for this game

E. Illinois opens with 31-6 win over Illinois St.

Sep 15, 2009 - 9:36 PM CHARLESTON, Ill.(AP) -- Jake Christensen fired three touchdown passes to pace Eastern Illinois to a 31-6 victory over Illinois State on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.

In his first start as a Panther after transferring from Iowa, Christensen connected on 14 of 22 passes for 167 yards. Mon Williams rushed 16 times for 87 yards and a touchdown for Eastern Illinois, which led 14-0 at intermission and then scored on its opening drive of the second half to pull away.

Drew Kiel passed 3 yards to Ben Graves for the Redbirds' only score. Kiel finished 20 of 22 for 140 yards. Geno Blow ran 13 times for 37 yards for Illinois State.

The Panthers outrushed the Redbirds 217 yards to 20.

The game was the Illinois State debut of coach Brock Spack, who was an assistant to Eastern Illinois coach Bob Spoo from 1987-90.