Eagles dominate in homecoming win versus North Dakota


Anna Mills

Running back Quincy Forte breaking a tackle versus University of North Dakota on Nov. 1

By Fetlew Gebreziabher, Online Sports Editor

The Eagles dominated the Inferno on Nov. 1 routing the University of North Dakota, 54-3.

Eastern’s offense, defense and specials teams all scored in the 2014 homecoming game. After the Northern Arizona upset, the Eagles came out fired up to regain their momentum in the Big Sky Conference Championship race.

“[The win is] huge for the whole team,” said sophomore quarterback Jordan West. “To bounce back from something that was pretty unfortunate, a tough loss for sure in Northern Arizona, and come out here and put up 54 points and get back to our roots of being a high-scoring team is huge. It feels great.”

West, who started his fourth-straight game for the injured Vernon Adams Jr., completed 24 of 37 pass attempts for 314 yards and two touchdowns.

On the first drive of the game, the Eagles executed a 15-play, 81-yard scoring drive. Senior running back Quincy Forte ran in for the three-yard score.

Forte, who had a career game against Northern Arizona, would finish with 14 carries, 55 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He was sidelined in the second half due to an ankle sprain.

The offense finished with 459 total yards and were four-for-four on fourth down.

“I thought [Jordan] played really good. He was well timed with his aggression. Part of that is I did a better job putting him in those situations than I did a week ago, but we still have to grind out some runs too,” said head coach Beau Baldwin.

It was turnover central on the other side of the ball for the Eagles. The defense won the turnover battle four to zero, scoring 21 points off those turnovers.

Freshman cornerback Moe Roberts started the turnover battle when he returned his first career interception back for a touchdown in the second quarter to extend the Eagles’ lead, 31-0.

It was a good feeling,” said Roberts. “Good thing for our defense for sure. We needed a couple turnovers and we got a bunch of them today, so as a defense that was nice for us.”

The Eagles’ defense held UND to 158 yards of total offense and one third-down completion. “The defense has been tearing it up,” said West.

Special teams also got a piece of the scoring action after junior linebacker Jordan Talley recovered a fumble for a touchdown on a kickoff that was forced by freshman wide receiver Nic Sblendorio.

The Eagles, who move to 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the Big Sky Conference, will prepare for the final home game of the season against the University of Montana.

With the Montana State University loss, the Eagles are now perched in a three-way tie for first place in the Big Sky Conference.

Despite the uncertainty of Adams’ status for the next game, Baldwin said he does not doubt his team and what they can do without their all-American quarterback.

“If someone is down, then the next guy is going to step up. We have been doing that all year regardless of the Vernon piece,” said Baldwin. “There have been a lot of other guys who have been out. We rally around whoever is in there. Yes, I will be excited for the day Vernon comes back, but at the same time, I am excited for the opportunity our team has next week.”

According to West, the goals are the same against University of Montana. 

“The goal is to come out here [to Roos Field] and do the same thing,” said West. “Keep on putting up points and try to stop them as much as possible. That’s the goal and we’re going to be ready.”

The Eagles take on University of Montana on Senior Night on Nov. 8.