Football scores another win at home


Freshman running back Cortezz Jones breaks a tackle on his way one of his two touchdowns against Robert Morris. Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics.

Jakob Milani, Sports Editor

Another game went in favor of the Murray State football team on Saturday, Nov. 12, as the Racers defeated the Robert Morris University Colonials 27-9 in the final home game of the season.

The Racers were up at half, but after the Colonials took a 9-7 lead through three quarters, the Racers responded with a 20-point fourth quarter to win the game.

Murray State’s rushing offense was a force to be reckoned within the game as the Racers rushed for 249 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Sophomore running back Demonta Witherspoon and freshman running back Cortezz Jones combined for 155 yards rushing.

Senior wide receiver LaMartez Brooks spoke after the game about the turnaround for the team this late in the season. He said despite the losses this year, it’s nice to get the wins now.

“It just feels good as a team,” Brooks said. “We’re all just bought into what Coach Hood is preaching to us, like staying together and leaning onto your brother. That’s, like, a big thing to us.”

The first quarter started slow for both offenses as both teams punted on their first possessions.

It was the Racers who got on the board first as sophomore quarterback Jayden Stinson moved the ball up the field with multiple short passes. However, Stinson looked deep for sophomore wide receiver Taylor Shields who got in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown reception.

After another punt from Robert Morris, the first quarter ended with the Racers on top 7-0.

The second quarter wasn’t all great for the Racers, though, as senior kicker Aaron Baum missed back-to-back field goal attempts in the quarter. Those missed field goals would have had the Racers up 13-0 at halftime.

Instead, the Racers were unable to get any other points but held the Colonials scoreless as well. At halftime, Murray State was up 7-0.

The third quarter was off to a rough start for the Racers as senior punter Lewis Halton’s punt was blocked in the Racers’ territory. That gave the Colonials the ball at the Murray State 22-yard line.

Murray State’s defense held strong, though, and forced the Colonials to make a field goal, making it 7-3 in favor of the Racers.

More trouble hit the Racers when freshman running back Jawaun Northington fumbled the ball away on the first play of the next drive, and the Colonials recovered it at the Murray State 24-yard line.

It took three plays for freshman quarterback Zach Tanner to rush 17 yards for a touchdown. But the Colonials missed the point-after attempt, leaving them with a slight lead to end the third quarter 9-7.

Senior defensive back Quinaz Turner made a highlight in the third quarter as he grabbed his fifth interception of the season. He said the defensive line really helped set up his interception.

“I gotta give it to the defensive line,” Turner said. “They had a great rush all day and provided a lot of pressure. We just stuck to what we’ve been doing all year, and it’s really started to pay off for us.”

Jones started the fourth quarter off with a 24-yard rushing touchdown but a missed point-after attempt from Baum kept the Racers at 13 points.

On the Racers’ next drive, Witherspoon took a rush 20 yards for a touchdown, and with Baum’s point-after kick going through the uprights, the Racers were up 20-9.

On their last drive of the game, the Racers got in the end zone one last time as Jones rushed for another 24 yards to get his second touchdown of the game. Without another score from the Colonials, the Racers ended their final home game with a 27-9 victory.

Head Coach Dean Hood gave a lot of credit to Robert Morris after the game but said the Racers had to get through a lot of adversity to win the game.

“With the season we’ve had, this was just a blessing,” Hood said. “I mean, we missed three field goals, had some bad turnovers. But in the end, we prevailed, and I’m proud of these guys for that. We were truly blessed in the end.”

Following the win, Murray State’s record sits at 2-8 overall for the season. The Racers end their 2022 campaign at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 when they travel to SEMO to take on the 17th ranked Redbirds.


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