There was a familiar feel to Davidson’s season-closing 31-10 loss to Morehead State Saturday afternoon in a Pioneer Football League game at Richardson Field.
“We’ve been able to put ourselves in good situations all season,” Wildcats coach Paul Nichols said after his team’s eighth straight loss. “But you have to be able to capitalize. If you don’t, the other team is eventually going to make plays.”
A wind-blown miss of a 30-yard field goal attempt by Trevor Smith on the opening possession was the start of a frustrating afternoon for the Wildcats (2-9 0-8 PFL). Smith later drilled a 25-yarder for Davidson’s only first-half points, but his team didn’t get closer than that 17-3 deficit at the break.
Three who mattered
Austin Gahafer, Morehead State: The PFL’s career leader in passing yardage, attempts and completions had another prolific day. The senior quarterback completed 17-of- 33 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another for the Eagles (4-7, 3-5).
Stockton McGuire, Davidson: The freshman quarterback ran his team well with his feet, with career highs in rushing yards (114) and carries (20). He scored the Wildcats only touchdown on a 37-yard run with 34 seconds left in the third quarter.
“He was the most athletic guy on the field today,” Nichols said. “Sometimes it’s hard to believe he’s a true freshman.”
Darius Pritchett, Morehead State: The senior wide receiver caught three passes for 84 yards. The big one was a 55-yard catch for a touchdown with 4:46 left in the third quarter that made the score 31-3 and pretty much put the game out of reach.
▪ The Wildcats had decent field position for much of the game, but they scored on only two of their eight trips into Morehead State territory.
▪ Davidson had a better-than- average rushing game, with 175 yards on 36 carries, but the Wildcats gained only 78 yards through the air — half of that on a 39-yard pass from McGuire to Isaiah Anthony in the fourth quarter.
▪ It was pretty cleanly-played game. The teams combined for six penalties for 45 yards. Davidson’s lost fumble in the first quarter and a fumble by the Eagles into the Davidson end zone late in the game were the only turnovers.
▪ For the third time in the past four seasons, the Wildcats didn’t win a Pioneer Football League game. Davidson hasn’t beaten a PFL opponent at home since a 30-22 victory over Valparaiso on Nov. 19, 2011.
They said it
“2016 was a positive season in that anybody who watched us could tell that we’ve improved. It was frustrating in that there were four or five games in which we were a play or two away from a win.” — Nichols.
Davidson and Morehead State have completed their seasons.