Football rallies late for 28-24 win at Morehead State

Oct. 21, 2006

Final Stats

MOREHEAD, Ky. - Junior quarterback Chris Horton connected on 20-of- 37 passes for 331 yards and a program-tying four touchdowns, including a late score to sophomore receiver Geavon Tribble with 2:52 left in the fourth, to lead the JU football team to a 28-24 come-from- behind victory over Morehead State, Saturday afternoon at Jayne Stadium.

JU (4-3, 4-1) moved into a tie for second place in the Pioneer Football League standings with two conference games remaining. The Dolphins converted on 8-of-16 third-down conversions and held the Eagles to only 113 yards of total offense in the second half. Morehead State (1-7, 1-4) lost its second-consecutive game in the fourth quarter at home.

"Each week, I keep saying our wins have been the biggest in program history and this one just took it up another notch," said JU head coach Steve Gilbert. "In two weeks, we have beaten programs that have always gotten the best of us and for the second straight week we did it by making big plays in the fourth quarter. This game showed the character and competitive spirit of this team and now we have the opportunity to control our own destiny."

Trailing by 11 points, the Dolphins cut the lead to 24- 21 with 9:01 left when Horton hooked up with freshman receiver Cameron Abdallah for 10 yards. Brant was successful on the two-yard conversion after a pass-interference call on the initial attempt by JU. The drive was set up when junior linebacker Joey Rumph sacked Yost for a loss of 14 yards on third and seven.

After another defensive stop, JU took its first lead of the contest when Horton connected with Tribble for the duo's third score of the game, this time for 35- yards. On the drive, Horton went 4-for-6 for 57 yards, including a nine-yard rush on third and seven, as the Dolphins converted on 3-of-3 third-down conversions on the drive.

The Eagles had one last chance to win the contest but a pair of back-to-back sacks by freshman linebacker Alan Fennell and junior defensive end Sean Heverin on third and fourth down allowed the Dolphins to end the contest by taking a knee with 52 seconds left.

Horton finished with the third-highest throwing total in program history and tied his own program-record with four touchdown passes. Tribble tied a school record with three touchdowns (Eldin Ferguson) and tied the second-highest yards in a game with 159 yards. Junior receiver Nate Conner finished with career highs in receptions (10) and yards (117) to become the first JU duo to finish over 100-yards in a game since Brett Palmi (113) and Rico Tillman (103) against Mississippi College on Sept. 25, 1999.

Sophomore fullback Jeremy Brown led the Dolphins with a career-high 55 yards on eight carries (6.9 ypr). Defensively, freshman strong safety Jason Wood led the unit with a career-high 11 tackles, while junior nose guard Ryan Young and junior linebacker Joey Rumph also added a sack.

Quarterback Brian Yost completed 18-of-24 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Eagles' offense. Jabari McGee rushed for a game-high 70 yards on 12 carries and Nick Feldman grabbed a team-high five catches for 40 yards. Defensively, Kyle Sand finished with nine tackles and a sack.

Leading 14-13 at the half, MSU increased its lead to 17-13 at the 8:45 mark of the third quarter after a season-high 35-yard field goal by Max Hammond. The Eagles got good field position in JU territory after Horton was intercepted by David Hyland deep in MSU territory and returned to the JU 45-yard line.

The Eagles increased the lead to 24-13 after Yost connected with McGee with a seven-yard screen pass to the right side on second and goal.

MSU jumped out to an early 7-0 lead at the 12:11 mark of the first quarter when Yost connected with Daniel Vagni for 26 yards on a play-action pass.

JU evened the score, 7-7, with 1:56 remaining in the first quarter when Horton connected with Tribble for a 53-yard touchdown pass. Horton dropped back to pass and waited until the last second to get the throw off to Tribble before being hit by two Eagles coming off the right side.

The Eagles recaptured the lead, 14-7, with 4:10 remaining in the first half when Yost dumped a screen pass to McGee for 37 yards on third and nine.

The Dolphins cut the margin to 14-13 with 1:10 left in the first half when Horton found Tribble for 27 yards down the left sideline. The extra-point attempt by freshman Donovan Curry was blocked.

JU concludes the road portion of its schedule on Saturday at 7 p.m. at North Greenville.