Racers Win Big in Season Opener


Box Score For the 52nd time in 95 seasons, the Murray State football team opened its annual campaign with a win, beating Pikeville, 59-20, Thursday night at Roy Stewart Stadium.

Pikeville was first on the board in the contest with a 42-yard field goal by Zaniel Phillips less than four minutes into the game. However, the Racers immediately answered with a 95-yard kickoff return by Quinaz Turner and never looked back.

Preston Rice was 20-for-31 in his debut as Murray State’s QB1 for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Jacob Bell, Lamartez Brooks, and Brion Sanchious, in his Racer football debut, had each of MSU’s receiving touchdowns, while Jared McCray and Rodney Castille each scored twice on the ground.

Defensively, Edmond McGhee had five tackles, 2.0 tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble, while Anthony Koclanakis had a game-high six tackles and a sack.

The Racers return to action next Saturday when they travel to Athens to take on third-ranked FBS Georgia. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

Game Notes

  • With the win, Murray State improves to 52-39-4 all-time in season openers and 65-26-4 in home openers.
  • Preston Rice’s nine-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter was not only the first of his career, but it was the first for receiver Brion Sanchious, who is playing football for the first time since high school after playing four years for the Racer men’s basketball team.
  • Murray State finished the game with zero turnovers, marking the first time the Racers have achieved that feat since Oct. 29, 2016 against Tennessee State.
  • Backup quarterback Brendan Bognar also got his first career touchdown on the night when he found LaMaetez Brooks from 46-yards out in the fourth quarter.
  • Tay Carothers became the first Racer since Derrick Townsel against Eastern Illinois in 2007 to recover two fumbles in the same game.
  • Turner’s 95-yard touchdown on a kickoff return in the first quarter was the longest by Racer since Pokey Harris put up 100-yard touchdown returns in back-to-back games in 2014.

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