SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego football team (6-3, 5-1) defeated Morehead State (3-7, 2-5) 41-28 on senior night to extend their home win streak to twelve. It was the fourth consecutive win for the Toreros and keeps their hopes alive of becoming co-champions of the PFL.
The Toreros, who have never lost to Morehead State (8-0), have gone two consecutive seasons without losing a home game.
"We wanted to send our seniors out with a victory in their last game in Torero stadium and the guys came through and did it," said head coach Ron Caragher. "You always want to finish with a win and how cool is to think that they went undefeated in their last year, or in this case their last two years."
Junior running back Dallas Kessman led the Torero offense with a career day, rushing for 190 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries.
The Torero offense was in a groove from the beginning, marching down the field on their opening possession with a 16-play 77 yard drive that lasted over eight minutes. Junior quarterback Mason Mills was able to find sophomore wide receiver Reggie Bell in the back of the endzone for a five yard touchdown.
Morehead State's no-huddle offense answered right back, scoring on their own 77 yard touchdown drive. Senior quarterback Zach Lewis, the PFL career record holder for completions, quickly led the Eagles into the redzone where running back Rees Macshara was able to scamper in to the endzone from 11 yards out.
The Toreros followed with another long drive (13 plays, 68 yards, 6:22), but this time they were stalled at the three yard line, settling for a Ernie Collins 20 yard field goal to bring the score to 10-7 Toreros.
After the Eagles missed a 32 yard field goal, the Toreros found themselves back in the redzone after a Dallas Kessman 38 yard run. One play later, junior running back Joe Ferguson strolled into the endzone from nine yards out extending the Toreros lead to 17-7 with just over four minutes remaining in the first half.
The Eagles struck again before halftime with a 12 yard fade from Lewis to Kevin Thomas in the back of the endzone to cut the Toreros lead to 17-14 as both teams headed into the locker room for halftime.
The Toreros defense started out the second half by forcing the Eagles in to a three and out. USD was given a short field after a 13 yard punt by the Eagles, and Mills took full advantage, finding junior wide receiver Sam Hoekstra for a 14 yard touchdown shortly after to put the Toreros up 24-14.
After the Toreros forced the Eagles into their second consecutive three and out, the USD offense turned to the run game. Kessman had five carries on the six play drive, racking up 24 yards including a six yard touchdown run to give the Toreros a 31-14 cushion.
The Eagles were able to cut the lead to 10 (31-21) late in the third quarter after a two yard touchdown run by Blake Stanley. That touchdown was set up by a 42 yard pass from Lewis to Donte Sawyer, who finished the night with 13 receptions for 152 yards.
The Toreros run game deflated the Eagles' momentum in the fourth quarter when they added one more Kessman touchdown to extend the lead to 41-21.
The Eagles would tack on a touchdown late in the game with a Kevin Thomas two yard touchdown run on a direct snap, but the game had been decided by that point.
Mills had another accurate night, finishing 26-29 for 229 yards with two touchdowns. His favorite target of the night was Reggie Bell, who finished with eight receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. Hoekstra hauled in five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown as well.
Defensively, the Toreros were led by their seniors. Safety Joey York led the Toreros with 14 tackles. Defensive tackle Dustin Geyer had six tackles (one for loss) to go along with a sack while defensive end Blake Oliaro chipped in five tackles (one for loss) with a sack of his own.
The Toreros, who are now 5-1 in the PFL, have a chance to become co-champions of the PFL if they can win their remaining two games.
The Toreros return to action next Saturday at Davidson (2-8, 2-5). Kickoff is at 10:00 a.m. (PST).
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