Camels fall to Morehead State 45-36
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Freshman quarterback Austin Gahafer hit career highs for completions (26) and passing yards (334) to lead Morehead State to a 45-36 Pioneer Football League win over Campbell Saturday at Barker-Lane Stadium.
Gahafer hit nine different receivers for three scores in 34 attempts for Morehead (2-4 overall), which has won two of its first three PFL games (2-1) for the first time since 2007. Junior slot receiver Brandon Bornhauser scored a career-best three touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving) for the Eagles, who gained 469 total yards, while scoring 45 points for the second week in a row.
Rees Macshara led the Eagles on the ground with 62 yards on 16 carries, while Cyrus Strahm had 6 catches for 76 yards, including a 52-yard gain. The win was Morehead's first-ever at Buies Creek following losses at Barker-Lane in 2009 and 2011.
Campbell (1-4, 0-2) rolled up 553 yards of total offense, 383 on the ground, but was plagued by 102 penalty yards.
Brian Hudson ran 11 times for 168 yards (an average of 15.3 per carry), the most ever by a Camel quarterback in the program's Division I (since 2008) era. Kurt Odom rushed for 85 yards and Keith Goss 80 for the Camels, who entered the game ranked third in the FCS in rushing yards per outing (286.5)
Ben Bolling had three receptions for 85 yards, including a 56-yard scoring catch. Hudson completed 13-of-23 passes for 170 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Jayland Adlam made 10 total tackles and Matt Farris nine for the Camels. Jordan Hendrix had nine stops and Michael Jackson eight for Morehead State.
Adlam recovered Macshara's fumble near mid-field to give the Camels possession at the Morehead 49 early in the second quarter. Hudson's 45-yard QB keeper set up Goss' 1-yard scoring plunge to give the Camels a 7-0 lead with 10:36 left in the half.
Two big plays gave the Eagles the lead. Gahafer connected with Strahm on a 52-yard completion. After a personal foul penalty set up Morehead State with a 1st-and-goal from the 2, Bornhauser ran in to tie the score with 10:04 to play.
Morehead's defense forced a 3-and-out and Steven Lester blocked Adam Lutz' punt (the senior DB's third career blocked kick) and Brandon Louder picked it up and ran to the Camel one. Bornhauser again covered the final distance and the Eagles led 14-7 with 8:44 left in the period.
Campbell answered with an 8-play, 70-yard drive keyed by a pair of long gains. Hudson ran 23 yards on a 3rd-and-3 to give the Camels a first down on the Morehead 40. On 4th-and-5, Hudson connected with Jonathan Rogers, who ran 34 yards to the Eagle 1. Odom leaped over the pile to tie the score at 14 with 3:50 to go in the half.
A pair of 15-yard penalties extended Morehead's next drive to set up Luke Boyd's 44-yard field goal that gave the Eagles a 17-14 lead after two quarters.
Campbell out-gained the visitors 259-149 in the first half, but was flagged for 81 penalty yards and a Hendrix interception at the Morehead three yard line.
Morehead drove 70 yards with the second half kick-off to take a 24-14 advantage. Gahafer completed 3-of-3 passes in the 70-yard drive, including a 16-yard scoring toss to Mason Rutherford.
Kitaro Lewis got behind the Campbell defense and gathered in a 44-yard completion from Gahafer to give the Eagles a 31-14 lead with 3:45 left in the third.
Hudson hit Bolling on a deep route for a 56-yard touchdown reception to bring the Camels within 31-21 just 40 seconds later.
Gahafer hooked up with Bornhauser on a 13-yard TD toss and Morehead led 38-21 with 12:25 remaining. The big play on the 12-play, 89-yard drive came when Gahafer hit Rutherford for a 31-yard catch-and-run on 1st-down and 25-yards to go following an offensive pass interference call.
Goss ran 23 yards off left tackle to cap an 8-play, 70-yard drive and trim the Morehead lead to 38-28 with 8:58 left.
After stopping the Camels on fourth down near mid-field, Morehead drove 52 yards in six plays to extend the gap to 45-28 on Justin Cornwall's 7-yard run end around for the score.
Hudson found Dalton Dillon on a 1-yard scoring pass with 41 seconds to play, then ran around right end for the two-point conversion to trim the gap to 45-36.
Campbell travels to defending PFL co-champion Butler next Saturday (Oct. 12), while Morehead State is off until an Oct. 19 date at Valparaiso.