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Macshara & Sawyer lead football in 49-14 win over Davidson

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Sophomore Rees Macshara registered 126 yards on 23 carries and senior Donte Sawyer pulled in nine catches for 126 yards as the Morehead State football team rolled to a 49-14 win over Davidson on Saturday afternoon at Jayne Stadium.

The Eagles improve to 3-6 overall and 2-4 in the Pioneer Football League, while the Wildcats slip to 1-8 on the campaign and 1-5 in league play. The win also gives MSU an 8-6 advantage in the all-time series, which began in 1999.

“I’m very pleased with the way we’ve played these past two weeks,” Head Coach Matt Ballard said. “I would use the word ‘convincing’ as a good description for last week’s win over Campbell and today’s victory over Davidson.”

Macshara, who ranks second among league running backs, posted his fifth 100-yard performance in the past six contests. He also managed touchdown sprints of 15 yards in the first quarter and three yards in the second period.

Sawyer, who ranks second among conference receivers, recorded his second 100-yard effort this year and the seventh of his career. He now owns 180 catches for 2,217 yards and 21 touchdowns, which are all MSU career records.

Senior quarterback Zach Lewis added a 20-of-30 performance for 267 yards, with two touchdowns and just one interception. He is now 894-of-1,440 for 9,728 yards and 68 touchdowns, which are all MSU career standards.

The teams traded early touchdowns before the Eagles put together 42 consecutive points to build a 49-7 cushion. The effort came just one week after MSU registered 35 unanswered points to close out a 70-28 victory over Campbell.

“I thought we got better as a football team today -- and that’s what it’s all about,” Ballard said. “I thought we played well in all three phases of the game. We made plays across the board and executed at a high level.”

The scoring spree was highlight by sophomore specialist Cyrus Strahm’s 83-yard kick return. It was the second straight week of an MSU kick return for a touchdown after Sawyer converted on a 94-yard play in the Oct. 27 win.

Senior slot receiver Blake Stanley, who contributed 78 rushing yards for MSU, also managed two touchdown runs. He scored from six yards out in the second quarter and five yards away six minutes after intermission.

Thirty Morehead State defenders were credited with a tackle. Sophomore linebacker Jordan Hendrix and senior defensive back Rashaad Palmer led the way with six apiece.

The Eagle defense also forced two fumbles and collected three interceptions, while junior defensive lineman Aaron Meadows notched two of MSU’s three sacks in the contest.

Morehead State posted advantages of 497-308 in total yards, 230-78 in rushing yards and 28-19 in first downs. The Eagles also converted on 9-of-17 third-down situations.

Davidson junior quarterback Jonathan Carkhuff finished 22-of-41 for just 177 yards and had three turnovers. He entered the day second in the PFL with 290 passing yards per outing.

Sophomore defensive back Bryant Bednarek turned in a game-best 15 tackles for the Wildcats.

Morehead State wraps up the road portion of its 2012 schedule next Saturday at PFL opponent San Diego. Kick-off from Torero Stadium is set for 9 p.m. ET. Visit MSUEagles.com throughout the week for updates on MSU football.

“San Diego will be as good as any team we’ve played this season,” Ballard added. “It’s a very tough trip and very difficult place to play, but I think our guys are playing with a lot of confidence right now.

“It would be great to win these last two contests and finish the year on a four-game winning streak. People don’t always remember how you start the season, but they tend to remember how you finish.”

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