MSU falls 51-27 at Dayton
MOREHEAD, Ky. — Morehead State seniors Austin Gahafer and Jake Raymond both established school career records Saturday at Dayton, but the Eagle football team fell 51-27 to the host Flyers at Welcome Stadium.
The setback sent the Eagles’ record to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the Pioneer Football League. Dayton, which has now won eight straight in the series since 2009, moved to 4-2 and 2-1 in the league.
Gahafer finished the day with 418 passing yards and four touchdowns on 22-of-47. His fourth TD of the day, an 86-yard strike to senior wideout Darius Pritchett, broke current QB coach Zach Lewis‘ former Morehead State career standard of 72 TD passes. He also established the MSU career mark for total offense, also held by Lewis, now with 10,467. Gahafer also became just the sixth QB in league history to throw for more than 10,000 career yards.
Raymond, who had 328 yards in the last two games, was held in check with just 23 yards, but that was enough to eclipse former wide receiver Donte Sawyer’s career mark of 2,555 yards. He now has 2,561 career yards.
Pritchett had a breakout day, hauling in seven passes for a career-best 185 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a 45-yard score from Gahafer in the second quarter. Sophomore receiver Jarin Higginbotham also had a career-best effort with 90 yards on three catches, including breaking free for a 79-yard score from Gahafer late in the third period.
The story of the day, however, was Dayton’s ability to run the ball. The Flyers rushed for 461 yards on 53 rushes. Tailbacks Tucker Yinger (193) and Jared Ruffing (186) nearly combined for 400 of the yards. Quarterback Alex Jeske added 83 yards on nine carries. Kicker William Will tacked on three field goals to tie the PFL career record.
Dayton built a 24-7 halftime advantage before Gahafer connected with junior tight end Jake Sutherland on an eight-yard score with 10:03 left in the third. A pair of field goals pushed the hosts’ cushion back to 30-14. Higginbotham caught about a 20-yard pass from Gahafer and scrambled free for the remaining 79 yards to bring MSU to within 30-20. The Eagles also got back to within 37-27 with 11:21 left, but the Flyers got 57-yard and 13-yard rushing scores to close it out.
Senior safety Brandon Louder recorded a career-best 14 tackles to lead the defense. Dayton finished with 583 total yards, while MSU garnered 524.
Morehead State returns home for the next two games. The Eagles entertain Marist for Homecoming on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.