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Morehead State Ready for Annual Spring Football Game

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- The annual Morehead State spring football game is scheduled for Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET. The event will take place at Jayne Stadium and admission is free.

“I want to personally invite all Eagle fans out to Sunday’s Spring Football Game,” Morehead State Head Coach Matt Ballard said. “We’re looking forward to a fun day and competitive contest.”

The football exhibition will follow a regular-season baseball game between Morehead State and Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Kentucky. First pitch at Allen Field is set for 1 p.m. MSU’s baseball and football stadiums are located next to each other on the east end of campus.

Morehead State’s spring football season has included four workouts each week in April. All returning players have been on the practice field, regardless of position or spot on the depth chart.

“We’ve had an outstanding spring season,” Ballard said. “I’ve been very pleased with the way our guys have worked and competed. It’s been a fast pace with a lot of good tempo. We’ve made progress in all three phases of the game -- offense, defense and special teams.”

The spring game will be carried by WIVY-96.3 FM, MSPR-90.3 FM and MSUEagles.com for the first time in school history. Chuck Mraz, Jason Blanton, Tanner Hesterberg and Mike Williams will have radio play-by-play, sideline reports and several interviews beginning at 4:15 p.m.

“Sunday will serve as a great preview to what everyone can expect in the fall,” Ballard added. “We will have a lot of talented guys on the field. We will also be using a unique scoring system, which is different from regular-season games. I think that will be enjoyable for the fans.”

The scoring system, to which Ballard refers, will give points to both the offense and defense. The offense will wear white and the defense will wear blue.

In addition to traditional points, the offense will be credited with two points for multiple first downs on a drive, one for third- and fourth-down conversions, one for completions of at least 30 yards and one for rushes of at least 20 yards.

The defense, meanwhile, will be credited with four points for a takeaway, three for forcing a three-and-out, two for stopping a drive without allowing a score, two for a sack, two for a stop in third- and fourth-down situations, one for allowing no yardage on a rushing play and one for a pass break up.

Morehead State returns five individuals who earned Pioneer Football League postseason honors a year ago -- wide receiver Donte Sawyer, kicker/punter Rainer Duzan, quarterback Zach Lewis and offensive linemen Joey Clegg and Eric Matteson.

MSU led all 2011 Football Championship Subdivision schools in first downs (25.2 per game), while ranking second in total yards (478.9) and passing yards (358.2). The Eagles also placed sixth in the nation with 36.1 points per outing.

Individually, Lewis ranked fifth nationally in passing yards (325.9) and seventh in total yards (313.5), while Sawyer placed 15th in all-purpose yards (146.2) and 28th in receiving yards (82.2).

The 2011 Eagles set 17 school records -- eight team and nine individual. Lewis led the way by establishing single-season marks for completions (324), attempts (315) and passing yards (3,585).

MSU finished 3-8 overall and 2-6 in the PFL, but half of its defeats came by less than five points.

Ballard’s assistant coaches heading into the 2012 campaign are John Gilliam, Rob Tenyer, Chris Garner, Paul Humphries, Thomas Duffy, Matt McCutchan, Mike Simmons and Brett Rude.

Morehead State opens its 2012 regular-season schedule on Thursday, Aug. 30, when Southern Virginia comes to Jayne Stadium at 7 p.m. Visit MSUEagles.com for a full schedule with game times.

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