Nov. 9, 2013
(Morehead, KY) - Needing a win to stay in the hunt for their third straight PFL title, and more importantly, the league's nod for automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs, the Toreros notched a convincing 56-3 road win over the Morehead State Eagles. The victory improves USD's overall record to 7-3 and 6-1 in the Pioneer Football League. They currently share the top spot with Butler (6-1, 8-3) and Marist (7-3, 6-1). This sets up a big showdown for USD against Drake next Saturday at 1pm at Torero Stadium. Owning the tie-breaker over Butler, Marist and Mercer, a win over Drake would give USD the AQ for the playoffs.
USD jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the game and never looked back in earning their third straight victory. The Toreros put their final stamp on the outcome with a 28-point fourth quarter that was highlighted by a 77-yard interception return by Yogi Hale for a touchdown. Offensively the Toreros were paced by the potent tandem of Mason Mills and Reggie Bell. Mills finished the day 23-for-31 for 378 yards and 4 touchdowns. Bell was his favorite target as the junior receiver hauled in 9 balls for 211 yards and two scores. Both players cracked season milestones - Mills went past 3,000 yards passing (3,176) and Bell topped 1,000 receiving yards (1,032).
The game's first points came from Torero running back Bug Rivera who scored from 8 yards out at the 11:36 mark of the first quarter. That was followed by receiving touchdowns from Bell of 9 and 70 yards. Morehead State's lone points for the game came on a Luke Boyd 28-yard field goal with 5:59 left in the first half. The only points scored in the third period came on Brandon White's team-leading 11th touchdown reception, a 3-yarder from Mills that made the score 28-3.
Besides Hale's 77-yard interception return for a touchdown in the 4th quarter, the USD defense also had safeties Robbie Beathard and Troy McClelland snare interceptions during the contest. Matt Miller totaled a team-high 13 tackles (5 solo), while Ryan Downing stepped in at linebacker and chipped in with 10 tackles and 1 forced fumble. Downing was inserted into the starting lineup when Zach Devaney and Una Hamala were knocked out of last week's game against Valparaiso with injuries.
Additional 4th quarter scores for USD came from D'Angelo Barksdale (6-yard TD reception), Joe Ferguson (83-yard rushing TD), and Lawrence Larivee (17 yard TD reception from QB Kyle Miller). Ferguson notched his 4th game this season of 100+ yards rushing. USD totaled 599 yards of total offense (395 pass, 204 rush) while limiting Morehead State to 292 yards. The 599 yards was the second best mark this year (Stetson, 624).
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