Late scoring flurry pushes Murray St past E Illinois 23-17

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Preston Rice threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns, including back-to-back scoring passes as Murray State wrapped two touchdowns around a defensive stand and went on to defeat Eastern Illinois 24-17 Saturday.

Eastern Illinois had taken a 10-9 lead on Josh Delgado’s 30-yard field goal after halftime when Rice engineered a lightning-quick 75-yard drive in four plays, capped by Rice’s 12-yard TD pass to Jam Sappington.

Murray State (3-3, 1-1 Ohio Valley Conference) held the Panthers on downs — allowing only seven yards on a fourth-and-9. Rice then capped a 12-play drive with a 23-yard TD pass to LaMartez Brooks. Sappington caught the conversion pass and the Racers led 24-10 with 10 minutes left.

Chris Walker scored on a 3-yard run as the Panthers (0-6, 0-2) closed to 24-17, but their 11-play final drive ended with first-and-goal at the 5 as time expired.

Harry Woodbury finished 30-of-49 passing for 231 yards and a TD for Eastern Illinois.