CHENEY — It took all of 17 seconds for the Eastern Washington University football team to take the lead for good, but a blowout quickly turned to a shootout.
A 78-yard pass play from junior Eric Barriere to senior Dre’ Sonte Dorton on the first offensive play of the game sparked EWU to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and eventual 59-31 victory for the No. 4/5 ranked Eagles over Lindenwood on Saturday at Roos Field.
Eastern (1-1) led 31-0, but couldn’t shake a Lindenwood team which scored 17 points in the second quarter and 14 in the third quarter, but none in the first and fourth periods. Eastern had a school-record 769 yards of total offense and Dorton broke EWU all-time receiving yards record with 289 while catching 15 passes, three for touchdowns.
“The game came in three phases,” Eastern coach Aaron Best said. “We started fast and were relentless on offense, defense and special teams. We had a lull, but then we got on the gas again. We have some things to correct, but we came out ready to play.”
The Lions, a NCAA Division II school in St. Charles, Mo., played in their season opener.
Eric Barriere completed 32 of 46 passes for 522 yards and five touchdowns as he recorded the second-most passing yards in school history. He rushed for 34 more yards, giving him 556 to come four yards from the total offense record.
Redshirt freshman Isaiah Lewis led EWU’s 247-yard rushing performance with 64 yards and a touchdown. Senior Dennis Merritt had 50 yards rushing and another 32 on a pass reception before leaving the game early in the second quarter with a serious lower leg injury.
Junior Andre Slyter’s first career field goal for EWU was a 50-yarder that ranked as the 17th-best in school history and the longest in 11 years and one day since Felipe Macias made a 52-yarder on Sept. 6, 2008.
EWU plays at Jacksonville State on Saturday.
EWU board gives OK to renovate football stadium
CHENEY — The Eastern Washington University Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $25 million private fundraising strategy to renovate the existing football stadium after long-awaited pre-design plans were unveiled Friday on the EWU campus.
A BOT-appointed task force recommended the renovation plan after studying all fundraising and facility enhancement opportunities, since state dollars cannot be used. Part of the review involved working with ALSC Architects of Spokane to create stadium renderings that would reflect a realistic project the university could pursue.
Renovating the stadium will be a game-changer for Eastern, school officials said, as it will create a dynamic venue with all new seats, premium seating options and an expansion of the east side stands.
EWU athletic director Lynn Hickey said the stadium’s overall seating capacity won’t increase much under the plan (total seating would be 8,612), but fans will enjoy better seats and improved sight lines, with more seatback chairs, covered club level seating and private loge box seating. Additional amenities include more concessions and new restrooms located on both sides of the stadium, reflecting feedback from surveys and focus groups. The track will also be removed to create a more intimate environment.
The press box would move to the other side of the field, behind the visitors’ seating area, and the current press box would be renovated into suites. Additional club seating would also be offered.
Construction will begin once the funds are raised, however the immediate need is to replace the red turf before the beginning of the 2020 football season. That will cost $1.3 million.
Eastern Washington 59,
Lindenwood 0 17 14 0 — 31
E. Washington 21 10 21 7 — 59
EWU—Dorton 78 pass from Barriere (Slyter kick), 14:43.
EWU—Custer Jr. 6 run (Slyter kick), 11:12.
EWU—Barriere 1 run (Slyter kick), 5:59.
EWU—Lewis 2 run (Slyter kick), 13:22.
EWU—FG Slyter 50, 10:37.
LINU—Henneman 15 pass from Brister (Garner kick), 7:54.
LINU—FG Garner 28, 4:17.
LINU—Rose 24 pass from Brister (Garner kick), 0:11.
EWU—Dorton 18 pass from Barriere (Harrison kick), 14:06.
LINU—Rose 31 pass from Brister (Garner kick), 9:45.
EWU—Dorton 59 pass from Barriere (Harrison kick), 8:30.
LINU—Scharf 24 pass from Brister (Garner kick), 4:47.
EWU—Roberson 15 pass from Barriere (Harrison kick), 2:07.
EWU—Perreiah 3 pass from Barriere (Harrison kick), 7:49.
First downs 23 36
Rushes-yards 27-85 47-253
Passing 289 522
Comp-Att-Int 28-52-1 32-47-1
Return Yards 161 52
Punts-Avg. 9-44.0 3-36.7
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalty-Yards 8-68 13-140
Time of Possession 27:39 32:21
RUSHING—Lindenwood University, C. Brister 12-33, N. Sutherlin 5-24, E. Staskewicz 3-16, A. Faddoul 3-8, D. Grohler 3-4, J. Johnson 1-0. E. Washington, I. Lewis 11-64, D. Merritt 7-50, A. Custer Jr. 7-47, E. Barriere 8-34, M. Smith 6-31, S. Perreiah 7-19, J. Edwards IV 1-8.
PASSING—Lindenwood University, C. Brister 27-50-1-283, A. Faddoul 1-2-0-6. E. Washington, E. Barriere 32-46-0-522, G. Talkington 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING—Lindenwood University, P. Rose 6-97, N. Jackson 7-83, E. Henneman 5-42, A. Scharf 1-24, T. Chandler 2-21, N. Sutherlin 4-19, G. Gibbons 1-9, E. Staskewicz 2-(minus 6). E. Washington, D. Dorton 15-289, F. Roberson 4-56, J. Gilder 4-55, J. Edwards IV 4-42, D. Merritt 1-32, A. Custer Jr. 2-27, J. Williams 1-18, S. Perreiah 1-3.