CHENEY — Sean Chambers scored on a 13-yard run for the winning touchdown as No. 4 Montana State defeated No. 15 Eastern Washington 38-35 on Saturday in a Big Sky Conference opening game that had a wild final four minutes.
With the Bobcats (3-1) trailing 35-31, a Chambers pass was picked off by Jaren Banks in the end zone with 3:52 left in the game. On the next play, Sebastian Valdez forced a Micah Smith fumble that was recovered by Ty Okada. It took two Chambers carries for MSU to score.
On fourth-and-14 from the EWU 25, Nolan Ulm caught a long pass from Gunner Talkington but when he landed on the turn, the ball popped loose into Danny Uluilakepa’s hands and after a long review the Bobcats ran out the final two minutes. There were no turnovers in the game until the closing minutes.
In relief of Tommy Mellott, who was injured late in the first quarter, Chambers ran 26 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns and was 6-of-12 passing for 69 yards with a touchdown. His 5-yard pass to Willie Patterson gave MSU a 24-21 lead and his 2-yard run in the third quarter made it 31-21.
Talkington, who was 17 of 26 for 230 yards, had an 80-yard pass to Freddie Roberson and 8 yards to Ulm in the fourth to put Eastern (1-2) on top 35-31.
Elijah Elliott had 17 caries for 141 yards and a score as the Bobcats picked up 327 yards on the ground.
Smith, who carried 13 times for 114 yards, had scoring runs of 56 and 28 yards in the first quarter for the Eagles.