Story by Mike Wendlandt
Drake ran its home conference winning streak to 15 games with a victory over Morehead State on Saturday at Drake Stadium.
The Bulldogs ran up 56 unanswered points on their way to a 56-14 victory. The Bulldogs (5-4, 4-2) kept their hopes for a PFL crown alive on the arm and legs of quarterback Andy Rice.
The junior had a career day with five passing touchdowns, all to different receivers, as well as one rushing, to dominate the game.
The first quarter started off testy, as a Rice interception turned into a Morehead State touchdown to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead, but Drake answered right back on a pass from Rice to sophomore tight end Eric Saubert.
Immediately after, cornerback Brad Duwe picked up his first of two interceptions on the game, which led to Rice’s second touchdown pass.
This pass was his best of the game, a perfect fade route completion to sophomore Neko Graf.
“Andy gets credit for a great throw. He placed it perfectly and made it easy for me to make the catch,” Graf said.
The second quarter was thoroughly dominated by Drake, as Rice ran for one touchdown and threw for two more to Michael Hudson and Nick Rosa. The running game ran wild with 135 yards by halftime.
By comparison, Morehead State had to scramble late to get back to zero yards rushing.
The impact that the defense had completely decimated Morehead State, and it carried over to the rest of the game.
The Bulldogs only scored twice in the quarter, including the first touchdown not accounted to Rice when A.J. Washington sprinted 21 yards with ease to pay dirt to make the game 49-7. Later on, as the starters phased out, backup quarterback Nick Ens found Graf deep to finish Drake’s scoring, while Morehead State scored late on the Bulldog backups.
In a game thoroughly dominated by Drake, coach Chris Creighton was thrilled with the outcome, especially when it came to Rice.
“He was brilliant with his playcalling, always keeping the team alive and with an advantage,” Creighton said.
Rice completed 23-of-32 passes for 232 yards and five touchdowns with an early interception. He also ran for 22 yards and a score.
Junior Gary Scott Jr. paced the running backs with 78 yards, but the sophomore Washington and freshman Conley Wilkins also chipped in over 50 yards each, with Wilkins in particular excelling in blocking.
Eric Saubert led the receivers with 85 yards, but seven different players caught passes, including Rice. Five of those players caught a touchdown.
Defensively, fifth-year senior Michael Ratelle led the way with eight tackles, while junior John Hugunin chipped in seven. Seniors Brandon Coleman and Naser Hannoon had sacks.
With their PFL hopes still alive, the Bulldogs remain at home as Dayton visits next week. Kickoff for that game is at 1 p.m.