Eagles Win the Potato Bowl

Eagles Win the Potato Bowl

EMU Eagles Win the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Defying our expectations, the Eastern Michigan Eagles win the Potato Bowl, despite having to overcome a lackluster start. What looked like a potential blowout actually became a very exciting game.

San Jose State’s first play from scrimmage was a laser pass from quarterback Chevan Cordeiro to Isaiah Hamilton for 37 yards. Then Cordeiro showed his scrambling ability, with a 27-yard touchdown run on second and 15.

Eastern Michigan’s first possession ended in a strip sack by linebacker Kyle Harmon, who also recovered the fumble, but Spartans’ kicker Taren Schive couldn’t connect on a 46-yard field goal. After another short possession for the Eagles, a poor punt resulted in San Jose State starting at the 45-yard line. Receiver Justin Lockhart caught his first touchdown of the year to put the Spartans up 13-0.

Turning Point

But wait! Eastern Michigan blocked Schive’s extra point attempt, running it back for two points. The Eagles’ next four possessions ended in touchdowns, while San Jose State’s ended in a turnover on downs, back-to-back interceptions, and halftime.

The second half got off to a sleepy start, with the first four drives totaling 13 plays and ending in punts. EMU added a 51-yard field goal by Jesus Gomez on their third possession to go up 33-13. That seemed to spark the Spartans, as Cordeiro led a six-play, 75-yard drive culminating in a 17-yard touchdown catch by Nick Nash. Eastern’s Jaylen Jackson finished off the next drive with a 31-yard scamper to the end zone, adding a two-point conversion run to go up 41-20. Again, the Spartans responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive to pull back within two scores.

The Spartans’ Kyle Harmon made his second big play of the game on the next drive, batting down a Taylor Powell pass on third and goal. Eastern Michigan eschewed both a field goal attempt and a run play on fourth down, to their detriment- Michael Dansby’s end zone interception gave SJSU the ball back. Unfortunately, what was looking like a nice drive ended in an Chevan Cordeiro interception with 1:47 remaining. Comeback averted; Eastern Michigan wins the Potato Bowl.

Some of San Jose State’s issues on defense may have stemmed from losing safety Tre Jenkins, a defensive leader, to injury in the first quarter. We should also note that Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Viliami Fehoko was dealing with some type of injury, according to sideline reporter Dawn Davenport, and was in and out of the game. It was a disappointing ending to a difficult season for the Spartans, who you may remember lost a teammate back in October.


Standout Players: Eastern Michigan

San Jose State’s defense had no answer for running back Samson Evans. Evans carried 25 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns despite being clearly less than 100% in the second half.

Sophomore safety Joshua Scott had a great game for Eastern Michigan. According to the commentators, his nickname is Seatbelt Scotty because “he’ll lock you up”. Scott snagged the second of EMU’s three interceptions and had a pass defensed.

Standout Players: San Jose State

We mentioned him earlier, but linebacker Kyle Harmon had a huge game on defense, finishing with a tackle for loss, a sack, and a fumble recovery.

Wide receiver Isaiah Hamilton had caught six balls for 91 yards and one touchdown all season. He had five catches for 137 yards and a touchdown in the Potato Bowl.


It’s early in bowl season, but we’ve already had one very exciting game as the EMU Eagles win the Potato Bowl in comeback fashion.

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