COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Jaelon Acklin had a touchdown rushing and receiving in the second half and Western Illinois opened the season with a 41-14 win over Tennessee Tech on Thursday night.

Defensive end Khalen Saunders added a 1-yard touchdown and Mike Viti returned an interception 45 yards for a score as the Leathernecks led 34-0 after three quarters.

Saunders bulled his way into the end zone in the second quarter and Sam Crosa added two field goals to make it 13-0.

Acklin scored on a 21-yard end around and Vic Johnson added a 16-yard run before the interception return in the third.

Andrew Sale threw TD passes of 61 and 52 yards in the fourth quarter for the Golden Eagles.

Max Norris had 133 yards on 19 carries for Western Illinois, which piled up 298 yards on the ground and 443 overall. The defense forced three turnovers and Quentin Moon had 3½ tackles for loss and a forced fumble among his 10 tackles.

Tech had 252 yards, all in the air. Elliot Normand had 18 tackles.

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