Garoppolo, Little fuel Eastern Illinois victory

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Updated: 12/08/2013 4:03 am

Charleston, IL ( - Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Shepard Little stole the show Saturday, leading the No. 2-seeded Panthers to a 51-10 rout of Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee State in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

Garoppolo completed 17-of-26 passes for 240 yards, three first-half touchdowns and an interception, while Little gained 184 yards and scored two touchdowns on 12 carries. Both of Little's touchdowns were second-half scores.

The Panthers (12-1), who haven't lost to an FCS squad this season, will host seventh-seeded Towson (11-2) in the quarterfinal round Friday night. Towson beat Fordham, 48-28, Saturday.

Eastern Illinois, with the No. 1 scoring offense in the FCS, ran out to a 44-0 lead in the third quarter before Tennessee State running back Tim Broughton scored from 7 yards out on a run.

In the second quarter, Panthers defensive specialist Leon Holderhead blocked a Tennessee State punt, and teammate Anthony Goodman scooped the ball up and returned it five yards for a touchdown. That gave Eastern Illinois a 30-0 advantage.

Eastern Illinois outgained the Tigers offensively, racking up 553 total offensive yards to Tennessee State's 287. The Tigers lost three fumbles.

Panthers running back Taylor Duncan carried the most times, gaining 79 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.

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