The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Harris runs wild at O’Brien

Southeast Missouri running back Henry Harris single-handedly shredded the Eastern defense Saturday, in a 28-13 SEMO victory.

Eastern head coach Bob Spoo said the defense was shredded pretty well Saturday. He said Harris is an outstanding back.

O’Brien Field became Harris’ playground Saturday, running the ball 27 times for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Also, he had four kick returns for a total of 100 yards.

The Panther defense could not stop the run. SEMO ran the ball 46 times. The Redhawks only had 56 plays in the entire game.

“That’s really disappointing,” Spoo said. “That’s always the first emphasis, to stop the run.”

Three runners averaged at least six yards per carry. SEMO quarterback Matt Scheible averaged 6.6 yards – the same as Harris – and running back Mike Jones averaged 6 yards.

“The quarterback manages the game really well,” Spoo said. “He does what he has to do.”

When Scheible had to pass, he was 7-of-10 for 41 yards.

Although he did not pass much, Scheible did not throw an interception. Eastern freshman quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw four.

One of his interceptions came on Eastern’s first drive of the second half. Tylor Brock stepped in front of the pass and took the ball 48 yards for a touchdown.

After SEMO trailed at halftime, 10-7, the interception touchdown helped swing the game to 21-10 with six minutes left in the third quarter.

“Anytime there is a pick for six (points) it is deflating,” Spoo said.

On Brock’s interception, Garoppolo said the SEMO defense was in a cover three formation. He said the defense sent a blitzer from the left side and he said he looked to throw to the right side when he should have looked to the left.

“I looked to the wrong side,” Garoppolo said. “If I would’ve looked to where they were blitzing we might have had a nice play.”

Trailing 21-10, Eastern couldn’t come back, but Spoo said they were in high spirits when they led at halftime.

In the second half, Garoppolo said SEMO blitzed much more often.

It showed.

At halftime, Garoppolo was 8-of-12 for 61 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He finished the game 20-of-33 for 163 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.

Garoppolo said he puts the lack of offense on his play.

“I can’t throw so many interceptions,” Garoppolo said.

Garoppolo said the game could have been different if the offense would have finished more drives, instead of settling for two field goals and four punts.

“The key is not throwing interceptions,” Garoppolo said. “I put it on myself, every interception is unacceptable.”

With the loss, the Panthers fell to 0-5, but Spoo said the team is not giving up.

“We have to try to find a win and focus on Eastern Kentucky up next,” Spoo said.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 581-7944 or [email protected]

Harris runs wild at O’Brien

Harris runs wild at OBrien

Sophomore free safety Tylor Brock from Southeast Missouri intercepts a pass meant for red-shirt senior tight end Cody Bruns Saturday at O’Brien Field. (Danny Damiani

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