Florida football crushes Eastern Washington 52-17

Gators record 750th win in program history
The Florida Gators manhandled the Eastern Washington Eagles at home on Sunday.
Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 4:29 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - After a wild, chaotic road loss to Tennessee dropped Florida out of the top-25 and handed the team their second loss of the season, Anthony Richardson carried over his herculean play from a week ago, by recording two touchdown passes and leading the offense to the endzone on all five of first half possessions to pound Eastern Washington, 52-17 at home.

In the Gators (3-2) first ever meeting with the Eagles (1-4), the orange and blue played like team in mid-season form. Richardson’s first touchdown of the game came on the team’s first play of their first possession. Richardson ran play action, and with a clean pocket, the sophomore signal caller slung a pass deep over the middle, which hit Justin Shorter in stride for a 75-yard touchdown. That long bomb tied a career-long for Richardson and set a career-long for Shorter. The quick strike score put Florida ahead 7-3.

Montrell Johnson, Nay’Quan Wright, and Ricky Pearsall each recorded a rushing touchdown in the opening half, as the ground game for Florida tallied 150 yards and three trips to the endzone at the end of the first half. Richardson also ripped off a 45-yard run that set up Johnson’s rushing touchdown to give Billy Napier’s team a 14-3 advantage with 1:13 remaining in the first quarter.

Wright earned Florida’s third consecutive touchdown on another short-yardage touchdown. He ran inside the left pylon to boost the Gators lead to 21-3. Wright now has 2 running scores on the season. Both are against non-conference opponents. His other touchdown came against South Florida.

The longest play of the game belonged to wide receiver Ricky Pearsall. He took a reverse 76 yards down the left sideline with just over 5:00 left in the first half to essentially put the game out of reach at that point. That was Pearsall’s first carry of the season and first rushing touchdown of the fall, as well.

Two minutes later, Richardson used one last drive to get Florida into the endzone. He threw a perfect ball in the back left corner to Xavier Henderson for a 21-yard score. That was Henderson’s first touchdown reception of the season and is the first time Richardson’s thrown back-to-back games with two or more touchdown passes this season.

Jalen Kitna played most of the second half for the Gators. Kitna tossed a pair of touchdown passes himself. His longest one was a 62-yard score, when he found Caleb Douglas down the right sideline with 4:25 to play in the 3rd quarter. His other touchdown went to Lorenzo Lingard. Lingard caught five passes for 45-yards and a touchdown. All catches, yards, and lone touchdown were the first for him this fall.

Florida will next play at home against Missouri on Saturday, October 8. That game is scheduled for a noon kickoff.

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