MORRIS, Minn. – Pounding out over 600 yards of total offense, the MacMurray College football team dominated in their UMAC opener, defeating Minnesota Morris 38-14. With the win, MacMurray has now won four straight over the Cougars, and opens up UMAC play 1-0 for the third consecutive season.
The Highlanders improve to 1-2 (1-0 UMAC) as UMM falls to 0-3 (0-1 UMAC).
The 623 yards of total offense is the most by the Highlanders since Sept. 9, 2017, where the Highlanders recorded 679 yards in a 54-28 win over Martin Luther.
Both Jace Bland and Bobby Tedesco saw time under center on the afternoon. Bland was an efficient 9 of 15 for 235 yards, while adding two touchdowns with his legs. Tedesco turned in a 12 of 22 mark for 197 yards and a pair of TDs.
Sophomore Ethan Downs ran for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
Demetrius Curry hauled in six catches for 146 yards, his second consecutive 100+ yard game.
Defensively, Ahmad Washington continued his tear, leading the team with 10 tackles. Jackquese Goins and Kolton Johnson contributed six tackles apiece, as Johnson added an interception and two pass breakups.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Midway through the first quarter, the Highlanders drew first blood with Bland's 1-yard touchdown run. Luke DesNoyers's PAT was successful for an early 7-0 lead.
From their own 42-yard line, Bland connected with Tanner Sussenbach for a 47-yard catch, putting MacMurray at the UMM 11. Three plays later, Bland ran for his second touchdown of the day. The two-point conversion failed, but MacMurray still held a 13-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, the Cougars answered with a score on their Homecoming game. The TD cut the MacMurray lead to 13-7 in the second quarter.
Just before halftime, MacMurray padded their lead, using a 7-play, 99-yard drive in just 1:53. The drive was highlighted by a 46-yard completion from Bland to Frank Davis Jr. before Downs found the end zone in a 2-yard rush. A second two-point conversion failed, but the visitors took a 19-7 lead into the locker room.
On their first drive of the second half, Downs used another 2-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 26-7, thanks to another DesNoyers PAT.
Following another stop, the Highlanders used another 90+ yard drive to add to the lead. A 6-play, 91-yard drive was capped off when Tedesco found Sussenbach in the end zone. A failed PAT kept the score at 32-7 in the third quarter.
MacMurray's final score of the day came in the third quarter, when Tedesco found Ian Leib for a 24-yard score. Leib finished the day with 81 receiving yards.
A Cougar score in the fourth wouldn't faze the Highlanders, as the visitors were able to spoil the UMM Homecoming and begin UMAC play with a win.
QUOTES FROM THE COACH
"It was a great day for the Highlanders and was great to get back on track," said head coach Chris Douglas. "I was very proud of our focus, effort and execution today considering a lot of these guys just made their first big overnight trip … We still have a lot of things to clean up … I'm definitely excited about the offense and its efficiency today."
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
MacMurray held the Cougars to just 88 rushing yards, while the Highlanders racked up 191.
Six different receivers totaled for 21 catches, but accounted for 432 yards.
MacMurray will have the conference bye week next week before being back at home on Oct. 5. The Highlanders will host Northwestern for a noon kickoff.