MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — One series after throwing a pick, Mark Pappas engineered the game-winning drive by completing six passes in seven plays (the other was a run) including a 2-yard touchdown toss to BJ Byrd as Morehead State rallied past Valparaiso 28-24 on Saturday
Cornerback Brandon Barbee sealed the win with his second interception of the game with just over a minute left. Barbee entered the game tied for second in the FCS with three interceptions. With a 47-yard Pick-6 early in the game he now has five interceptions this season and seven career.
Pappas was 20 of 34 passing for 209 yards. He scored two rushing touchdowns, opening the scoring with a 10-yard keeper as Morehead State (3-3, 3-2 Pioneer Football League) built a 21-0 lead with 12:36 before halftime.
Valparaiso (3-2, 3-2) whacked the deficit down to 21-14 by halftime, however, as Gabe Lawson and Robert Washington scored short rushing TDs. Valpo knotted the score at 21-21 when Lawson struck again in the third quarter.
Washington gained 180 yards on 26 carries for Valparaiso with Lawson adding 30 more. The Crusaders piled up 220 yards on the ground to Morehead State’s 63. Sophomore quarterback Ben Nimz completed 7 of 14 passes for 77 yards and two interceptions.
Morehead State entered the game leading the PFL, and third among all FCS teams, with 10 picks in its previous four games.
After Morehead State went ahead 28-21, Valparaiso’s Charlie Maxwell returned the ensuing kickoff 56 yards past midfield. Washington broke off a 34-yard gainer to inside the 10. But the Crusaders were forced to kick a 21-yard field goal, trailing 28-24 with 4:39 remaining.
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