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Junior Andy Rice
Courtesy: Earl Hulst

Rice’s Six TDs Lead Drake In A 56-14 Rout Of Morehead State

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: November 02, 2013
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DES MOINES, Iowa – Junior quarterback Andy Rice (Stevens Point, Wis.)  threw a career-high five touchdown passes and ran for another as the Drake University football team cruised past Morehead State, 56-14, Saturday afternoon at Drake Stadium. The win was the Bulldogs 15th straight home win against a Pioneer Football League opponent.

Drake (5-4, 4-2 PFL) racked up a season-high 511 total yards, including a season-best 221 rushing yards. That rushing attack was spread out across five backs with Gary Scott, Jr. (Forsyth, Ill.) getting the bulk of the carries with 14 for 78 yards.

“We haven’t been an explosive offense, so it’s fun to score a lot of points today and be able to play a lot of guys that haven’t been able to play,” Drake head coach Chris Creighton said. “That’s the take-away from today, that we’re continuing to get better. Today was a fun day.”

Sophomore Eric Saubert (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) hauled in seven catches for 85 yards and one touchdown. Drake's defense limited Morehead State (3-6, 3-3 PFL) to 232 total yards, while forcing two turnovers.

“I think our defense continues to play really good football,” Creighton added. “That’s the unit that has been consistent all season and is continuing to get better.”

Both of those turnovers were interceptions from junior cornerback Brad Duwe (Dubuque, Iowa) while his teammate in the backfield, Mike Ratelle (Edina, Minn.) had a team-high eight tackles, a tackle for a loss and two pass breakups.

“That is the no. 1 indicator to success,” Creighton said of the turnover margin. “If we can continue to force turnovers and take care of the ball we give ourselves a chance.”

Despite the final score, Drake actually started the game with a 7-0 deficit thanks MSU capitalizing on Rice’s lone mistake of the day when the Eagles’ Brandon Louder picked off a pass on the Drake 34-yard line. Two plays later the Eagles scored on a 1-yard dive from Brandon Bornhauser.

That would be the end of the highlights for MSU as Drake’s next drive went 67 yards in 12 plays culminating in an 11-yard strike from Rice to Saubert.

The Bulldogs’ next score was set up by Duwe’s first interception of the afternoon on the Morehead 38-yard line. The defensive play set up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Rice to Neko Graf (Racine, Wis.) to put Drake up 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.

“He did a fantastic job,” Creighton said of his quarterback who completed 23-of-32 passes for 232 yards. “He called the game. I give him suggestions but he’s the one that calls the game and I’m proud of him today.”

The floodgates opened in the second period with Drake scoring three times, the first coming on Rice’s 2-yard run. The defense forced a fumble on fourth down on MSU’s next drive to key a 13-yard scoring reception from Nick Rosa (Owasso, Okla.) six plays later. Drake ended the half up 35-7 by scoring on its final drive of the half with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Hudson on a drive that was ignited by a 30-yard scamper from Rice.

MSU’s attempt to claim any type of momentum heading into the locker room was thwarted by Duwe’s second pick of the day to end the half.

The intermission generated no answers for the Bulldogs offense as it added two more scores in the third quarter, the first on a Kevin Marshall (Glen Ellyn) reception and the second coming thanks to field position created by the defense. A Cam Bohnert (Edmond, Okla.) punt pinned MSU on its 3-yard line and four plays later the defense had the Eagles punting from underneath their own goalpost. Taking over at the MSU 28-yard line, A.J. Washington (St. Louis, Mo.) took three consecutive carries, the last going 21-yards for the touchdown.

Graf’s second touchdown reception of the day followed to open the fourth quarter and with one minute left in the contest, MSU added the final touchdown of the day on Logan Johnson’s 34-yard run to account for the 56-14 final tally.

The Bulldogs close the 2013 home slate against the Dayton Flyers next Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m.

“Dayton’s been the class of this league for a long time and this year is no different,” Creighton said of the pending matchup. “They have a ton of pride and we have deep respect for Dayton. We’re going to give them everything we’ve got and we’re excited for that football game.”

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