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#20 Central Arkansas 42, Murray State 20

Murray StateThe Murray State offense ran 97 plays and racked up 537 yards of total offense, but it was three costly turnovers that cost the Racers in the 2012 home opener as MSU fell 42-20 to #20 Central Arkansas in front of an announced crowd of 9,848.

The Bears (1-1) got on the board quickly as they took the opening-drive 10 plays for a touchdown as Wynrick Smothers connected with Jesse Grandy on an 18-yard catch and run for the touchdown. UCA used an 11-play drive late in the quarter to extend their lead to 14-0.

The Racers (0-2) got on the board in the second quarter as MSU converted a 4th-and-5 to keep an 11-play drive alive. Casey Brockman started the drive by connecting with Nevar Griffin for 29 yards. Jordan Morrow picked up three yards on the ground on a 4th-and-2 to close out the quarter. The second quarter started with the Racers facing their second fourth down. Freshman Jeremy Harness found Casey Brockman for 11 yards to continue the drive.

Following an 18-yard connection from Brockman to Ja-Vonta Trotter, Duane Brady took the handoff and went up the middle for the three-yard touchdown run.

UCA used a quick strike to extend the lead back to 14 points as Smothers found Dominique Croom on a 74-yard strike on the first play of their next drive.

Not to be outdone, the Racers responded on their next play from scrimmage with a 70-yard touchdown strike from Brockman to Dontel Watkins.

The score would remain 28-13 late into the half, when the Racers drove deep into Bears territory. Linebacker Justin Heard put an end to the Racer scoring threat by intercepting the ball on the seven-yard line with less than 10 seconds remaining.

The Racers came out in the second half and marched the ball down the field as Brockman completed five of seven passes on the drive. Brockman would pick up a first down with his legs, but his helmet came off and he was forced to come out of the game. Spencer Phillips entered the game and threw his first collegiate pass. The result was a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Morrow on a screen in which Morrow made two players miss with a spin move.

The Bears took the momentum back five minutes later as Grandy fielded a punt and went 72 yards for the touchdown.

MSU put together two more drives in the fourth quarter, but both resulted with interceptions in the red zone, putting an end to any comeback efforts.

Brockman finished the game by going 41-for-63 for 445 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Trotter finished with a career-best 11 receptions for 92 yards. Walter Powell added seven catches for 88 yards.

Qua Huzzie led the Racer defense with nine tackles, including four tackles-for-loss, and an interception. Darrian Skinner added eight tackles, while Blake Salter and Brandon Wicks each added seven.

The Racers return to action Sept. 15 as they travel to face Missouri State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen live on the Racer TV Network.

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