EKU Uses Big First Half to Top Morehead State
Eastern Kentucky scored on the first play from scrimmage and never looked back in defeating the Morehead State football team, 55-13, Saturday night (Sept. 13) at Roy Kidd Stadium.
Eastern Kentucky, ranked 25th in this week's Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll, improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1992. Morehead State fell to 1-2.
The Eagles outscored EKU 13-9 in the final half, but the hosts did their damage in the first stanza when all six touchdowns came on drives of five plays or less. MSU concluded with an advantage in possession time, 34:02 to 25:58.
"EKU played extremely well in the first half, and we didn't," Head Coach Rob Tenyer said. "I was very proud of our fight in the second half though. I felt we competed much better."
For the second consecutive week, MSU saw its opponent score on the first play. Dy'Shawn Mobley bolted up the middle 61 yards following the opening kickoff. The Colonels also reached the end zone in the first half on pass plays of nine, 12 and 37 yards and scored on rushing touchdowns of three and 49 yards before intermission. They added a 40-yard scoring jaunt in the last quarter and returned a blocked PAT attempt for a two-point conversion.
Sophomore quarterback Austin Gahafer got MSU on the board late in the third period with a one-yard plunge, his first rushing TD of the season. He also threw a 22-yard score to freshman wide receiver Christian Robinson in the fourth quarter. It was Robinson's first career touchdown.
Mobley led all players with 123 yards on just six carries. EKU utilized three quarterbacks. Coney finished with a team-best 117 yards on seven completions with two scores.
Gahafer was 29-of-49 for 272 yards, his seventh career 200-yard performance. He completed passes to 12 different receivers.
Sophomore safety Brandon Louder led the Morehead State defense with a career-best 12 total tackles, including two for losses as MSU registered six stops for negative yardage. Freshman safety Me'lon Barnes intercepted his first career pass.
Eastern Kentucky generated 525 total yards, including 353 rushing yards. MSU finished with 332 yards, with only 60 on the ground. The Colonels entered the game ranked fourth nationally in rushing defense.
"We expected to run the ball a little better than we did," Tenyer added. "They are really athletic on defense, and that gave us a lot of trouble finding any room to run."
Morehead State finished 6-of-21 on third-down conversions and held the Colonels to 3-of-12. Gahafer was sacked for the first time in nine quarters dating back to the final game of 2013.
Morehead State opens Pioneer Football League play next Saturday (Sept. 20) at Davidson. Game time is set for 1 p.m.