CHARLESTON, Ill. – Erik Lora caught 15 passes for 178 yards, including a 43-yard score that gave Eastern Illinois the lead for good, and the Panthers went on to defeat Southeast Missouri 39-20 on Saturday for their fourth consecutive win.
Eastern Illinois (7-3, 6-1) clinched the Ohio Valley Conference championship with its win and Tennessee-Martin's 45-44 loss to Tennessee Tech.
The touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to Lora with 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter made it 23-20 Panthers, and Taylor Duncan and Jake Walker scored on short TD runs in the fourth quarter for Eastern Illinois.
Walker finished with 132 yards on 23 carries for Eastern Illinois. Each team ran 75 plays, but the Panthers outgained the Redhawks 441-233.
Scott Lathrop ran 27 times for 103 yards, and Levi Terrell had 22 carries for 96 yards for Southeast Missouri (3-7, 2-5).