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Adams leads Eastern Washington past Sam Houston State in FCS opener

Aug 24, 2014 - 1:48 AM Cheney, WA ( - Vernon Adams threw four touchdown passes to lead an impressive FCS Kickoff victory for No. 1 Eastern Washington, which took down visiting 17th-ranked Sam Houston State 56-35 on Saturday.

Adams, the runner-up for the 2013 Walter Payton Award, completed 26-of-48 passes for 302 yards while also carrying 12 times for 60 for the two-time defending Big Sky Conference champion Eagles (1-0). Quincy Forte ran 23 times for 152 yards and Jalen Moore gained 86 yards and two touchdowns on eight rushes.

Kendrick Bourne and Blair Bomber each hauled in a pair of TD passes, while 2013 Jerry Rice Award winner Cooper Kupp had a team-high seven catches for 62 yards and a score.

Jared Johnson threw for 317 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 31- of-53 passes for Sam Houston State (0-1). This was the first game for new head coach K.C. Keeler, who previously led the University of Delaware for 11 seasons. Keeler coached the Fightin' Blue Hens to a 2003 FCS -- previously Division 1-AA -- national championship.

Keshawn Hill had 133 yards and a touchdown on the ground and Johnson picked up 79 yards and a score with his legs.

The score was tied at 21-21 at halftime, but EWU outscored their opponents 35-14 in the second half to pull away.