Mark Pappas connected with receiver Matt Guilfoil on a 25-yard touchdown pass with 1:02 left at Marist Saturday to cap a 76-yard drive, and the Morehead State defense halted the Red Foxes on their last possession as MSU won a thriller, 27-24, at Tenney Stadium.
The Eagles stayed perfect in the Pioneer League at 4-0, only the program's second-ever 4-0 start and first since 2002. It also the third win in four tried for MSU at Marist in the series.
Pappas completed seven passes on the final drive, including the game-winner to Guilfoil who caught it at the five-yard line and spun his way across the pile-on. Pappas finished the day 32-of-52 for 396 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver BJ Byrd had his fifth 100-yard ame of 2021 with 113 yards and also scored his ninth TD of the season.
The defense limited the Red Fox offense to only 302 yards. Marist drove down and scored a go-ahead TD with 4:41 remaining to take a 24-21 lead.
Tight end Matt DeBlaiso also grabbed a touchdown early in the fourth period as the Eagles jockeyed back and forth with marist and took a 20-17 advantage with 12:49 left.
MSU reached the scoreboard first, cashing in on a one-yard plunge by running back Issiah Aguero to lead 6-0 with 11:29 left in the first half. Marist answered with a 32-yard rushing touchdown and a 39-yard FG to take a 10-6 lead. But Pappas and Byrd hooked up for a 25-yard score with 53 seconds left in the first half.
Linebacker Vincent Winey had a monster game on defense, totaling 12 tackles and two sacks for a loss of 29 yards. Vaughn Taylor, Jr., also had another tackle for loss and a sack.
Defensive back Khiyree Keith picked off a pass for third consecutive game.
Morehead State rolled up 451 total yards.
The Eagles return to Jayne Stadium next weekend when they host PFL foe Davidson at 2 p.m. ET.