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A 35-point first half is just enough for Vikings to beat Eagles 38-35 Saturday at Cheney, Washington.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Dante Chachere had a huge day running and passing for Portland State on Saturday at Eastern Washington.Trib's take: When you're Portland State, you celebrate wins any way they come. A five-touchdown first half made it look as if victory might come by a comfortable margin. Then, the second half happened.

Credit the Vikings for coming through at crunch time. Gianni Smith's 40-yard field goal with just under 10 minutes left was the difference. And Beau Kelly's first running play of the year converted a fourth-and-4 with a minute left to seal the win.

This was the Big Sky Conference in a nutshell. The teams combined for 1,192 yards and 165 offensive plays. Portland State had a dominant first quarter, outgaining Eastern Washington 262-33 and leading 21-0 15 minutes into the game. It was 28-0 midway through the second quarter and 35-7 at halftime.

In the second half, EWU ran 51 offensive plays and seemed to wear down the PSU defense. Eagles QB Gunner Talkington completed 25 of 38 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns in the second half.

That effort almost was enough to out-duel Dante Chachere from Portland State. Chachere completed 17 of 22 throws for 201 yards and a touchdown and ran it 14 times for 141 yards and two scores, the kind of performance that should help build his confidence.

Big picture: This is a feel-good win for a Portland State team that was outmatched in three of its first five Big Sky Conference games. PSU improves to 3-5 and 2-3 in conference play. With their next two games at home (Northern Colorado and Sacramento State), the Viks still have a chance to finish with a winning record.

Oh, yes!: Portland State had 432 yards and 22 first downs in its incredible first half. In the second half, they made just enough plays to. hang on, including an onside kick recovery from Elias Spence, an interception from Robert Holt and, finally Beau Kelly's fourth-down sweep, diving for the needed yards to secure the win.

Oh, no!: The PSU defense struggled in the second half. A big part of that, though, was being on the field for 60 plays over the final two quarters against EWU's hurry-up offense.

Next game: Northern Colorado at Portland State, 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5 at Hillsboro Stadium (ESPN+).

For more: Read our weekly On College Football column at pamplinmedia.com most Mondays, in print each Wednesday.


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