Not even a cool, light rain could put a damper on the Morehead State spring football game Saturday afternoon.
The offense scored four touchdowns - three through the air and one rushing - to culminate a spring that saw the Eagles go through 14 on-field sessions.
"Probably the most productive (spring) we've had overall since I've been here as head coach, from Day One to Day 15," head coach Rob Tenyer said. "What I mean by that is the production of our players. I think each week we progressed, each practice we progressed. And I think production from (start) to the end was really outstanding.”
“Today wasn't an ideal day to play and do what we did, but it was a really good product considering the weather. We got a lot of reps, just over 100 plays. Really more than I wanted, but we were playing good football, we were being athletic and we're staying healthy. So we went and we got some extra reps, and I think it paid off,” Tenyer added.
The biggest hole Morehead State has to fill this season is at quarterback. Four-year starter Austin Gahafer set Pioneer Football League records for passing yards, attempts, completions and total offense, and established school records for career touchdown passes (85) while being responsible for 99 career TDs via the air and ground.
The candidates to replace Gahafer are redshirt senior Jack Sherry, redshirt junior Lawson Page and redshirt freshman Ethan Jeffers.
Sherry, a drop-back passer who has played in 11 games, went 5-for-14 Saturday, good for 50 yards.
Page, who has nine games of experience primarily as a "wildcat" QB, went 7-for-17, good for 100 yards. He threw one touchdown pass, to Nathan Sames, and was picked off once on a ball that ricocheted off the intended receiver.
Jeffers, who has no game experience, was the most productive Saturday. He connected on seven of 13 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
"I like the competition," Tenyer said. "I think there's been a little bit of a separation as we conclude spring. But I think it's probably going to take until practice seven or eight in the fall to come to a conclusion on it. But I know this: I know we've got some guys that we can win a championship with."
Jeffers liked the way his unit performed throughout the spring.
"I think we got a lot better, and that was our main intention coming into spring," Jeffers said. "We just wanted to get better and do our thing out there. I felt like, especially the spring game, we got a lot better. I know it rained and everything, but we got better."
Trevor Jones led the MSU rushing game Saturday, netting 89 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He also caught one pass for 24 yards.
Sames topped the receiving corps with six catches for 100 yards and two TDs. Landon Hurst added two receptions for 31 yards and a score.
Linebackers Kordell Brown and Jacob Biller were among the defensive standouts. Brown had nine tackles, a sack and forced a fumble. Biller was in on five tackles and had an interception.
All-PFL defensive end Colt Briggs, the leader of the unit, had three tackles.
"I think we had a great day," Briggs said. "We had guys flying around to the ball. Our secondary had a fantastic day. But I've been saying all spring we have three corners who could start on any team. So I think we had a great day."
And that pretty well summed up the spring overall.
Tenyer was especially heartened by the progress some of his younger players made over the course of the spring.
"I think we've got a lot of guys that are progressing, we've got a lot of guys that are stepping into roles," Tenyer said. "And from the time we started up until now, there's been a lot of really positive progress. So that's really important."
Morehead, 4-7 overall and 3-5 in the PFL last season, now turns its focus to summer drills in preparation for fall camp.
The Eagles will open the season Aug. 31 at home, facing Kentucky Christian.