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Sam Houston State @ #2 Eastern Washington, 2012

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There's just one game standing in their way from knowing the national championship matchup. That's No. 2 seed Eagles versus the unseeded Bearkats in today's semifinal clash at Roos Field in Cheney, Washington. Or also known as "The Inferno" because of the red turf.

The winner faces North Dakota State in Frisco Saturday Jan. 5 after the Bison defeated Georgia Southern 23-20 last night in Fargo.

Offensively, Eastern Washington will look to run the ball, but the bulk of their attack comes from quarterback Kyle Padron, who has excelled the past few games with passing performances of 381, 327 and 358 yards, with eight combined touchdowns, including a record setting six touchdowns against Illinois State in last week's quarterfinal game.

Padron has a pair of wideouts in Brandon Kaufman and Greg Herd that get the bulk of the receptions for the Eagles.

After a 458-yard, 34-point performance against Montana State in the quarterfinals, the Kats offense hopes to pick up where it left off against a defense that is ranked just 79th in total defense (allowing 394.08 yards per game). The Eagles let Illinois State gain 520 yards and 35 points in the quarterfinals.

Besides running the ball (averaging 178.5 rushing yards in playoff victories over other Big Sky members Cal Poly and Montana State), where Sam Houston has shined has been in its ability to keep from turning the ball over. The Bearkats have not turned over the ball in any of their playoff games so far.

Having played in nine games away from SHSU's home stadium of Bowers Stadium this year, including eight as true road games, the Bearkats will be playing far from home again today. But as these games have shown, they should not be that tough to handle the road.

In last week's quarterfinal matchup with #3 seed Montana State, the Kats dealt with the hostile crowd in Bozeman and Cheney should not be as tough with less seating capacity.

The Bearkats, who normally play in a much warmer climate, will have to battle the elements as temperatures are the lower 30s with a chance of snow yet today. This was a similar weather situation in Bozeman last week but did not have too much trouble in it.

I think this game will be an offensive track meet. Turnovers and the defenses holding the opposing team to field goal attempts will be the key in the game.

I think as was seen in EWU's win over Montana State earlier this season that the Eagles are the best team out of the Big Sky but having played two prior BSC team's might be a plus for the Kats.

But the Eagles, who won the 2010 national championship, I feel will be able to handle the Kats in this one but likely will come down to the last minutes in a closely contested game.

I can't wait to see how this one plays out. Kickoff is about 10 minutes away and can't wait for this one to get going.

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  1. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 at the EWU 44. Deep throw too long for Kaufman.

    2nd & 10 at the EWU 44. Screen pass is broken up.

    3rd & 10 at the EWU 44. Adams runs but gets just 7 to set up 4th down.

    4th & 3 at the SHSU 48. Adams can't hit Clark and SHSU will take over.
  2. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 at the SHSU 48. Flanders up the middle for 7.

    2nd & 3 from the EWU 45. Flanders again and breaks a tackle for a 40 yard gain.
  3. Kent's Avatar
    1st & goal at the EWU 6. Sincere keeps the ball on the Wildkat and gets into the end zone.

    They will review the call and they might stop him short of the goal line.
  4. Kent's Avatar
    The keep it a touchdown.

    PAT is good.

    SHSU 35 EWU 0 with 3:48 left in the 1st half.
  5. Kent's Avatar
    It is looking like it will be a rematch for the title game unless EWU can turn things around quickly.
  6. Kent's Avatar
    The SHSU kickoff is squib kick and EWU fields it at the 20.
  7. Kent's Avatar
    Adams hits Clark with a big play to the SHSU 42.
  8. Kent's Avatar
    SHSU called on a pass interference call and EWU will have it 15 yards down the field.
  9. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 a the SHSU 27. Pass too tall for Clark.

    2nd & 10 at the SHSU 27. Robert Shaw gets the interception on a pass that was way overthrown.

    He steps out of the end zone but returns it back to the 18. The play is under video review.
  10. Kent's Avatar
    SHSU totally dominating this game.

    The call will be a touchback after the video review as Shaw clearly steped out of the end zone on the pick.
  11. Kent's Avatar
    The call is a momentum rule so SHSU will get it the one as he picked it off outside of the end zone.
  12. Kent's Avatar
    Bell with a qb sneak for a yard.

    2nd & 9 from the SHSU 2. Flanders up the middle for 2. TO EWU with 2:21 left in the half.
  13. Kent's Avatar
    3rd & 7 at the SHSU 4. Sincere on the wildKat and SHSU gets the first down.
  14. Kent's Avatar
    1st & 10 at the SHSU 16. Bell's pass to Steven Williams is too high and can't make the grab. There is a holding call anyway on the Bearkats.

    1st & 18 at the SHSU 8. Flanders up the middle and EWU can't bring him down as he drags a couple of defenders for a 8 yard gain. TO EWU with 1:35 left in the half.
  15. rwallace's Avatar
    Flanders over 100 yards rushing already
  16. Kent's Avatar
    2nd & 10 from the SHSU 16. Williams with the option pitch and gets what looks to be a first down but there is a flag on the play. Holding on SHSU.

    2nd & 16 at the SHSU 10. Flanders gets 5 up the middle. TO EWU--their last of the half with 1:22 left.
  17. Kent's Avatar
    3rd & 11 from the SHSU 16. Sincere on the Wildkat qb draw for the first down.
  18. Kent's Avatar
    SHSU looks like they will just run it out to go to half time.
  19. Kent's Avatar
    K. Hill with the last play for just a couple and that will be the last play of the half.

    Total domination on the side of the Bearkats. SHSU 35 EWU 0.
  20. rwallace's Avatar
    Where does EWU start to get back into this game?
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