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Gahafer Sets Multiple Passing Records in Overtime Loss to Marist

Morehead State Athletics

In a back-and-forth contest decided by a 32-yard touchdown pass in overtime, Morehead State football (2-5, 1-3 Pioneer Football League) dropped a 44-41 Homecoming game heartbreaker to Marist on Saturday afternoon at Jayne Stadium.

"We had a number of opportunities throughout the entire game, and we really played well," said head coach Rob Tenyer. "We converted some big downs, and had some big stops defensively, as well."

The first quarter opened with two straight touchdown drives from each team. First, senior quarterback Austin Gahafer completed a 19-yard pass to redshirt-senior wide receiver Darius Pritchett to put the Eagles up 7-0. Marist quickly answered with a 21-yard touchdown run, but Morehead State scored once again by way of another Gahafer touchdown pass to freshman wideout Jalen Elliott. A 75-yard touchdown pass from Marist quarterback Mike White was enough to end the period in a 14-14 tie.

Marist went on to score 10 more unanswered points, setting up a 24-14 deficit for the Eagles in the third quarter. However, Gahafer accounted for two more touchdowns (via a 32-yard pass to Jake Raymond and a 15-yard keeper on the ground) to the Red Foxes' one, ending the quarter with a 31-28 score in favor of the visitors.

White needed only 11 seconds after the fourth quarter's opening whistle for a 13-yard touchdown pass to Joe Jordan, which put Marist ahead 38-28. But, Morehead State scored twice in the game's final five minutes- including a 33-yard field goal from redshirt-senior Matt Ward (his first career FG) with only four seconds remaining- to end regulation in a 38-38 tie. The Eagles converted another field goal on the first possession of overtime, but a game-winning touchdown pass from White to Juston Christian ended the contest at 44-41.

"It came down to one last play," Tenyer said. "They threw it up to their best player, and he just went and made a play. We're still too inconsistent, and I feel like we wasted too many plays on offense. But, that's on us as coaches. We just have to find a way to put our players in better positions to succeed."

Gahafer passed for 325 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. He also ran for a career-high 72 yards and a rushing touchdown. Gahafer's performance in the air was good enough to eclipse Morehead State's all-time record for career passing yards, as well as the PFL records for passing attempts and completions. Junior defensive end Colt Briggs recorded nine tackles (with two coming for losses) and a sack. Safety Brandon Louder contributed nine tackles of his own.

White ended with 377 passing yards, five passing TDs and one rushing score for the visitors.

The Eagles will be back in action on Saturday when Jacksonville (2-3, 1-1 PFL) visits Jayne Stadium at 1 p.m. ET.