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Weather, defense lead E Washington past North Dakota 35-20

CHENEY, Wash. -- Senior Antoine Custer Jr. and freshman Silas Perreiah combined for 260 yards rushing and four touchdowns and Eastern Washington defeated North Dakota 35-20 on Saturday in a battle of ranked FCS teams.

Played in near blizzard like conditions with 20 mile-per-hour winds and a mixture of snow and rain, the Eagles, playing the 1,000th game in school history, gained 284 of their 377 total yards on the ground and the defense forced six turnovers. Calin Criner had two interceptions and Dylan Ledbetter recovered two fumbles.

Custer had 28 carries for 134 yards and three short touchdowns in the first half. Silas, a candidate to red-shirt when the Eagles (2-3, 1-0 Big Sky Conference) had depth at running back, picked up 126 yards on 23 carries and scored the clinching touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. Perreiah, who came in with 11 carries for 30 yards, had a 2-yard plunge to cap a three-play, 18-yard drive set up by the final North Dakota turnover.

Eric Barriere, the FCS passing leader, was just 6 of 15 for 93 yards against the top-ranked passing defense but had a 10-yard touchdown run that made it 28-7 at halftime.

Nate Ketteringham was 19-of-43 passing for 211 yards and a touchdown, but the North Dakota quarterback had three interceptions. James Johannesson ran for 107 yards and a touchdown as the Fighting Hawks (2-2) picked up 369 yards of offense.

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