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Football Completes Epic Rally to Knock Off Valpo, 24-21, on Game-Winning Field Goal

Morehead State football scored 17 fourth-quarter points, including two long touchdown passes to eventually tie the game, and junior kicker Nathan Hazlett booted a game-winning 28-yard field goal with no time left as the Eagles upended host Valparaiso 24-21 in a Pioneer League battle at Brown Field Saturday.

The Eagles (3-3, 2-2 PFL) put together drives of 92, 80 and 76 yards on their three possessions in the fourth quarter alone (for 248 total yards in the quarter). The final push included a 64-yard pass from QB Carter Cravens to Trevon Kleint to the Beacon 23-yard line that eventually set up Hazlett's heroics. But it came with some drama. Hazlett initially missed a 39-yard try for the win, but he was roughed on the play, moving the ball half the distance to the goal line. On the untimed down, he smashed it through the uprights to set off the sideline celebration.

Trailing 14-7, Cravens connected with top target Ryan Upp on a 64-yard score with 6:03 remaining in the game to tie it 14-14. But the home team matched right down and re-took the upper-hand on a six-yard TD toss.

The kickoff set up MSU at its own 20-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Cravens rolled out and found Upp down the sideline wide open. He raced 80 yards to the end zone, the longest TD play this season, to knot it again at 21-21.

The Eagle defense forced a three-and-out, but the Valpo punter boomed a kick to the Eagle 13-yard line. Amazingly, Cravens bought time again in the pocket and threw a dart to Kleint, who slipped behind the defense and raced 64 yards to the Beacon 23-yard line. A Chance Harris one-yard rush to the middle of the field set up the final heroics.

Cravens finished with a career-high 396 passing yards on 23-of-38 with the two scores. He also added a rushing TD that put MSU on the board first, 7-0, with five minutes left in the first quarter. Upp hauled in eight catches for a career-high 184 yards. Receivers Kyle Daly (83 yards) and Kleint (74 yards) contributed 90 percent of the yards in the passing game.

MSU finished with 447 total yards and allowed 338. The defense was highlighted by a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss from linebacker Isaac Armstrong. Leading tackler Jahleel Holmes will remain in the team-lead as he recorded 11 total tackles. Defensive linemen Wilson McCraw and Arvell Rogers each had two TFLs, and defensive back Jihad McCall intercepted a pass, his second pick-off this fall.

Morehead State steps out of PFL play next weekend when the Eagles travel to Tarlton State in Texas for a 7 p.m. ET game.

By Matt Schabert, Morehead State Athletic Media Relations