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MSU cruises to 70-28 victory over PFL opponent Campbell

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- The Morehead State football team closed out Saturday afternoon’s game with 35 unanswered en route to a 70-28 clobbering of Campbell before a crowd of 7,300 at Jayne Stadium.

The Eagles improve to 2-6 overall and 1-4 in the Pioneer Football League, while the Camels slip to 1-7 on the year and 0-5 in league play. The win also gives MSU a 3-2 edge in the all-time series.

“I thought today was an outstanding effort and performance by our football team,” Head Coach Matt Ballard said. “This shows if you do things right and do things together, the results will come.”

MSU’s 70 points were its most against a Division I opponent since a 73-10 victory over Austin Peay in 2000. The Eagles also rolled up season highs in total (700), passing (469) and rushing yards (231).

“Our offense had tremendous balance and played fundamentally sound,” Ballard said. “Our defense was too high in the first half, but those guys made very nice adjustments in the second half.”

Senior wide receiver Donte Sawyer, who already owns Morehead State career records for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, set the school standard for career receptions on Saturday. He now has 171 catches for 2,091 yards and 21 touchdowns in 39 games as an Eagle.

And Sawyer’s contributions didn’t end with pass receiving as he returned a kick-off 94 yards for a touchdown with 31 seconds to play in the first half. It was the PFL’s fifth kick-off return for a touchdown this season and MSU’s first since the 2001 campaign.

“It was one heck of a day for Donte,” Ballard said. “I definitely salute that young man because no one works harder and no one competes better. I’m sure Donte would also tell you (senior quarterback) Zach (Lewis) and the offensive linemen should get some credit for all of the work they do.”

Lewis, who wrapped up the Campbell game 27-of-32 for 339 yards and five touchdowns, continued to build on his Morehead State career records for completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns. He is now 874-of-1,410 for 9,461 yards and 66 touchdowns in 37 games as an Eagle.

Sophomore Rees Macshara led the Eagles in the rushing department with 17 carries for 110 yards and one touchdown. It was his fourth 100-plus performance in the past five contests.

Sophomore linebacker Dillion Blackburn paced the Morehead State defense with 12 tackles, while freshman defensive lineman Rob Lewis posted a career-high 10 stops. The Eagles collected seven tackles for loss as a team.

Morehead State jumped out to a 28-14 advantage late in the second quarter on Sawyer’s kick return to the end zone and a 43-yard connection from Lewis to senior slot receiver Blake Stanley.

Campbell trimmed the deficit to 35-28 on a five-yard pass from junior quarterback Dakota Wolf to junior running back Kurt Odom, but the Eagles unloaded for the next five TDs en route to the win.

Odom led all rushers in the contest with a school-record-tying 170 yards and one score on 17 carries.

Morehead State continues its home slate next Saturday when PFL opponent Davidson visits Jayne Stadium at 1 p.m. ET. Visit MSUEagles.com throughout the week for updates on Eagle football.

“It was really nice to have a ‘team’ victory on Homecoming, but we have to put this behind us and get ready for Davidson,” added Ballard, who notched his 100th win at MSU. “It would be great to get some positive momentum going over these final three games of the season.”

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