Story and photo courtesy of Morehead State Athletics
MOREHEAD, Ky. - The Morehead State football team scored 24 points in the first 13 minutes of Thursday evening’s season opener against Southern Virginia and never looked back in a 55-0 win before a crowd of 6,579 at Jayne Stadium.
“Tonight was a good start to our season,” Head Coach Matt Ballard said. “We played really hard, we played together and we had a lot of guys make plays. I liked our energy level, discipline and focus. Let’s hope we can carry this momentum forward.”
Senior quarterback Zach Lewis led Morehead State by completing 16-of-22 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Donte Sawyer added four catches for 41 yards, while sophomore running back Rees Macshara carried 11 times for 53 yards.
The scoring started less than three minutes in when Lewis found Macshara on a four-yard touchdown pass. Lewis also connected with sophomore wide receiver Desi Banks (25 yds), sophomore slot receiver Brandon Bornhauser (51 yds) and Sawyer (19 yds) on end-zone tosses before intermission.
MSU senior kicker Rainer Duzan added a career-best 50-yard field goal for the only scoring in the third quarter. He also connected on a 24-yard chip shot in the first quarter and drilled all seven of his extra-point attempts in the contest.
MSU sophomore quarterback Boone Goldsmith added a 76-yard strike to sophomore slot receiver Kitaro Lewis in the fourth quarter, before freshman running back Rob Harden capped the night’s scoring with a 12-yard TD sprint.
“We wanted to take what we’ve done every day -- the way we’ve worked and the way we’ve executed -- and bring it to the game field,” Ballard said. “So many guys do a great job in practice, but it’s a different story when the lights come on and you play in front of a big crowd.”
Goldsmith finished 8-of-9 for 131 yards. Eleven different Eagles caught a pass in the victory.
Three sophomore linebackers led Morehead State on defense. Jordan Hendrix recorded a game-high 11 tackles, while Dillion Blackburn registered eight and Nick McCune was credited with five.
MSU sophomore defensive back Michael Jackson came up with the game’s only interception and returned it 37 yards. Freshman linebacker Mason Jones forced the contest’s only fumble and Hendrix recovered.
The Eagles tallied 25 first downs and 499 total yards, while limiting the Knights to 14 first downs and 171 total yards.
Neither Southern Virginia quarterback reached 100 yards. Sophomore running back Jerry Washington picked up 53 yards on the ground, while senior wide receiver Cameron Williams recorded 60 yards in the air.
Morehead State continues its regular-season slate on Saturday, Sept. 8, when it travels to Ohio Valley Conference foe Eastern Kentucky for a 6 p.m. ET contest. Tickets are available via MSUEagles.com or by calling 606-783-2386.