CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. –Jimmy Garoppolo, Football Championship Subdivision’s No. 1 passer, threw five touchdown passes, to lead No. 4/5 Eastern Illinois to a 63-7 Ohio Valley Conference victory, Thursday night, at Governors Stadium.
The victory improved EIU to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the OVC while APSU drops to 0-6 and 0-2 in league play.
The All-American Garoppolo threw scoring tosses of 43, 35, 6, 4 and 66 yards, giving him 28 for the season and 93 for his career. He finished 21 of 30 passing for 306 yards, playing into the fourth quarter. EIU finished with 514 yards total offense, 322 via the air.
Eastern Illinois scored on its first possession, just 1:20 into the game, and three more times in the first quarter to build a 27-0 lead. However, the first two EIU scores were on Taylor Duncan runs before Garoppolo hooked up with Shepard Little on 43-yard catch and run. He added two more before half’s end as the Panthers took a 42-0 lead into offense.
The Governors, who barely struggled to reach 100 yards total offense last week at Eastern Kentucky, finished with a season high 309 yards and 18 first downs. But three costly fumbled by Governors quarterbacks helped snuff out Govs’ scoring drives.
In fact, the Govs moved deep into Panthers territory six times, but could manage just one TD, a nine-yard Tim Phillips run that snapped a string of 13 Govs quarters without a touchdown.
Phillips, the senior transfer from Central Michigan, finished the night with 83 yards on 12 rushes. Sophomore Omar Williams added 66 more yards.
Although it was junior Andrew Spivey who got the start, it was sophomore Jacob Sexton who got most of the snaps, finishing 9-of-16 for 90 yards and leading APSU on its only scoring drive. That included a 39-yard pass to junior Darryl Clack, who finished with a career-best six catches for 68 yards.
Panthers’ All-America receiver Erik Lora, who recently broke Harold “Red” Roberts career receptions record, finished with five catches for 133 yards and three TDs.