Drew Lauer sets career-high 242 rushing yards
by JD PELEGRINO
For the fourth week straight, the Drake University Bulldogs football team emerged with a resounding win. This 36-17 win against Morehead State keeps Drake’s perfect conference record in tact as well. Against conference opponents, the Bulldogs are tied for the best point differential in the PFL (San Diego), scoring 154 points on offense and only allowing 47 points by opposing squads. Although Drake did not keep it close against Morehead State, this win was held by the narrowest margin in conference play this season.
Morehead State struck first in the matchup when redshirt-junior quarterback, DeAndre Clayton, rushed for a 5-yard touchdown. The Eagles took an early 7-0 lead. The story of the game was none other than Drake’s running back, fifth-year senior, Drew Lauer. Lauer had 28 carries for a career-high 242 yards. Lauer’s 242-yard day was the first 200-yard performance by a Drake running back in more than three years.
Just two weeks ago in Drake’s contest against Butler, Lauer posed a then-season-high 124 rushing yards on 26 attempts. In the last two games, the running back has reached new heights combining for 366 rushing yards on 54 attempts. He is averaging 6.7 yards-per-carry and is leading the league in rushing yards-per-game with 101.3. Lauer is the only running back in the PFL averaging over 100 ypg. He sits in second place behind Jacksonville RB Calvin Turner in total rushing yards in conference. Turner has 770 rushing yards in 8 games this season, while Lauer has grinded for 709 yards in 7 games.
Drake’s dynamic running back added two touchdowns in the effort and had the longest play of the game on a 54-yard rush. Lauer’s talents on the ground, complemented by freshman quarterback Ian Corwin’s aerial attack made for a bad day for Morehead State.
Corwin did not play his best game of the season completing 14-of-27 passing attempts for 155 yards, but he did add two touchdowns, keeping the Eagles on their toes awaiting Lauer’s rushes. Corwin’s two touchdown passes were caught by tight end Devin Cates and wide receiver Mitch McFarlane. Cates’ TD marked his sixth of the season, moving him up to third in the PFL in receiving touchdowns.
McFarlane had a breakout game himself with 3 receptions for 55 yards and the score. This season has been dominated by Cates as a pass catcher and Lauer both as a pass catcher and a runner.
The one-sided victory would not have been made possible without the reigning PFL defense of the year. Safety Will Warner found two passes from Morehead State QBs throughout the game and is tied for the league-lead in interceptions with 4 this season. Valparaiso’s Jamari Booker also has 4 interceptions in 8 games played, one less than Drake.
Drake aims for three turnovers each game, as Drake defensive end, Erin Morgan has stated. Aside from Warner’s 2 interceptions, Collin Seymour had a career-day himself. Seymour recovered 2 Morehead State fumbles as well as intercepting an Eagles’ pass late in the fourth quarter. The Drake defense played their best game of the season, tallying 5 defensive turnovers. Drake’s stealth defense in addition to a record-breaking Lauer-led offense gave Morehead State very little of a chance on Saturday. Drake captures its fourth-straight win by a score of 36-17 to improve to 4-0 in conference.
Morehead State is debatably the toughest conference-opponent Drake has faced this season. They have scored 109 points against PFL opponents and were 4-3 overall entering Saturday’s contest. Drake has played Marist who also sits at 2-2 in conference, but the Marist offense is stagnant, scoring the second-fewest points against conference opponents with 77. Only 1-3 (conf.) Valparaiso has scored less against PFL rivals (70 points).
Drake’s win over Morehead State sets the stage for an interesting game this coming Saturday. The Bulldogs (4-3, 4-0 conf.) will head to San Diego, Calif. to face the San Diego Toreros (5-2, 4-0 conf.). Over the last three years, the Drake-San Diego rivalry has been the one to keep eyes open for. The two teams battle for the PFL championship every year, but San Diego has won conference each of the last five seasons. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.