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The Eastern Echo Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Eagles defeat Charlotte

Eastern Michigan University Eagles defeat UNC-Charlotte, 24-7

The Eastern Michigan University Eagles football team (1-0, 0-0) recorded their first win of the season Friday at Rynearson Stadium as they defeated the 49ers of University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 24-7. 

Senior quarterback Brogan Roback completed 22 of 31 passes for 267 total passes and one interception. Ian Eriksen rushed for two touchdowns and running back Shaq Vann ran for 93 yards for the offense. 

For the 49ers, quarterback Hassan Klugh completed 12 of 28 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 123 yards in a stout offensive performance for the 49ers. 

Klugh’s pick-six started the game as Brody Hoying stepped in front of the pass and returned it 35 yards for the Eagles to start the game 7-0.

The 49ers responded with a 21-yard toss from Klugh to wide out Trent Bostick to even the score at 7-7. It would be the last time UNC-Charlotte would see the scoreboard, as it was all EMU the rest of the night. 

Senior running back Ian Eriksen scored the first of his pair of touchdown runs with a 2-yard run with 2:35 minutes remaining in the first quarter to make the score 14-7. Place kicker Paulie Fricano kicked a 32-yard field goal to go ahead 17-7. 

The Eagles converted half of their third downs (7/14) and were perfect in the red zone (3/3). With a seven-minute advantage in time of possession, EMU was also able to control tempo early and maintain their brand of pigskin that earned them a trip to the Bahamas in last season's Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl. 

Head Coach Chris Creighton was happy with his team's play and related as such in the postgame news conference -- speaking highly of his senior leader Brogan Roback. 

"First game out, looking at his completion percentage 22 of 31, we'll take that. He's at a point where you know, he wants to be a great quarterback. Making the throws and whatnot, he does all of that,” Creighton said. 

He did a good job with the checks we gave him as well. I think he'd like to have the interception back, but we'd expect him to be 22 of 31 and leading our team and he did that.” 

On the defensive side of the ball, senior defensive lineman Jeremiah Harris recorded nine tackles and two sacks to lead the defensive unit for the Eagles. Brody Hoying had six tackles to go with his first quarter highlights and Kyle Rachwal notched six tackles. 

"I felt pretty good. The two sacks didn't mean anything because I wasn't able to get the ball out of the quarterback's hand. That's something we pride ourselves on," Harris said. 

The Eagles travel to Piscataway, New Jersey to take on the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers Saturday, Sept. 9, for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. The game can be viewed on ESPN3.