The Choctaws’ Adam Shaffer tossed four touchdowns and threw for 311 yards on 19 of 29 passing while backup Tommy Reyer completed 4 of 5 passes for 52 yards, a touchdown, and he rushed for another to lead MC’s offensive explosion.
Renard Ellis and Brian Richardson also went over 100 yards receiving for the Choctaws with 132 and 104 yards respectively, and each player had a touchdown reception. MC ran 74 plays totaling 471 yards on the night.
As big a story as the Choctaw offense was, McMurry’s own high-powered offense was held mostly in check. Sophomore quarterback Jake Mullin threw for 173 yards on 23 of 40 passing. Mullin did not throw and interception, but also was unable to find the end zone through the air for the first time this season.
The longest pass play of the night was a reception from McMurry’s Antwaun Harris that went for 24 yards in the first quarter. McMurry got on the board in the second quarter when Mullin ran in his first touchdown of the season on a 1-yard draw up the middle with 4:59 left in the first half to make the score 21-7.
McMurry’s rushing game improved from the first two weeks thanks to the return of Keenan Alford. Alford, actually played sparingly in week two against Austin College. However, Saturday night the sophomore saw his first significant playing time of the season and responded with 133 yards on 13 carries for McMurry.
Alford’s night was highlighted in the first quarter on McMurry’s first play of its third drive of the game. Alford took the first down and 10 carry 54 yards to the Choctaw five-yard line setting up a first-and-goal opportunity. However, the drive ended when Jesse Garcia’s 23-yard field goal attempt went wide right that could have made the score 7-3 early in favor of MC.
After Mullin’s touchdown run, the Choctaws responded on the first play after the kickoff with a 68-yard touchdown pass from Shaffer to Richardson on a screen play where Richardson broke loose and made the score 28-7 with 4:40 left in the second quarter.
McMurry went three-and-out on the next drive and MC got the ball back after a John Kowalski punt with 4:01 to go in the half. The Choctaws drove to the McMurry 5-yard line and settled for a field goal from Brandon Walls from 22 yards out to make the score 31-7 for which it stayed heading into intermission.
The Choctaws continued rolling on the momentum with the first drive of the second half and took four plays after McMurry’s on-side kick attempt to score its fifth touchdown of the contest when Shaffer found Brent Thompson in the end zone from 11 yards and extended its lead to 38-7.
McMurry scored on a five-play 68-yard drive following Thompson’s touchdown catch. Mullin was looking to pass on a first-and-goal from the MC six-yard line, however, with all receivers covered, Mullin made a charge for his second rushing touchdown, but the Choctaws’ Jeremy Bertrand knocked the ball out of Mullin’s hands. Luckily for McMurry, Harris picked up the ball in the end zone for McMurry for the team’s second touchdown.
From there, it was all Choctaws. MC scored three more touchdowns and Walls added a 32-yard field goal.
Defensively the Choctaws’ blitzing scheme gave Mullin fits. MC was credited with 13 quarterback hurries led by Nolan Willisson who had four. Mullin was also sacked a season-high five times with Brad Holt recording two for MC.
Jimmy Sampson and Luke Petitto each had 11 tackles for the Choctaws. The MC defense forced two fumbles, which were both recovered for the visitors and Tramichael Dale returned McMurry backup quarterback Landry Gunter’s pass for 36 yards and a touchdown for the Choctaws’ final score in the fourth quarter.
For McMurry, sophomore safety Will Morris led with 14 tackles and three tackles for a loss; Morris also sacked Shaffer for a loss of nine yards. Andrew Wallace added 10 giving the senior 225 career tackles in his fourth season.
McMurry’s losing streak is now at 16 games and will take its 0-3 overall record to Belton Saturday to face No. 3-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor who has a 2-0 record after defeating Texas Lutheran 59-7 Saturday. Kickoff in Belton is at 1 p.m.