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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Football loses second straight away game

Sophomore running back Demonta Witherspoon scored the only touchdown for the Racers in their loss to Bowling Green. Photo courtesy of Dave Winder/Racer Athletics.

Jakob Milani
Sports Editor
[email protected]

For the second straight week, the Murray State football team lost a game in which they were tied at halftime, losing to Bowling Green State University by a score of 27-10.

The Racers went into halftime tied with the Falcons 10-10 but the Racers weren’t able to get the offense going in the second half, resulting in 17 unanswered points from the Falcons.

The Racers received to start the game and on just the first drive junior quarterback Preston Rice, targeted freshman wide receiver Deshaun Britten on a pass, but the Falcons tipped the ball up and picked it off. Bowling Green started with the ball on Murray State’s 29 yard line and quickly made their way down the field. On 2nd and goal, freshman running back Jaison Patterson rushed into the endzone for the two yard touchdown and gave the Falcons a 7-0 lead with 11:47 left in the first quarter.

After the touchdown, the two teams traded punts. The Racers then punted again on their next drive, despite senior running back Rodney Castille picking up 27 rushing yards on the drive. 

The Falcons started their next drive on their own five yard line and quickly went to work as senior quarterback Matt McDonald took a second down rush for 10 yards to get the first down. Later on third and 15, McDonald found an open receiver open for a 17 yard gain and another first down. The next play, freshman running back Taron Keith took off for a 16-yard rush, moving the Falcons up to their own 43 yard line.

The drive continued into the second quarter and the Falcons kept moving with a 19-yard pass from McDonald to junior wide receiver Austin Osborne. The Racers defense held strong deep in their own territory, though, as the Falcons were forced to settle for a field goal and took a 10-0 lead with 12:03 left in the half. 

The Racers were able to get the ball moving on their next drive. A pass interference call on the Falcons moved the ball up to the Murray State 40 yard line and gave the Racers some momentum. After pushing the ball up to the Bowling Green 42 yard line, Rice found junior wide receiver LaMartez Brooks downfield for a 23-yard completion that put the Racers in the red-zone. The Racers slowly made their way up the remaining field until they reached the six yard line, when Witherspoon took off for a touchdown rush that made the score 10-7 with 6:55 left in the half.

McDonald started the Falcons’ next drive with a 13-yard pass to Patterson to get the ball moving. The Racers were able to stop the momentum two plays later when sophomore cornerback Devontae McKee picked McDonald’s pass off and gave the Racers another chance to go down and score.

The Racers next drive started with Rice getting sacked for 10 yards, but the Falcons suffered a holding call on the play to keep the ball at the Murray State 45 yard line. Three plays later, Rice made some ground with a rush for nine yards to push the Racers across midfield and get a first down. The Racers weren’t able to pick up any more ground and had to settle for a 47-yard field goal from junior kicker Aaron Baum, his first field goal of the season. Baum’s field goal tied the game at 10-10, where the score remained heading into halftime.

The Falcons started with the ball in the second half, and McDonald quickly got the ball rolling with a 10-yard pass to junior tight end Christian Sims. Three plays later, McDonald found Sims again for a 26-yard gain that moved the ball up to the Murray State 30 yard line. The next play, freshman wide receiver Jhaylin Embry took a handoff for 16 yards, moving the ball up the Murray State 14 yard line. After moving the ball up to the one yard line, McDonald finished off the drive with a touchdown rush to give the Falcons a 17-10 lead.

The Racers suffered a three-and-out on their following drive and were forced to punt. Though they were able to force a punt from the Falcons on the next drive, the Racers had to punt again after three unsuccessful plays.

The Falcons started their next drive on their own 22 yard line and got started with an 11-yard pass from McDonald, then followed it up with a nine-yard pass, moving the ball up to their 42 yard line. Two plays later on second and five, McDonald found Osborne for a 33 -ard pass that moved the Falcons all the way up to the Murray State 16 yard line. The Falcons pushed to get in the endzone, but the Racers defense held on and forced a 36-yard field goal to make it a 20-10 game heading into the fourth quarter. 

The Racers started the fourth quarter by picking up a first down, their first first down in three drives. The momentum wasn’t swinging in the Racers’ direction though as they were forced to punt just four plays later. This allowed another scoring drive from the Falcons, which included a 20-yard rush from freshman running back Nick Mosely and a touchdown pass from McDonald to Keith to make the score 27-10 with 7:05 left in the game.

After punting the ball away on the following drive, the Racers held the Falcons to a punt which gave the Racers a chance to score with 3:18. The Racers started to make their way down the field when Rice found sophomore wide receiver Jacob Bell for a 16-yard reception. Two plays later, Rice completed a 24-yard pass to senior wide receiver Malik Honeycutt to move the Racers up to the 50 yard line. 

Rice then completed a 10-yard pass to freshman tight end Cole McDowell for another first down. Following a pass interference penalty on the Falcons, the Racers had moved up to the Bowling Green 25 yard line. After three plays, the Racers found themselves at fourth-and-one from the Falcons’ 16 yard line. Rice dropped back to pass and threw to Honeycutt up the middle but the ball was dropped, meaning the end of the Racers night. The Falcons defeated the Racers by a score of 27-10.

After the game, senior linebacker Levi Metheny spoke about the Racers’ effort in the game, which was the second straight game against an FBS school. Metheny said there was a lot of confidence from the Racers going into the last two games.

“The first half, we came out and played well in both games,” Metheny said. “We just didn’t finish. We gotta look at the film this week, have the bye week next week and just get ready to play.”

Metheny also spoke on the defensive play by the Racers in the game. He said everyone played their role in the game, but just weren’t able to get the stops.

“I gotta give credit to the defensive line,” Metheny said. “They played really physical and we got past that line of scrimmage. Backs and safeties just have to play off them. We work together well as a unit.”

Head Coach Dean Hood also spoke postgame about the team’s performance. He said it was similar to last week as the Racers played well in the first half but not so well after halftime.

“We didn’t do the fundamental things you have to do to win the game,” Hood said. “We gotta be able to run the ball and we weren’t able to do that. We gotta stop the run and we did in the first half but not in the second half. We gotta protect the ball and get turnovers and we got a pick in the first half and turned the ball over in the second half. That’s all I can really say about the game.”

Hood also said the players played with a good effort despite the game being against a bigger school. He said even though the result wasn’t what they wanted, the team didn’t back down.

“Even though the results weren’t what you wanted, I think our guys played with great effort,” Hood said. “They ran to the battle line every time there was a challenge. I saw nobody backing down against Cincinnati, I saw nobody backing down tonight. There wasn’t any panic on the sideline when we went down 10-0.”

The Racers have a bye week next week, but return to action on Saturday, Oct. 2, when they take on Eastern Illinois at home for parents weekend. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m.

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