• September 22, 2019

Eagles crush Union in opener - The Trail Blazer: News

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Eagles crush Union in opener

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Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2019 9:50 pm | Updated: 11:19 pm, Thu Aug 29, 2019.

Morehead State sophomore quarterback Mark Pappas tossed for 236 yards and three scores in his first career start as he helped power the football Eagles to a 44-7 victory over Union (Ky.) on a picture-perfect Thursday evening at Jayne Stadium.

Morehead State opened its 2019 campaign at 1-0 while the Bulldogs fell to 0-1. It was the first meeting between the two Bluegrass State schools since 1946. The Eagles will return to the gridiron on Sept. 7 when they travel to No. 15 Illinois State for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Hancock Stadium.

KEY STATS

* Morehead State rolled up 587 total yards on offense, including balancing 293 passing yards with 280 yards on the ground.

* Redshirt junior running back Issiah Aguero rushed for a career-high 131 yards on 13 carries, while redshirt freshman running back Mario Convenuto came on late in the game to record 85 yards on the ground on just 10 carries. Aguero piled up 165 all-purpose yards.

* The Eagle defense, under new coordinator Tony Brinson, limited Union to just 34 rushing yards on 28 carries and came up with three interceptions. Senior linebacker Beau Griego, junior defensive back Eldee Edwards and junior defensive back Isiah Tigler all came up with picks. Junior linebacker Steven Barongi was also credited with a blocked punt.

* The Eagles were 2-of-2 on fourth downs and 8-of-14 on third-down chances.

* Junior defensive end Vaughn Taylor, Jr., recorded 3.5 tackles for loss, a pass break-up and a quarterback hurry, while sophomore linebacker Justin Benvie led the defense with seven tackles.

HOW THE SCORING TRANSPIRED

* 3:55 1st quarter - Pappas rushed for his first career touchdown on a one-yard scramble to end an eight-play, 68-yard drive to make it 7-0.

* 8:29 2nd quarter - Junior kicker Andrew Foster was true on a 23-yard field goal attempt

* 4:04 2nd quarter - Redshirt freshman running back Jovan Smith crashed in form two yards away to make to 16-0.

* 00:39 2nd quarter - Sophomore tight end Jacob Peters had what might be considered the catch of the night with a one-handed catch in the back corner of the end zone on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Pappas to set the halftime score at 23-0.

* 11:51 3rd quarter - Redshirt junior receiver Jordan Huffman broke free for a 48-yard score from Pappas.

* 7:42 3rd quarter - Freshman wideout Hunter Richardson hauled in Pappas' third score on a 34-yard pitch and catch to push MSU into a 37-0 advantage.

* 2:25 4th quarter - Junior back Earl Stoudemire ran away from the Bulldog defense on a sweep play forhis first career TD, a seven-yard run to make it 44-0.

* 1:54 4th quarter - Union spoiled the shutout bid when Earl Wells raced 85 yards down the visitor's sideline on a screen pass to set the final at 44-7.

 QUOTING COACH ROB TENYER

* "We has some standout players tonight, some guys that played extremely well. We do have a lot of things to clean up, obviously way too many penalties (19 for 170 yards)."

* : I loved our energy tonight. Defensively I thought we played really hard. Once we got inside the 25-yard line our red zone defense was outstanding (Union was 0-for-3). We held them to 34 yards rushing but listen, I'll even take double that. We were hitting tonight, and striking."

* "It was a slow start but we went in at halftime, made some adjustments, and I thought we ran the ball more efficiently in the second half."

* "Mark Pappas had a nice game for his first start. He is passionate about the way he plays and gets the guys to play hard around him."