Florida cruises past Eastern Washington in Ian-delayed game

Florida cruises past Eastern Washington in Ian-delayed game

Florida’s big-play offense score three times on drives of two plays or less Sunday, leading the Gators to a 52-17 win over Eastern Washington in Gainesville, Fla., in a game that was moved back one day due to Hurricane Ian’s landfall.

Anthony Richardson completed 6 of 9 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for Florida (3-2). He left briefly in the second quarter after being tackled at the ankles but soon returned.

In his collegiate debut, backup Jalen Kitna — the son of former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna — was 10-for-13 for 208 yards and tossed a long score to Caleb Douglas. Justin Shorter and Xzavier Henderson had TD receptions.

On the ground, Ricky Pearsall scored on a long reverse, and Montrell Johnson Jr., Nay’Quan Wright and Lorenzo Lingard Jr. added TD runs.

Florida’s only other Sunday game was a 37-14 loss to Texas A&M in the 1977 Sun Bowl.

Gunner Talkington went 24 of 37 for 253 yards with a 28-yard touchdown to Jakobie James, but FCS program Eastern Washington (1-3) lost its third straight game.

Kekoa Visperas rushed for a 25-yard score, and Marlon Jones Jr. recorded an interception.

The matchup was originally slated for 2020 but was moved back two years because of the COVID-affected season.

Coming off a 38-33 Southeastern Conference loss at Tennessee last week, Florida fell behind on the first series as the Eagles went 44 yards on 13 plays before Seth Harrison’s 43-yard field goal.

But the Gators rebounded with a fourth-down stop deep in their own territory, and the offense responded by scoring twice on its five plays in the quarter. Richardson tossed a 75-yard long ball to Shorter for one while Johnson tallied on a short run for a 14-3 lead.

In the second quarter, Wright scored on a short run and Pearsall dashed down the home sideline for 76 yards. Henderson completed the half’s scoring with a 21-yard reception for a 35-3 advantage.

Adam Mihalek nailed a 36-yard field goal, and Kitna lobbed a 62-yard strike to Douglas. Lingard scampered in from 11 yards in the final quarter before James and Visperas tallied.

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The Home Depot Fantasy of Prizes!

UPDATE: The Grand Prize winner for The Home Depot Fantasy of Prizes is Dale Dillman! Dale won the Husky 12 Volt Inflator, the Festive Nutcracker LED Pre-lit Wreath, The Grinch Air Blown Inflatable, and the Nexgrill 30Q Turkey Fryer Package!

Congratulations Dale and thanks to all of those who were qualified, and don’t forget to check out East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s Fantasy of Trees “Christmas in the Pines” this year at the Knoxville Convention Center from Nov. 23rd through 27th!