MOREHEAD — Morehead State football is primed for its 2018 home opener. The Eagles are set to host Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) at 6 p.m. ET at Jayne Stadium.
The Eagle Rally Tailgating Zone opens at 2 p.m. Tickets are available by clicking here. The game can be heard on the Eagle Sports Radio Network and seen live on ESPN+.
The Eagles (0-1) will face a Mount St. Joseph (1-0) program that rolled up 600 yards of offense last week against Capital (Ohio). Quarterback Chaiten Tomlin passed for seven touchdowns. The Lions are a Division III program which competes in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
QUOTING COACH TENYER
Reviewing the EKU game
“I thought we competed and really have the makings of a good football team. We didn’t execute a few third down plays and had three dropped passes that would have kept drives going or else we actually probably could have had a lead at the half. I thought on third and fourth down defense, we were very solid.”
On what he wants to see the most improvement on from week one to week two
“I would like to see us clean up some things and execute more on third downs on offense. On defense, we still need to be better against the run. I told our team that we have to create a niche on defense, and that may be that we are very good on third downs against the run. Mount St. Joseph is going to sling the ball around a lot. We know that from their game last week, and they are a team that knows how to win. So, we have to be ready for them in the passing game.”
On the home opener
“We have created a really fun atmosphere over the years with our tailgate area and led the PFL in attendance for several years now, so I know our guys are looking forward to coming home and competing for our fans.”
Morehead State has had resounding success in home openers since 2007. The Eagles are 9-2 in those contests and averaged 41.8 points in that span in home openers.
Saturday marks the first-ever meeting between Morehead State and Mount St. Joseph on the gridiron.
Morehead State’s 2018 roster features 95 current players, and 45 hail from the Bluegrass State, nearly half. That’s 47 percent of the roster from in-state hometowns.
Senior wide receiver Jarin Higginbotham was named to the official preseason All-Pioneer Football League list. The 6-foot, 200-pound wideout ranked third on the MSU single-season chart last year with 974 yards and 10 touchdowns.
SEVEN TABBED PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE
Seven Eagles were tabbed Preseason All-PFL by Phil Steele’s Magazine. Jarin Higginbotham is a first-team selection, while senior quarterback Lawson Page and sophomore slot receiver Landon Hurst were third-team picks on offense. On the defensive side of the ball, junior lineman Patrick Rice and senior lineman Nick Flores were named to the second-team. Senior lineman Jamil Butler and junior linebacker Jerome Brooks were on the third team.
Morehead State and Mount St. Joseph have several faces who are familiar with each other. MSU’s Jack Meyer teamed with MSJ’s Noah Able and Chase Pankey and Cincinnati’s Moeller High School. Eagle CJ Austin would have attended Louisville’s Ballard High School along with MSJ’s Cory Hardin, Terrence May and Terry Calloway. MSU transfer Jovan Smith teamed with MSJ’s Matt Pfeifer at Louisville’s Trinity High School.
JUST ANOTHER PAGE
Lawson Page threw for 221 yards in the season opener at Eastern Kentucky, giving the senior signal caller eight career 200+ yard games. He has thrown for at least 200 yards now in six consecutive games dating back to Oct. 14, 2017 at San Diego.
Morehead State has a solid stable of running backs ready to tote the ball in 2018. Redshirt freshman transfer Jovan Smith, from Louisville, rushed for a team-high 54 yards at EKU on just eight carries, while junior transfer Issiah Aguero reached the end zone twice. Also back are senior Arien Beasley and redshirt sophomore Logan Holbrook.
RED ZONE PERFECTION
Morehead State reached the red zone just three times at EKU but scored all three chances for a 100-percent rate. Last year, the Eagles graded out at 69 percent (48-70) in their red zone chances.
NOT UP IN HERE
In the season opener at EKU, the Eagle defense made two goal line stands. In the second quarter with the score 18-7, defensive lineman Jamil Butler stopped an EKU running back for a four-yard loss on fourth and goal. In the third quarter, cornerback Brandyn Duncan tackled a would-be touchdown scorer at the one-yard line on fourth down.
THE BUTLER DID IT
Defensive end Jamil Butler led the Eagles with nine total tackles, including two for losses at EKU.