COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Nate Romine threw for 119 yards and two touchdowns and D.J. Johnson added 82 yards and a touchdown on the ground to help lead Air Force to a 63-7 win over Morgan State in the season opening game for both teams on Saturday.
Benton Washington added 62 yards rushing and a TD for the Falcons, who saw 16 different players carry the ball for a total of 394 yards.
Garrett Brown finished with 58 yards receiving and had a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown. It was the Falcons first punt return for a touchdown in six years. Roland Ladipo’s added an interception return for a touchdown, the Falcons first in three years.
Air Force scored more than 31 points per game last season, but it still found a way to end a couple scoring droughts. The Falcons’ 63 points was their most since beating Nicholls State 72-0 on this date in 2009.
After five consecutive rushing attempts on its opening drive, Romine threw his first touchdown since 2013, an easy toss to Jalen Robinette for a 26-yard score.
He didn’t complete a pass on either of the next two drives as D.J. Johnson capped a 75-yard drive with a 3-yard score, and Benton Washington finished a 55-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown.
Air Force was comfortably ahead by that point and had a 28-7 lead at the half.
The Falcons went onto out score Morgan State 35-0 in the second half. Shayne Davern, Timothy McVey and Scott Hester each had rushing TDs, and Ladipo had a 22-yard pick-six, the Falcons’ first since 2012.
Meanwhile Morgan State of the Football Championship Subdivision looked depleted. Ten of its players were ruled academically ineligible — the biggest of those being speedy running back Herb Walker Jr., who rushed for a school-record 1,408 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. It was also the first time the Bears football program had ever played in the thin air of Colorado.
Moses Skillon, who coach Lee Hull wouldn’t name as the official starter until Saturday, carried much of the load. He threw for 142 yards, rushed for another 35 yards, and capped the Bears only scoring drive with a 2-yard run in the waning seconds of the second half.
Air Force is now 9-0 in season openers under Calhoun, and 20-0 all-time against FCS opponents and has won eight straight home games dating back to 2013.
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