CHENEY — Vernon Adams threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score as No. 3 Eastern Washington defeated No. 4 Montana State 54-29 on Saturday to take a major step toward the Big Sky Conference championship.
The Eagles (8-2, 6-0) notched the program’s 500th victory in defeating the Bobcats (7-3, 5-1).
Adams now has 38 touchdown passes to break the school record and ranks second in Big Sky history. He was an efficient 16 of 18, including scoring throws of 76, 68 and 17 yards to Shaquille Hill. Hill finished with a career-high 172 receiving yards.
Quincy Forte’s 25-yard scoring run with 1:28 left in the first half gave EWU the lead for good at 26-21. Forte rushed for a career-high 123 yards and two scores.
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MSU closed to 40-29 early in the fourth quarter on DeNarius McGhee’s 2-yard run. Adams responded with his 76-yard TD throw.
Pacific Lutheran 28, at Whitworth 21
Visiting Pacific Lutheran overcame four turnovers with a stellar second-half defensive effort, defeating Whitworth in a Northwest Conference game.
The 15th-ranked Lutes finished the regular season 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the NWC and await the announcement of the NCAA playoff field on Sunday, Nov. 17, hoping for an at-large bid.
Whitworth (3-6 overall, 1-4 NWC) looked like it might challenge PLU after the Pirates forged a 14-14 tie at halftime. But the Lutes limited the Pirates to 78 net yards in the second half and kept them out of the end zone until 1:26 to play in the game.
PLU’s Dalton Ritchey accounted for 304 yards of total offense. He ran for 129 yards on 20 carries with two rushing scores. He was 15 of 22 for 175 yards with one TD and two interceptions.
Bryan Peterson completed 25 of 31 passes for 220 yards with three touchdowns for Whitworth.
At Western Oregon 32, Central Washington 26
AJ Hull returned an interception 25 yards with 1:02 remaining to give the Wolves (6-4, 6-3) a 32-19 lead and help seal a victory over the Wildcats (6-4, 6-3) in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference game.
Central Washington quarterback Jake Nelson was 23 of 36 for 244 yards and two touchdowns, but was picked off three times.
Nelson threw a 30-yard pass to Greg Logan to pull the Wildcats to 24-19 with 5:13 remaining. D.J. Richardson caught a 13-yard pass with 17 seconds left to close the scoring.
Western Oregon quarterback Ryan Bergman was 21 of 39 for 405 yards and four touchdowns. Dustin Hurd and Antoinne Wafer each had a touchdown and 124 yards receiving for the Wolves.
At Linfield 79, Puget Sound 3
Linfield scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions on the way to a rout of Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference game.
Playing just the first two quarters, quarterback Josh Yoder threw for two scores and ran for two other touchdowns as the Wildcats beat the Loggers for the 24th consecutive time.
Ranked second nationally behind defending NCAA Division III champion Mount Union, Linfield (8-0, 5-0 NWC), sewed up a share of its fifth straight conference title. The Wildcats can clinch the title outright with a victory next Saturday at Pacific.
The Wildcats extended their NWC win streak to 31 games while dealing Puget Sound its 18th straight conference defeat.
Freshman Spencer Payne came off the bench to pile up 212 all-purpose yards, scoring on a long punt return and a lengthy run. Puget Sound was held to 116 yards for the day and ended with minus-5 yards rushing. Linfield amassed 465 yards.