September 17, 2015

(STATS) - Austin Gahafer has been one of the better quarterbacks in the FCS since making his debut for Morehead State two years ago. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that hasn't translated to many wins.

The 6-foot, 187-pound signal-caller is coming off a performance that led to him being named the STATS FCS National Offensive Player of the Week, but as usual, Morehead State walked off the field with another notch in the loss column.

That's become an all-too-familiar situation for the Eagles, who have a good chance to pick up their first win when they play their final game outside of the Pioneer League on Saturday night against visiting Kentucky Christian.

Gahafer passed for 173 yards - 130 to Jake Raymond - and had a 1-yard touchdown on the ground in a 56-7 season-opening loss at No. 12 James Madison. He then completed 35 of 62 attempts for 447 yards and four TDs with one interception in a 43-40 defeat at VMI last Saturday.

Gahafer also caught a 23-yard pass from Raymond for a TD to give the Eagles a seven-point lead with 7:12 remaining, but the Keydets tied it 57 seconds later and won on a field goal with no time remaining.

"Shoulda won that game," Gahafer said on his Twitter account. "But we are gonna learn from it and get better."

It was the most passing yards in the PFL since Gahafer threw for 458 at Valparaiso in his sixth career game in 2013. Since that season, he ranks first among current FCS quarterbacks in attempts (969) and completions (604), fourth in yards (5,890), fifth in yards per game (235.6) and 10th in TDs (40).

Morehead State, though, is 7-18 with him under center. That's the third-fewest wins in the PFL since 2013 behind Davidson (1) and Valparaiso (5).

"I want our guys to talk about winning the PFL championship, but we've got a lot of hard work to get to that point," coach Rob Tenyer said. "Ultimately my goal as a coach is we want to get to the last three, four weeks of the season consistently and have an opportunity to play for a conference championship."

Before they finish with eight straight PFL games, the Eagles take on a Kentucky Christian program that has been outgained 1,203-481 in dropping its first two games on the road.

The NAIA Knights lost 47-7 to Duquesne in their opener and 52-3 to Reinhardt last Saturday.

"We made marked improvement from Week 1 to Week 2," coach Steve Barrows said. "I am proud of this group, players and coaches. While the scoreboard did not reflect the desired result, the film showed that our kids have grown and will continue to grow."

Kentucky Christian visited Morehead in 2011 and lost 67-0 while being outgained 753-40.

A look at the other Week 3 games Saturday in the Pioneer League (all times ET):


Dayton (1-0) vs. Duquesne (2-0), 1 p.m.

The Flyers come in well-rested after taking last week off following a 27-24 win at Robert Morris to start the season. Safety Danny Leach was named PFL defensive player of the opening week after having a 93-yard interception return for a TD and picking off another pass after Dayton went ahead by three late in the game. Duquesne has cruised to a pair of victories by a combined 73-14 score, and the Dukes beat the Flyers 33-13 last season for their fourth win in the last five meetings.


Valparaiso (0-2) vs. College of Faith, Arkansas (0-1), 2 p.m.

The Crusaders have been outscored 108-13 and outgained 936-493 in their first two games. Scott Staal and Dalton Stokes have shared the quarterback duties and thrown five INTs to one touchdown, while junior running back Grayson Bastin made his season debut in last week's loss to Sacred Heart and rushed seven times for a career-best 113 yards. College of Faith played the first game in program history two weeks ago and lost 68-0 to McKendree. This game will not count toward the NCAA or PFL standings or statistics.


Drake (1-1) at South Dakota (1-1), 3 p.m.

The Bulldogs couldn't come all the way back from a 21-0 halftime deficit last week at North Dakota, falling 21-18 after failing to recover an onside kick with under a minute to go. Drake was led by PFL defensive player of the week John Hugunin, who forced two fumbles and had a sack that resulted in a safety. South Dakota plays its home opener after beating UC Davis 27-17 last week behind running back Trevor Bouma's career-high 186 yards and two touchdowns.


Marist (0-2) vs. Sacred Heart (2-0), 6 p.m.

The Red Foxes have scored one touchdown in their first two games and will play their home opener against a Sacred Heart squad that's racked up 99 points and allowed 22 in its two wins. Marist sophomore Michael White made his collegiate debut off the bench against Georgetown last week and passed for 177 yards and that TD while rushing for a team-high 24 yards. The Pioneers got 119 yards and three scores from running back Ose Imeokparia at Valparaiso.


Butler (1-1) at Taylor (1-1), 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs bounced back from a 52-17 opening defeat at then-No. 21 Indiana State to beat Division III Franklin 41-14 last week. Matt Shiltz passed for three TDs and ran for another while totaling 272 yards, and defensive end Josh Willis had 1 1/2 sacks for the second straight game. NAIA team Taylor scored the final 35 points last week but still lost 48-42 to St. Francis, Indiana. Everett Pollard tied a school record with six touchdown passes.


Campbell (2-0) at Presbyterian (0-2), 7 p.m.

The Camels have won their first two games for the first time since relaunching the program in 2008, scoring a PFL-best 76 points and allowing a league-low 23. Kameron Bryant and David Salmon each threw two touchdowns in last week's victory over Division II Chowan. Presbyterian plays its home opener following losses to FBS schools Miami of Ohio and Charlotte. The Blue Hose were held to 112 yards last week.


Idle: Jacksonville (2-0), San Diego (1-1), Stetson (1-1), Davidson (0-2).

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