CHENEY, Wash. — Reilly Hennessey hit fourth-string tight end Beau Byus with a 23-yard scoring pass off a fake field goal with 43 seconds left to lift Eastern Washington to a 34-30 win Northern Iowa on Saturday night.
Hennessey, the backup quarterback, had rallied the Eagles (2-1) to a 28-24 lead with two touchdown passes after they had trailed 24-7 at the half. Freshman Antoine Custer Jr. started the comeback by returning the second-half kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.
Northern Iowa (1-2), which had 257 yards in the first half, had eight on its first five possessions of the second half before drives of 60 and 39 yards led to fourth-quarter field goals and a 30-28 lead with 4:13 to play.
Hennessey, in relief of Gage Gubrud, completed 21 of 29 passes for 226 yards, with seven completions coming on the final drive that started on the 25. His third TD pass was the first reception of Byus’ career. Kendrick Bourne had 10 catches for 152 yards. The Eagles finished with 403 yards, 231 in the second half.
Eastern’s All-American receiver Cooper Kupp, who sprained a shoulder in last weekend’s overtime loss at North Dakota State, did not play.