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'D'-lightful day! FB pitches shutout against UMM

More news about: MacMurray

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – The MacMurray College football team pounded out 554 yards of total offense as they cruised to a 41-0 win over Minnesota Morris on Saturday afternoon. The Highlander defense also had a stellar showing in the home opener, holding the Cougars to 224 yards of total offense, while limiting the visitors to 12 first downs.
 
Following the UMAC lid-lifter, the Highlanders improve to 1-1, 1-0 in conference play. Minnesota Morris slips to 0-3, 0-1 on the young season. 
 
KEY STATS
 
Senior quarterback Nathan Randall was 22 for 38 for 325 yards and three touchdowns. This was the third time in Randall's career where he threw for 300+ yards (9/9/17, 10/14/17).
 
Javon Muhammad had a Javon-derful day on the defensive line for Mac, recording 13 total tackles, including 5.5 for loss. Additionally, the senior had a pass breakup, a forced fumble and four quarterback hurries. 
 
This was the first shutout the Highlanders have posted in the Chris Douglas era, and first since a 7-0 win over Eureka in 2002. 
 
HOW IT HAPPENED
 
After the Highlanders punted their opening drive, the MacMurray defense forced a three-and-out. Ezechukwu Nwagbaraji sacked UMM quarterback Justin Masloski on a third-and-two, allowing the Highlanders to get the ball back. The sack was one of Nwagbaraji's 10 tackles in the contest.
 
Facing a fourth-and-four at the UMM 28-yard line, Randall elected to race through the Cougar defense to pick up the first down and keep the drive alive for the hosts. On the next play, Randall connected with Devonta Preston for a 21-yard touchdown pass. Noah Sandoval's PAT was good, pushing Mac ahead, 7-0.
 
With four minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Highlanders doubled their lead. Randall hit Zach Reische for a 34-yard catch-and-run. Earlier in the drive, Reische caught a 20-yard pass that put the Highlanders in Cougar territory.
 
A 56-yard strike from Randall to sophomore Thomas Lazenby put the Highlanders at the UMM 5-yard line midway through the second quarter. On the next play, Marquez Ellison scored for the senior's first touchdown of the season, putting the Highlanders up by three TDs following Sandoval's PAT.
 
MacMurray got the ball back with three minutes before the break and tacked on another score. Preston broke through the Cougar line and rushed to the sideline for a 56-yard touchdown run. The PAT failed, but MacMurray held a comfortable 27-0 advantage at the half.
 
In the third, Randall found Ian Leib in the corner of the end zone for the senior's third passing touchdown of the day. The Highlanders went ahead, 35-0, thanks to a two-point conversion from Randall to Lazenby.
 
Aided by penalties, Minnesota Morris had the ball at the MacMurray 2-yard line on first down. With the shutout on the line, the MC defense stepped up and forced the Cougars into four consecutive rushes for no gain, turning the ball over on downs and preserving the shutout.
 
Ethan Downs capped off the MacMurray scoring with a 29-yard touchdown run in the fourth. The freshman broke a number of tackles before falling into the end zone. Sandoval's PAT failed, but MacMurray held a commanding edge.
 
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
 

Ten different receivers recorded receptions on the day for the Highlanders. Each receiver tallied at least 10 yards on the day, with Preston hauling in five catches.
 
Both Corben Edwards and CJ O'Rourke picked up nine tackles in the win.
 
Sophomore Hunter Hankins led the ground game, rushing for 57 yards. As a unit, the Highlanders gained 195 yards rushing. 
 
Muhammad's 5.5 TFLs were the most for an individual since last season's win over Northwestern. The feat was accomplished by none other than Muhammad (10/7/17).
 
NOTABLE QUOTES
 
Head coach Chris Douglas on the win: "I thought our guys responded really welcoming off a loss and a bye … They put in a great two weeks of work."
 
Douglas on the offensive performance: "We fought through some adversity offensively today … Our guys hung in there and did a good job."
 
Douglas on the defense: "This was Coach [Kyle] Langhoff's first shutout of his career and I'm really happy for him and the entire defense today … They all did an awesome job."
 
UP NEXT
 
Another bye week is in the cards for the Highlanders. MacMurray will travel to Northwestern for a UMAC matchup in St. Paul on Sept. 29. Kickoff against the Eagles is slated for 12 p.m.

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 8: All times Eastern
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, UW-Whitewater 14
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 28, Johns Hopkins 20
Video Box Score Recap Photos
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