Football takes third loss against Ball State


Sophomore linebacker Cody Goatley recorded five tackles against Ball State University. Photo courtesy of Dave Winder/Racer Athletics.

Jakob Milani, Sports Editor

Murray State’s football team fell to a 0-3 record to start the year, following a 31-0 loss to the Ball State University Cardinals on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The Racers were down to their third quarterback of the season, as freshman quarterback Isaac McNamee got the start against the Cardinals with sophomore quarterback DJ Williams and freshman quarterback Lucas Maue out with injuries.

Senior wide receiver DeQuan Dallas spoke about how it’s been playing with three different quarterbacks this season. He said it’s been a challenge, but the team keeps pushing forward.

“Mentally, it’s been tough on us,” Dallas said. “But we have to get used to it. It’s always next man up. We go through it in practice week after week. Like Coach Hood says, you gotta keep your head up no matter what happens. If one man goes down, the next one gotta step up.”

Ball State took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a 13-yard pass from junior quarterback John Paddock to freshman tight end Brady Hunt.

Murray State’s defense held strong through the end of the quarter,  as the Cardinals were stuck with just the one touchdown heading into quarter two.

The Cardinals extended their lead to 14 points in the second quarter as Paddock found freshman tight end Tanner Koziol for the 18-yard touchdown pass.

McNamee’s career at Murray State was off to a decent start. He completed four passes in the first half, as the Racers ran the ball more often. However, he entered halftime with an interception against him. 

Head Coach Dean Hood spoke about McNamee’s play in the game and how the offense played around him. He said for his first start as a “true freshman,” McNamee played well.

“I thought he looked good,” Hood said. “I told him after the game that it’s not bad for his first game, but he didn’t want to take the compliment. He said ‘No, I gotta do a lot better.’ It’s good. That’s the kind of kid he is.”

As both teams headed to the locker rooms for halftime, the Cardinals led the Racers 14-0.

The Cardinals continued to add  to the score in the third quarter with another passing touchdown, this time to senior wide receiver Jayshon Jackson. Another field goal later in the quarter had the Cardinals up 24-0.

To start the final quarter, sophomore running back Carson Steele took a one-yard handoff  for the Cardinals’ last touchdown of the game. Without any other scores in the game, Ball State defeated the Racers 31-0.

McNamee finished the game with seven completed passes on 22 attempts, totalling 57 passing yards and two interceptions. Senior wide receiver LaMartez Brooks threw one pass in the first quarter for 11 yards.

Freshman running back Jawaun Northington rushed 17 times for 71 yards. Dallas caught two passes for 27 yards.

Paddock completed 27 of his 44 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns. The Racers’ defense was able to grab one interception off  Paddock.

Steele rushed 25 times for 141 yards and a touchdown. Jackson and Koziol each caught six passes, with Jackson picking up 64 yards and Koziol picking up 59.

Hood gave credit to the defense after the game as Murray State recorded the first sack against Ball State so far this season. He said despite the loss, there were positives coming out of the defense in the game.

“Those guys played very hard all the way up to the end,” Hood said. “I thought we got some good pressure on [Paddock] and some good, clean hits. I’m proud of how they played…doesn’t negate the loss, but they played well.”

The Racers will look to move past their 0-3 start as they host their first conference opponent of 2022. Eastern Illinois will travel to Murray State for Family Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 24. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.


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