Dam…Cup rivals win at Providence Park

In their final game of the season Friday night, the Portland State Vikings battled against the fifth-ranked Eastern Washington Eagles at wet and rainy Providence Park. While this game had no playoff implications for the Vikings, an Eagles win would guarantee them the first-place slot in the Big Sky Conference.

The first quarter was all Eagles, with the only score coming on a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Vernon Adams to Kendrick Bourne. With the Vikings driving down the field late in the first, Vikings quarterback Josh Kraght’s pass was intercepted on the Eagles’ goal line and returned to the two-yard line. Having 98 yards to go, Adams lead the Eagles down the field in 13 plays and scored on a one-yard Jabari Wilson rush over the left guard with 11:21 left in the 2nd to give them a 14-0 lead over the Vikings.

After a couple exchanged punts, the Vikings received the ball with 4:56 left in the first half. With senior Kieran McDonagh now under center for the Vikings, they drove 89 yards down the field and scored on a 41-yard McDonagh to Toureen touchdown pass with 1:40 left on the clock, which cut the lead to 14-7 in favor of the Eagles.

On the Eagles’ first play of the ensuing drive, junior cornerback picked off the All American Vernon Adams on the Eastern Washington 47-yard line. After 6-yard pass from McDonagh to Toureen, the quarterback heaved the ball 41 yards to wide receiver Thomas Carter for a Vikings score that tied the game at 14-14.

On the first drive of the second half, a mix of runs and passes by Adams and Wilson resulted in a six play, 73-yard touchdown drive that ended with Wilson running it two yards up the middle, giving the Eagles a 21-14 lead.

The fight wasn’t over quite yet for the Vikings, as Shaq Richard returned the following kickoff 91 yards to the Eastern Washington eight-yard line. On Richard’s second run, he finally found the end zone. The score wouldn’t get tied, however, because the Vikings failed on a two-point conversion attempt on an incomplete pass from Kraght.

The rest of the third quarter was all Eagles, who, heading into the fourth, lead the Vikings 35-20. The Vikings, however, weren’t going to go down without a fight and cut the lead to eight after a 12-play, 67-yard touchdown drive that ended on a McDonagh to Stevie Coury touchdown pass with 13 minutes left on the clock.

It didn’t take Eastern Washington long to widen the lead to two scores as the ensuing drive resulted in a four-play, 74-yard drive highlighted by a 40-yard touchdown pass from Adams.

With the score now 42-27, the Vikings still weren’t giving up. On an 11-play, 78-yard drive, McDonagh found Coury in the end zone once again on a 15-yard pass that cut the lead to within one score with 6:22 left on the clock.

That was the last time in the Vikings found the end zone, as Eastern Washington then showed why they are the number five team in the FCS by scoring twice more before the game clock expired with a final score of 56-34 in favor of the Eagles.

It was senior night for the Vikings, and even though they came away with a loss, the seniors came out and put on a show. Senior quarterback Kieran McDonagh threw for 274 yards and four touchdown passes while also rushing for 51 yards. Senior running back Shaq Richard also had a good night, rushing for 64 yards and one touchdown. Senior wide out Alex Toureen finished the final game of his collegiate career with 96 yards and a touchdown.