Morehead State football kicked off its 2017 campaign with a 56-14 win over Kentucky Christian on Thursday night at Jayne Stadium. With the win, the Eagles open the season 1-0 for the first time since 2012.
“It was a good game for us,” said head coach Rob Tenyer. “You've got to love it. It was a great win.”
Morehead State spent much of the initial quarter shaking off its off-season rust, leading its NAIA opponent 7-0 after the first. Nevertheless, the second quarter saw a four-touchdown explosion from the Eagles, while the Knights managed just one of their two scores on the day.
MSU took a 35-7 lead into halftime, thanks in large part to a 14-14 performance from quarterback Lawson Page. The 6-foot-2 redshirt junior threw for 169 yards and two touchdowns at the break.
“I thought we played a really good first half,” Tenyer said. “We had a lot of first-game issues and mistakes, though. We have a lot to fix, but I'm excited to get the first win this year.”
The Eagles padded their sizeable lead with two more touchdowns in the third quarter, relinquishing a pick-six to the KCU defense with one minute remaining. However, an eight-yard rush from redshirt freshman Roberto London in the final period sealed a six-touchdown win for the Eagles.
Page ended his night with 284 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception on 21-23 passing in his first career start under center. The Shelbyville native added 49 yards on seven rushes, but did not take the field in the fourth quarter.
Morehead State was led on the ground by a pair of freshman running backs, who each eclipsed the century mark in their MSU debuts. Roberto London recorded 133 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, while Logan Holbrook ran 17 times for 104 yards and two scores.
“Our running backs were as advertised,” said Tenyer. "They played really well tonight. Even in the fourth quarter, we were running the football well. We had some big plays.”
As a team, Morehead State logged 625 total yards to Kentucky Christian's 221. Redshirt junior wide receiver Jarin Higginbotham pulled down four catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns, while senior linebacker Jacob Biller led the MSU defense with eight tackles and one sack.
The Eagles return to action this week, competing in the first of back-to-back road games. Morehead State travels to Lynchburg, Virginia, for a contest with Liberty on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m.