Courtesy of Murray State Athletics
When looking at the scoreboard Saturday evening, one may have thought they were watching a game at the CFSB Center. But, instead, the Hatch Attack was out in full force as Murray State set a modern-day scoring record in a thrilling, 72-59, come-from-behind victory over Missouri State in front of 7,806 fans on Homecoming.
The two teams combined to score at least 28 points in each quarter, with the Racers rallying in the fourth quarter to outscore the Bears 27-7. The 72 points scored by the Racers breaks the modern-day record of 71 set against Iowa Wesleyan on Homecoming in 1967.
The Racers did their damage mainly through the air, but also rushed for 246 yards on the way to a school-record 816 yards of total offense. The catalyst of the offensive attack was sophomore quarterback Casey Brockman who went 32-for-41 for a school record 570 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushed for 16 yards and another touchdown. His seven touchdown passes breaks Michael Proctor’s record of six. Proctor, who served as the Grand Marshall of today’s Homecoming parade, was on the sidelines to see his record fall.
Brockman’s main target on the day was senior Marcus Harris who caught nine passes for 213 yards and five touchdowns. The five scores sets a new record, while he becomes just the fourth Racer receiver to go over 200 yards receiving in a game.
Mike Harris did work on the ground as he carried the ball 30 times for 212 yards and two touchdowns.
With the Bears leading 52-38 late in the third quarter, Brockman hit Marcus Harris on an 11-yard pass on 4th-and-3 near midfield. Three plays later, Brockman connected with Dexter Barnett on a 19-yard touchdown.
Instead of being content down by seven, the Racers executed a perfect onside kick off the foot of Kienan Cullen that was recovered by Brandon Wicks. Facing a third-and-long, Brockman looked deep down the left sideline and found Marcus Harris for a 60-yard strike to tie the game at 52.
MST (2-3) silenced the crowd momentarily as Chris Douglas went 56 yards on the next play and Cody Kirby finished the drive with a three-yard TD run on fourth down.
The Racers (2-4) took the ball on their next drive and drove all the way down the field, but were stopped on fourth down at the Bear nine. But, on the next offensive play for MST, Blake Booth forced a fumble that was recovered by Wicks. Following a two-yard gain from Mike Harris, Brockman found Barnett on an 18-yard touchdown.
Special teams rose to the occasion again as Cullen pooched a kickoff that was taken by an up-back who ran with the ball and fumbled. Mike Harris made the Bears pay as he cut back on the next Racer play for a 30-yard touchdown to put the Racers up by six.
On the ensuing kickoff, Cullen again pooched it and a hustling MST returner couldn’t handle the ball and the Racers recovered another fumble in Bear territory. This scoring drive only took three plays as Brockman tossed a 28-yard strike to Marcus Harris.
The Bears put together one last scoring drive as they made their way inside the 10-yard line. Booth registered a sack on first down and Arlester McKinnon forced Kirby to throw the ball away on third down. On fourth down, the Racers brought a blitz and Harry McCall sacked Kirby to end the drive.
The Racers needed just one first down to run out the clock and were facing a 3rd-and-7 before Mike Harris broke free for a 57-yard run to end the game.
The Bears wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard as Kirby hit Jermaine Saffold for 64 yards on the first play from scrimmage and Stephen Johnston followed it up by scoring from 10 yards out on the next play.
The Racers answered back with a scoring drive of their own as Brockman connected on four passes that covered 63 yards and set MUR up at the five-yard line. A pair of false start penalties halted the drive and Cullen put points on the board with a 28-yard field goal.
MST needed only four plays on their next drive to score as Johnston went 61 yards on the first play and Kirby capped the drive with a three-yard score.
MUR looked like they would answer right back as the Racers got inside the 10-yard line, but fumbled and the Bears recovered.
The Bears capitalized on the mistake as Chris Douglas went around left end on the second play for a 97-yard touchdown run.
MUR was able to score their first touchdown of the game late in the first quarter as Brockman scrambled to his left and found Mike Harris for 30 yards on a third-down play. Mike Harris and Duane Brady carried the ball on the next six plays and set the Racers up at the Bear two. Brockman took the next snap and went untouched for the two-yard score.
The scoring picked up the second quarter as the Racer defense forced the Bears to punt. On the second play of the drive, Brockman found Hannibal Beauford on a screen pass and Beauford raced for 54 yards. Two plays later, Brockman found Marcus Harris down the left sideline for a 21-yard touchdown.
The Bears moved right back down the field, but the Racer defense stiffened and forced MST into a 22-yard field goal.
The Brockman to Marcus Harris connection was back at it on the Racers next possession as the duo connected on a 71-yard touchdown to tie the game at 24.
Kirby regained the lead for the Bears as he scored from 31 yards out and MST added to its lead as they blocked a punt and recovered it in the endzone.
The Racers closed out the first-half scoring as Mike Harris capped off a 10-play drive by scoring from two-yards out.
MUR tied the score again on the opening possession of the second half as the Racers got a first down on a pair of running plays from Mike Harris and another on a 17-yard completion to Dexter Barnett. Facing a 4th-and-1, Mike Harris went over left end for five yards to keep the drive alive. The Racers faced their second fourth down on the drive at the Bear two when Brockman found Marcus Harris for the two-yard touchdown pass.
The offensive onslot continued as the Bears converted a third down on their next drive and made their way into Racer territory on a 31 yard run from Johnston. Two plays later, Kirby broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and ran in from 15 yards out.
Marcus Harris was not the only receiver to have a big day as Barnett added five catches for 93 yards, while Rashad Daniels had five catches for 79 yards and Arthur Brackett had five grabs for 60 yards.
The Racers will enjoy a much needed bye week before returning to action Oct. 23 at Eastern Illinois.