Pass From Eli Jenkins (Griffin Thomas Kick) 147
TD09:03Quincy Forte 3 Yd Run (Kevin Miller Kick) 1414
TD06:11DaMarcus James 1 Yd Run (Griffin Thomas Kick) 2114
TD02:39Ashton Clark 41 Yd Pass From Vernon Adams (Kevin Miller Kick) 2121
THIRD QUARTERJVSTEWU
TD12:02Quincy Forte 7 Yd Run (Kevin Miller Kick) 2128
FG09:23Griffin Thomas 26 Yd 2428
FOURTH QUARTERJVSTEWU
TD10:40Albert Havili 77 Yd Interception Return (Kevin Miller Kick) 2435