Despite racking up more than 500 yards of total offense and out-gaining the Toreros , the Morehead State football team was defeated 51-34 by Pioneer Football League foe San Diego on Saturday afternoon at Jayne Stadium.
The loss drops the Eagles to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in PFL play. The Toreros, who picked up their 23rd consecutive conference win, improved to 3-2 and 2-0 in the PFL.
Morehead State redshirt senior quarterback Lawson Page piled up 342 total yards - 242 through the air and 100 on the ground - and four total touchdowns with zero turnovers. Page's first score came on a rush from 13 yards out while his other three scores were through the air. Page's third career 200-yard passing, 100-yard rushing game was his second straight accomplishing that stat feat. He is the first MSU QB with back-to-back 200-yard passing, 100-yard rushing games since former All-American David Dinkins in 2000.
"I take a lot of pride in my running game as well as my passing," said Page. "The offensive line has been doing an amazing job. San Diego is a great team, but they were beatable, so we just have to go back to the drawing board and practice better this week."
The Eagles gained 508 total yards with the ball to the Toreros' 487 and ran 82 plays. MSU was 10-of-18 on third downs and three-for-three in the red zone. Despite scoring the 34 points, MSU fell behind 14-0 early in the first quarter and trailed 31-14 at the half.
"We just have to find a way to start games better," said head coach Rob Tenyer. "I think we need to improve our communication too. We had some key injuries this week, and I think we really didn't take full advantage of the next man up this week. I think Lawson is playing well enough for us to win games. I am awfully proud of what he is doing, and I am very proud of our rushing game. We had another great game rushing the ball today."
Morehead State piled up 266 yards on the ground. Complementing Page's 100-yard total was also 89 rushing yards on just five carries from redshirt freshman back Jovan Smith. He sprinted away for a 68-yard touchdown late in the third quarter, the Eagles' longest rushing play and rushing touchdown of the season.
Trailing 21-7 in the second period, Page found senior wideout Jarin Higginbotham on a 46-yard touchdown toss, marking Higginbotham's 13th career score. He finished with a team-high five grabs for 87 yards. Sophomore DeVonte Adams and freshman Jeremiah Scott also hauled in their first career scoring passes. Adams' was on a 13-yard strike, and Scott closed the scoring with 1:31 left in the game on a 17-yard reception.
San Diego quarterback Anthony Lawrence completed 19 passes for 354 yards and four touchdowns.
In the kicking game, the Eagles' Vaughn Taylor, Jr., blocked a USD PAT, but the Toreros also blocked an MSU field goal, punt and PAT attempt. Eagle punter Andrew Foster's first punt went 73 yards to tie Greg Burke for the second-longest punt in program history. Burke's was way back in 1987. Foster leads the conference in punting.
Safety Aaron Turk paced the defense with eight tackles, while end Jeremiah Draper came up with two stops behind the USD line.
The Eagles will continue with PFL play next week at Davidson. The Wildcats welcome Morehead State to Richardson Stadium for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff.