Murray State rolls past NAIA rival Pikeville, 59-20

Murray State rolls past NAIA rival Pikeville, 59-20
(Source: KFVS)

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Preston Rice threw two first-half touchdown passes, Jared McCray and Rodney Castille each ran for two more scores and Quinaz Turner returned a first-quarter kickoff 95 yards for a score as Murray State routed in-state, NAIA-rival Pikeville, 59-20 in a season-opener Thursday night.

Pikeville took the opening kick and drove 50 yards in eight plays and Zaniel Phillips connected on a 42-yard field goal to put the Bears up, 3-0, but the Racers took the lead for good on the ensuing kickoff.

Two minutes later Rice found Brion Sanchious from nine-yards out and Gabriel Vicente kicked a 44-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first quarter to put Murray State up, 17-3. McCray scored from the 3 and Jacob Bell pulled in a 38-yard pass from Rice for a 31-3 lead minutes into the second quarter.

Bowen Smith ran in from the 4 and threw a 48-yard strike to Damian Sutton to bring Pikeville back to trail 31-17 at the half.

Castille had two short touchdown runs in the second half and McCray added a 25-yard dash.

Murray State threw for 216 yards and rushed for another 249. Pikeville managed 199 yards through the air but was held to just 46 yards rushing.