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A Late Field Goal Lifts the ‘Cats over Morehead State, 24-21

by | Mar 28, 2021

Quarterback Tyler Phelps gets ready to take the snap. (This News of Davidson photo is from a previous season.)


DAVIDSON, N.C. – The Wildcats orchestrated a game-winning drive in the final two minutes to beat Morehead State in Pioneer Football League action Saturday at Richardson Stadium, 24-21.

With 1:33 on the clock and the ball on their own 26-yard line, senior Tyler Phelps and the offense marched down the field, using eight plays to get deep into Eagles’ territory. 

After a few icing attempts from the Morehead State sideline, and only seven seconds left on the clock, sophomore kicker Caden Bonoffski lined up and knocked a 32-yard field goal through the uprights to seal the victory. 

Davidson head football coach Scott Abell

With the win, Davidson improves to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in PFL-play for the first time ever. With the loss, Morehead State falls to 1-3 and 1-2 in league tilts.

“What I told our guys after the game, ‘it is a turn the corner moment for our program.’ This is a game that has gotten away from us in the past,” said head coach Scott Abell. “We’ve had a chance to win every game since we’ve been here, but we’ve lost some close ones. And so, to drive the field. To finish the game on a field goal. Something we hadn’t been able to do … to do it today, it was a huge step for us.” 

The two sides traded a pair of first half touchdowns, as both sides felt each other out. Trailing 7-0, Davidson scored on back-to-back possessions. McCurdy and Bradyn Oakley each scored their first of the year to put Davidson on top 14-7 in the second quarter. 

After a 30-minute weather delay, Morehead State had the first crack of the ball and put together a 5-play, 74-yard scoring drive to tie the game up at the break. The Eagles would score the third quarter’s lone TD before the fourth quarter dramatics.

The ‘Cats trailed much of the second half before a game-tying drive late in the fourth. Freshman Mark McCurdy broke free for a 61-yard scamper, setting up three straight runs for sophomore Dylan Sparks to find the end zone and knot the score at 21-apiece.

The FCS’ top-ranked rushing offense, Davidson, gained 334 yards on the ground. McCurdy led the way with 127 yards, his first 100-yard game as a Wildcat. 

The Davidson defense made some timely plays including back-to-back sacks from senior James Boyle and freshman Tyreece White to force a Morehead State punt. Senior cornerback Jaylon Bolden and junior linebacker Jalen Jefferson tallied eight tackles apiece to lead the defensive effort. Freshman Jonathan Hammond made five tackles, all them disruptive, as he tallied four tackles behind the line of scrimmage. 

The Wildcats hit the road for a pair, beginning with a trip west to take on San Diego. Kickoff from California is slated for 3 p.m. 

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