TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) Pierce Holley threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns and Eastern Illinois beat Indiana State 27-0 in a season opener on Thursday night.

After holding the Sycamores to a three-and-out to start the game, Holley led Eastern Illinois on a seven-play, 78-yard drive that ended with his 35-yard scoring pass to Justin Bowick for a 6-0 lead.

Within the final minute of halftime, Eastern Illinois sealed it with consecutive pick-6s for an 18-0 lead. Tyris Harvey and Nijhay Burt intercepted Gavin Screws with 55 and 21 seconds left, respectively, to close the half.

Screws threw for 116 yards with 70 of them going to receiver Dakota Caton, who had six receptions.

The win marked the Panthers first season-opening win since beating Indiana State 22-20 on Aug. 31, 2017. That season also marked the last time Eastern Illinois finished above .500 (6-5). The win ended a six-game losing streak that started on Oct. 15 last year with an overtime defeat against Lindenwood.

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

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