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Eastern Washington wins in OT, advances to semis

Dec 12, 2010 - 1:27 AM Cheney, WA (Sports Network) - Tyler Hart caught the game-winning score in overtime as Eastern Washington took a 38-31 victory over North Dakota State in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs.

Bo Levi Mitchell completed 13-of-32 passes for 141 yards and three scores, and threw two interceptions. Taiwan Jones ran for 230 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for the Eagles (11-2), who will play Villanova in the semifinals next weekend. Villanova, the defending FCS champion, downed Appalachian State, 42-24, on Saturday.

North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen threw for 128 yards on 12-of-24 passing, with a touchdown and interception. D.J. McNorton totaled 124 yards and a score on 29 carries and also caught a touchdown pass for the Bison (9-5), who were coming off last weekend's 42-17 victory over Montana State.

The Eagles tied the game with 23 seconds left in regulation when Mitchell found Nicholas Edwards in the end zone from four yards out. Then, on the first play of overtime, Mitchell connected with Hart near the goal line for the 25- yard score and a 38-31 lead.

The Bison got down to the four-yard line on their possession, but on 2nd-and- goal, Jensen fumbled and Zach Johnson recovered to punch the Eagles' ticket to the semifinals.

Eastern Washington scored on the first possession of the game, when Mitchell connected with Zack Gehring on a one-yard score less than two minutes into the contest. The Eagles took a 14-0 lead with 9:05 left in the opening quarter, when Jones scored on a 69-yard run.

Ryan Jastram's 41-yard field goal early in the second quarter got North Dakota State on the board, and McNorton's one-yard rushing score made it a 14-10 contest with 9 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

Mike Jarrett booted a 36-yard field goal with 2:33 left in the first half to give the Eagles a 17-10 lead at the break.

The advantage disappeared at the outset of the second half, as North Dakota State's Mike Sigers returned the kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. But Jesse Hoffman answered with an 88-yard kickoff return to restore EWU's lead.

Marcus Williams' five-yard interception return of a Mitchell pass evened the game, 24-24, with under nine minutes left in the third.

The Bison then went ahead with 5:51 to play on McNorton's 21-yard touchdown reception.