Emporia State football prepares for Northeastern State

Courtesy: Emporia State Athletics

AGAINST THE WALL
Emporia State travels to Northeastern State looking to avoid their first three game losing streak since opening the 2011 season 0-3. The RiverHawks will be looking to avoid their third straight 0-4 start to the season since joining the MIAA.

LAST TIME OUT
Emporia State outgained Central Oklahoma 385 yards to 319 but four Hornet turnovers, two of them in the redzone, led to a 24-14 Broncho win at Welch Stadium. Brent Wilson finished the game 28 of 51 for 255 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He added a team high 59 yards rushing for 314 total yards of offense. Antonio Brown had 16 carries for 51 yards. Austin Willis had seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Lyndell Johnson returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown, the first punt return for a TD by a Hornet since 2008. Deshawn Dinwiddie had 17 tackles, 11 of them solo, with 2.5 TFL, and a forced fumble. Josh Monteguedo joined him in double figures with ten tackles.

THE COACHES
Garin Higgins has compiled a career record of 90-51 in his 13th season as a head coach. He led the Hornets to the NCAA playoffs last year. He is 39-42 in his eighth season at his alma mater and is 30-18 over the last four seasons. He had a 51-9 career record as the head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma, including two trips to the national championship game. Higgins was a quarterback for Emporia State from 1987-90 and was on the 1989 national runners-up team. He is 2-0 against Northeastern State and was the offensive coordinator for the RiverHawks in 2006.
Rob Robinson is 0-3 in his first year at Northeastern State. This is his first meeting with Emporia State.

SCOUTING THE HORNETS
Emporia State is 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the MIAA. The Hornets lead the MIAA in total offense at 485.0 yards per game and pasing offense at 389.0 yards per game and are third in scoring offense at 32.7 points per game. Brent Wilson leads the MIAA in total offense at 329.3 yards per game while Austin Willis is the top receiver at 6.7 receptions for 143.0 yards per game with four touchdowns.

SCOUTING THE RIVERHAWKS
Northeastern State is 0-3 on the season and 0-3 in the MIAA. They have been shutout in two of their three games and are last in the MIAA in both scoring offense and defense.

THE SERIES
This will be the ninth meeting between the two schools with Northeastern State leading 5-3. The Hornets have won both meetings in the MIAA. Emporia State has won three of five games played in Tahlequah.

LAST TIME AGAINST NSU
Brent Wilson went 27 of 41 for 410 yards and five touchdowns and added 75 rushing yards on 13 carries as Emporia State defeated Northeastern State 45-24 at Jones Field at Welch Stadium. Austin Willis, the nations leader in receiving yards entering the game, finished with nine catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Kavaski Ervin ended with six catches for 93 yards, two touchdowns and a blocked punt. Ray Ray Davis had six receptions for 74 yards and a score. Wilson led the Hornets in rushing with 75 yards while Antonio Brown had ten carries for 51 yards and a score. Deshawn Dinwiddie had 11 tackles and a sack to lead the Hornet defense.

UP NEXT
Emporia State plays host to Lindenwood on Saturday, October 4. Kick-off is set for 2:00 p.m. on Jones Field at Welch Stadium.

STARTING OUT
Emporia State has not trailed at the end of the first quarter since Nov. 10, 2012 when Washburn led 9-7 before the Hornets went on to win 55-23. Emporia State scored on their opening drive in six games and scored first in eight of 11 games last year. The opposing team has scored first in four of the last six games dating back to last year. The Hornets have been tied at the end of the first quarter in each of the last five games dating back to last year. The last time the Hornets held the lead at the end of the first quarter was against Northwest Missouri on Nov. 9, 2013 at 7-6. That was also the last time Northwest Missouri trailed at the end of the first quarter.

THE POLLS SAY
For the first time in school history, the Emporia State football team began the season ranked in the top 25 of both the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and D2Football.com NCAA Division II Preseason Polls. Emporia State had received votes in 26 straight AFCA polls from Sept. 17, 2012 through last week. The Hornets went 2-2 against nationally ranked teams last season defeating then #12 Missouri Western 35-30, #23 Washburn 34-23 and falling to then #2 Northwest Missouri 48-21 and #5 Minn.-Duluth 55-13.

THAT’S OFFENSIVE
Emporia State leads the MIAA and is ranked in the top 25 nationally in total offense and passing offense. The Hornets are 29-7 under coach Higgins when scoring 28 or more points with a 23-2 record in their last 25 games in which they have scored at least 28 points.

LEADING THE WAY
Quarterback Brent Wilson (Jr./Ponca City, Okla.) leads the MIAA in completions, passing yards and total offense and is ranked seventh in the nation in total offense, tenth in passing yards and fourth in completition. He went 28 of 51 for 255 yards with a touchdown and added 59 rushing yards against Central Oklahoma. He was 40 of 62 for 489 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions at Central Missouri. The 40 completions broke Pete Jelovic’s school record of 39 set against Truman in 1995 and the 489 yards are second in Emporia State history to his own 522 yards against Central Oklahoma last year. He is second in the nation in completions per game, sixth in passing yards and eighth in total offense. He was named second-team All-MIAA at quarterback. He was named to preseason All-American watch lists by BSN and USA College Football. Last year he set the Emporia State single season touchdown passes record with 33, was just the second Hornet to go over 3,000 yards of total offense with 3,381 yards, and was third in passing with 2,985 yards in just ten games on the season. He was 25 of 35 for 362 yards and two touchdowns in three quarters against Washburn. He led his first fourth quarter comeback at Missouri Western going four of six for 27 yards and adding two carries for 14 yards on the Hornets go ahead touchdown drive. He went 21 of 31 for 244 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against the Griffons, adding 15 yards rushing on five carries for 259 total yards. He was 27 of 41 for 410 yards and five touchdowns with 75 rushing yards on 13 carries against Northeastern State last season. He was named MIAA, D2Football.com and BSN National Offensive Player of the Week after setting MIAA records for passing yards, total offense and touchdown passes at Central Oklahoma. He was 38 of 47 for 522 yards with seven touchdowns against the Bronchos and added 49 yards rushing for a total of 571 yards. He was the first quarterback in Emporia State history to throw for over 300 yards in his first start as he went 21 of 29 for 301 yards and three touchdowns against Ft. Hays State and also ran for 74 yards on 13 carries with a pair of rushing touchdowns. He saw action in nine games as a true freshman in 2012. He is 316 of 485 for 4,085 yards with 40 touchdowns passing in his career. He has added 562 rushing yards to record 4,647 yards of total offense in 22 career games. He is ranked fourth in career passing yards and touchdown passes and ranks fifth in total offense at Emporia State.

WITHIN REASON
Quarterback Ty Reasnor (Fr.-RS/Cashion, Okla.) He played most of the fourth quarter against Mo. Southern with one carry for 13 yards. He traveled as the third quarterback last season for Emporia State. He has emerged as the top punter for the Hornets and is averaging 37.9 yards per punt with five of his 14 punts going inside the 20 yard line iwth five fair catches. He earned first-team Class A All-State honors as he threw for 3,562 yards and 48 touchdowns with just three interceptions to lead Cashion (Okla.) HS to a 13-1 record as a senior.

WHAT YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT
Receiver Austin Willis (Sr./Topeka, Kan.) is leading the MIAA in receiving yards, receptions and touchdown catches. He ranks fifth in the nation in receiving yards per game, 14th in touchdown receptions and 28th in receptions per game. He has at least one catch of 50 yards or more in nine of the last 12 games he has played in. He had seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown against Central Okla. He had eight catches for 178 yards and two touchdowns at Central Missouri including a 53 yard touchdown, his eighth career touchdown catch of at least 50 yards. He had 126 yards on five receptions with a touchdown against Missouri Southern and got Emporia State on the board with a 54 yard touchdown catch. He was a second-team All-MIAA pick last year despite missing two games with an injury. He was on the USA College Football preseason All-American watch list. Willis caught 45 passes for 911 yards and ten touchdowns in nine games. Five of his ten touchdown receptions last year went for over 50 yards, including a 55 yarder against Minn.-Duluth in the NCAA Playoffs. Of his 45 receptions last year, 15 went for more than 25 yards including seven catches for over 50 yards. He had a 51 yard reception and a 63 yard kick return at Lindenwood and finished the game with 127 all-purpose yards on four touches. He had five catches for 83 yards with a 52 yard touchdown – all in the second quarter – against Southwest Baptist. He had nine catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns against Northeastern State. He was the first Hornet to have over 125 yards receiving in four straight games as an NCAA Division II school. He had eight catches for 196 yards and a touchdown against Central Oklahoma. He had six catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns against Neb.-Kearney. He caught nine passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns at Fort Hays State. His 74 yard touchdown catch gave Emporia State the lead at Southwest Baptist in 2012 and was the fourth longest play from scrimmage for the Hornets that year. He has 1,667 yards on 92 receptions with 16 touchdowns in his career for an 18.3 yards per catch average.

MAGIC
Receiver Kavaski Ervin (Jr./Mesquite, Texas) is second in the MIAA in receptions per game and ninth in receiving yards. He had eight catches for 39 yards against Central Oklahoma after catching five passes for 61 yards at Central Missouri. He had four catches for 27 yards against Missouri Southern. He earned honorable mention All-MIAA honors last season. He caught six of the last ten touchdown passes thrown by Emporia State and had 18 catches for 324 yards and five touchdowns in his four games against nationally ranked teams last year. He had career highs of seven receptions for 129 yards including a Hornet season best 74 yard touchdown against Washburn. He had five catches for 114 yards and two scores against Northwest Missouri. He had four receptions for 45 yards and two touchdowns at Missouri Western. He had a break out game with six catches for 93 yards with two touchdowns and he also blocked a punt against Northeastern State. He played at both receiver and corner back as a freshman. He was the only Hornet to have a rush of over 25 yards and a reception of over 40 yards in 2012. He averaged 17.2 yards per catch as a freshman including a 42 yard touchdown reception against Central Oklahoma.

BIG FOOTE
Mitchell Foote (So./Enid, Okla.) had four receptions for 28 yards against Central Oklahoma. He caught three passes for 51 yards at Central Missouri. He had a 12 yard reception down to the Central Missouri nine yard line in which he hurdled a Mule defender. He had five receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown against Missouri Southern. Last year he caught five passes for 61 yards against Washburn. He had two catches for 43 yards against Northwest Missouri. He had a catch of at least 15 yards in five of the last eight games. He had five catches for 50 yards at Lindenwood. He had four receptions for a career best 82 yards against Southwest Baptist. He snagged a five yard touchdown pass the first time he set foot on the field for the Hornets on a fade against Neb.-Kearney. Twelve of his 16 receptions last year were good for either a first down or a touchdown. He was a first-team All-State selection and was Enid HS’s all-time leader with 102 receptions for 1,552 yards and 19 touchdowns in his career.

STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
Receiver Drake Smithon (Jr./Woodward, Okla.) had three catches for 17 yards against Central Oklahoma. He had four receptions for 37 yards at Central Missouri. He had two catches for 21 yards against Missouri Southern. He caught three passes for 22 yards against Southwest Baptist last year. He had five catches for 52 yards on the year with a long of 17 yards. He had four catches for 34 yards as a freshman after transferring from Oklahoma State.

MORE TARGETS
A total of 14 players caught at least one pass last season and 11 had a reception of at least 11 yards. Logan Clothier (So./Topeka, Kan.) was a medical redshirt last season after playing in nine games as a redshirt freshman in 2012. A pair of true freshman have made their way onto the two-deep. Justin Brown (Fr./El Reno, Okla.) had his first career catch against Central Oklahoma, gaining seven yards. He scored touchdowns by receiving, rushing, kickoff return, punt return and interception return on his way to 22 touchdowns his senior year at El Reno HS. Jaylon Raydel (Fr./Gardner, Kan.) was a first-team All-State selection for Gardner-Edgerton HS and was a two-time All-Eastern Kansas League pick.

REESE’S PIECES
H-back Reese Richards (So./Azle, Texas) had just one catch for six yards against Central Oklahoma after getting a career high 104 yards receiving on six catches with a touchdown at Central Missouri. He had his first career start against Northwest Missouri last season. He had two catches for 31 yards against Southwest Baptist last year. He caught a 37 yard touchdown pass at Lincoln. He had five catches for 93 yards, an average of 18.6 yards per catch, on the season. He was the team MVP and earned second-team All-District honors for Azle (Texas) HS as a senior.

DOMINATE AT THE LINE
H-back transfer Dominique Jones (Jr./Kilgore, Texas) had a 21 yard reception against Central Oklahoma. He played in 18 games with six starts as the primary blocking tight end in two years at the University of Texas. He had a touchdown reception in the Longhorns 2010 game at Kansas State. He was a three-time all-district performer and starter at tight end and defensive end for Kilgore HS He was tabbed one of the top 10 defensive ends in Texas by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football as a high school senior.

BROWN AND SERVE
Running back Antonio Brown (So./St. Louis, Mo.) is sixth in the MIAA in rushing at 62.7 yards per game and is tied for second in receptions at 5.7 catches per game. He had 51 rushing yards on 16 carries against Central Oklahoma and added 12 yards on three receptions. He had 103 yards from scrimmage against Central Missouri with 21 carries for 60 yards with a rushing touchdown and a career high 12 receptions for 43 yards. He had 77 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown against Missouri Southern. He was the Offensive Freshman of the Year in the MIAA and was named honorable mention All-MIAA last season. His nine rushing scores were the most by a Hornet since Kevin Smart had 11 touchdowns in 2009. He had 536 rushing yards last year with 463 coming in the final seven games of the year. It was the most rushing yards by a Hornet freshman since Seville Ko gained 559 in 2005 and his nine touchdowns are the most by a Hornet freshman since joining the MIAA. He rushed for 66 yards against Washburn with 60 of them coming on ten carries in the fourth quarter. He had 13 carries for 68 yards against Northwest Missouri. He had 109 yards on 14 carries at Missouri Western. It was his second 100 yard rushing day of the season, the first time a Hornet has had two 100 yard games in a season since LaDarrian Page and Dasor Horton each did it in 2011. He gained 76 yards on 16 carries with a pair of touchdowns against Lindenwood. He had a career high four rushing touchdowns on 16 carries with 102 yards at Lincoln. It was the most rushing touchdowns by a Hornet since Brian Shay had four against then Missouri-Rolla in 1998. He was a first-team All-State selection at Christian Brothers HS in St. Louis. He scored 46 touchdowns with over 2600 rushing yards combined as a junior and senior.

TICE IS NICE
Running back Jordan Tice (Sr./Osage City, Kan.) had 62 yards on 11 rushes with a touchdown against Missouri Southern. He has averaged over 4.2 yards per carry in his career with just two fumbles in 175 career rushes in 35 games. He had a season high 43 yards on eight carries at Central Oklahoma last year. He had 320 yards on 82 carries as a sophomore with two touchdowns. He led Emporia State with 12 carries for 67 yards at Southwest Baptist. He had a career high 91 yards on 12 carries against Central Oklahoma. He had 88 yards from scrimmage on 14 carries and four catches with a touchdown against Ft. Hays State. He averaged 9.6 yards per carry with a touchdown as a freshman.

JOSHING AROUND
Running back Josh Matthews (Sr./McKinney, Texas) had two carries for 14 yards against Central Oklahoma. He had 81 yards on 14 carries last season including a career high 52 yards on eight carries against Lincoln last year. He had six carries for 29 yards in his Hornet debut at Ft. Hays State. He transferred to Emporia State from Drake where he played in 22 games as a defensive back for the Bulldogs.

TRIUMPHANT
Running back Kai Callins (Fr./Guthrie, Okla.) led Emporia State with 107 yards on 11 carries including a 57 yard touchdown run against Missouri Southern. He was the MVP of the Oklahoma Class 5A state championship game after rushing for 245 yards and four touchdowns. He was named VYPE Magazine Mr. Football in Oklahoma his senior year.

ON THE LINE
Emporia State returned four of five starters on the offensive line from last year and has five players with at least nine career starts. The Hornets are the only team to return three offensive linemen that earned All-MIAA honors last year and two players have been named to preseason All-America watch lists. As a unit they paved the way for an average gain of 6.5 yards per rush against Missouri Southern but only 2.4 yards per carry against Central Missouri. They have only allowed five sacks in 150 passing attempts or once every 30 pass plays.

OFF THE ICE
Guard Jarrett Stastny (So./Sanger, Texas) was named the Squarehead Award winner against Missouri Southern. He is a consensus preseason All-American, earning D2Football.com, Lindy’s, BSN, and USA College Football honors. He was named First-Team All-MIAA on the offensive line and was the only freshman tabbed First-Team. He was a second-team Daktronics All-Region pick and earned third-team all-region honors from Hansen’s Football Gazette. He earned the Squarehead Award three times last season. His first honor was against Neb.-Kearney and he has won the award in the Hornets wins over nationally ranked Missouri Western and Washburn.

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU
Tackle Clayton Brown (Sr./Braymer, Mo.) was named the Squarehead Award winner against Central Oklahoma. He earned Squarehead honors against Lindenwood and Central Oklahoma last season. He was the Squarehead winner at Neb.-Kearney as a sophomore after transferring from Iowa Central CC.

IN THE TRENCHES
Eric Pruitt (Jr./Chicago, Ill.) worked his way into the starting line-up at guard to begin the season. He moved to center against Central Oklahoma with the injury to Dan Goodman. He will He worked out on the defensive side of the ball last season after transferring from Ellsworth CC.

PUTTING IT BLUNTLY
Tackle Aaron Blount (Sr./Garland, Texas) was named Third-Team All-MIAA last season. He was named to the USA College Football preseason All-American watch list. He earned Squarehead Award honors for the Northeastern State and Lincoln games last year. He was the Squarehead winner for the Truman and Northwest Missouri games as a sophomore.

GETTING JENKY WITH IT
Guard Beau Jenkins (So./Corsicana, Texas) moved into the starting line up at guard with Eric Pruitt’s move to center. He was a first-team All-State Class 2A performer for Mildred (Texas) HS.

GREAT DANE
Tackle Dane Riley (Fr.-RS/Azle, Texas) saw a lot of action against Central Oklahoma at tackle. He was a first-team All-District pick at left tackle for Azle HS. He was credited with 14 pancake blocks as a senior.

SCOOBY DOO
Guard Jordan McAdoo (Jr./Piedmont, Okla.) was named Squarehead Award winner off the bench against Northwest Missouri. He has rotated in at several positions along the line last season. He started eight games between the guard and tackle position as a freshman and earned Squarehead honors against Lindenwood.

A FEW GOOD MEN
Center Dan Goodman (Sr./Emporia, Kan.) played 90 of 91 snaps against Central Missouri despite an ankle injury suffered in the first quarter. He is doubtful against Central Oklahoma. He stepped in for four year starter Lance Uhles at center and earned honorable mention All-MIAA honors as a junior last season. He was named the Squarehead Award winner against Ft. Hays State.

GETTING DEFENSIVE
Emporia State leads the MIAA and is ranked ninth in the nation in turnovers gained. The Hornets have forced a turnover in 30 of their last 31 games, including their last ten straight. Emporia State forced four turnovers against Missouri Southern and scored two defensive touchdowns. It was the first defensive score for the Hornets since Sept. 8, 2012 when they had a fumble and interception return for touchdowns at Neb.-Kearney.

THE GOVERNOR
Linebacker Deshawn Dinwiddie (Sr./Hutchinson, Kan.) leads the MIAA and the nation with three forced fumbles in three games. He is ranked fourth in the MIAA and 41st in the nation in total tackles. He is out for the Northeastern State game with a lower leg injury. He had a career high 17 tackles, 11 of them solo, with 2.5 TFL and a forced fumble against Central Oklahoma. He had five tackles and an interception return of 23 yards at Central Missouri. He was named MIAA Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Missouri Southern. He had a game high ten tackles, two forced fumbles and returned a defensive PAT for a score against the Lions. He was an honorable mention All-MIAA selection last year. He was the second leading tackler for the Hornets last year with 70 stops in ten games. He had seven tackles, a pass break up and a forced fumble with the recovery against Northwest Missouri. He was credited with 11 tackles including a tackle for loss at Missouri Western. He cracked double figures in tackles for the first time against Northeastern State, ending with 11 total including one for a loss. He played in 21 games for NCAA Division I-FCS Champion North Dakota State before transferring to Emporia State. He recorded 24 tackles in 11 games as a sophomore for the Bison and played in 10 games as a true freshman, primarily on special teams. He was a second team all-Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I selection for Hutchinson HS in 2010.

BLOODLINES
Linebacker Jason Tetuan (Jr./Topeka, Kan.) had two solo tackles against Central Oklahoma. He was credited with ten tackles and 1.5 sacks at Central Missouri. He is the leading tackler for the Hornets at 8.5 per game and ranks tenth in the MIAA. He is fourth in the MIAA in sacks with one solo and one assisted. He had seven tackles, three of them unassisted against Missouri Southern. He had three tackles in his first career start at Central Oklahoma last year. He was credited with four tackles against Neb.-Kearney. He had seven tackles, six of them solo, as a freshman for the Hornets. His brother John was an All-American baseball player at Wichita State, brother Jesse was a member of the 2003 Big 12 Champion Kansas State football team and brother Jarod was an All-MIAA performer for Washburn in 2007.

BEDLAM
Linebacker Lyndell Johnson (Sr./Plano, Texas) leads the MIAA and is tied with teammate Kadeem Satchell for second in the nation with two fumbles recovered and is second in the league, sixth in the nation in forced fumbles with two as well. He had four solo tackles against Central Oklahoma and returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown. It was the first non-blocked punt return for a TD by the Hornets since Brian Murphy went 82 yards against Western State in 2008. He had six tackles, 1.0 tackles for loss and half a sack at Central Missouri. He had six tackles, including two tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries against Missouri Southern. He knocked down a pitch and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown against the Lions. He transferred to Emporia State from Oklahoma State for his senior year. He was the fifth leading tackler with 54 tackles and made three starts for the Cowboys last year. He had two fumble recoveries to rank sixth in the Big 12 and 34th in NCAA Division I-FBS last year. As a sophomore he was tied for the team lead with two interceptions and his seven tackles for loss were the fourth most for Oklahoma State. He had 58 tackles and two interceptions as a senior at at Plano East HS and was ranked as the #39 overall player in the state of Texas by Scout.

STRIKER
Linebacker Tariq Allen (Sr./Irving, Texas) returned to the line up against Central Oklahoma and registered four tackles against the Bronchos. He was expected to play against Central Missouri before the injury flared up late in the week. He was third on the team last year with 64 tackles. He had nine tackles against Minn.-Duluth in the NCAA Playoffs. He had 12 tackles, a sack and an interception at Missouri Western. He had four solo stops, including a TFL and a pass break up at Lindenwood. He was credited with six tackles against Southwest Baptist. He was credited with eight solo stops against Northeastern State. He had a career high 13 stops with a sack and a quarterback hurry against Neb.-Kearney. He had four tackles and was credited with the Big Stick Award against Ft. Hays State. He was rated among the top 20 inside linebackers in the country at #4 by ESPN and #16 by rivals.com as a senior at MacArthur HS before joining the Texas Longhorns.

IT’S IN THE BAG
Safety Kadeem Satchell (Sr./Princeton, Texas) leads the MIAA and is tied with teammate Lyndell Johnson for second in the nation in fumble recoveries with two on the season. He had four tackles against Central Oklahoma. He recorded five tackles and a fumble recovery at Central Missouri. He had five solo tackles and six total against Missouri Southern. He scooped up a Lion fumble and returned 31 yards for a touchdown. He started all 11 games last year, finishing the season with 40 tackles and three interceptions. He recorded four solo tackles, one for a loss and had an interception against Washburn. He had three solo stops against Northwest Missouri. He had four tackles and an interception at Lindenwood. He had nine tackles at Central Oklahoma to share the team lead. He had two solo tackles against Ft. Hays State including one tackle for a loss of five yards. He had 45 tackles as a sophomore including a career high ten stops with a pass break up against Missouri Western. He had seven tackles, including a tackle for loss against Lincoln in his first career start.

REVOLUTIONARY
Safety Josh Monteagudo (So./Cape Coral, Fla.) had ten tackles with nine of them unassisted against Central Oklahoma. He was credited with seven tackles and an interception at Central Missouri. He had four tackles against Missouri Southern. He came on strong at the end of the year with 46 of his 52 tackles in the final seven games of the year. He had eight tackles at Minn.-Duluth. He was credited with eight solo tackles including two for a loss against Northwest Missouri. He had a career high 12 tackles, nine of them solo, and an interception at Missouri Western. His interception came with 5:22 left in the game and led to a Hornet touchdown and 35-24 lead. He had eight tackles, seven of them solo, against Southwest Baptist. He had seven solo stops, including three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble at Lincoln. He is a transfer from Hutchinson CC where he redshirted as a true freshman after originally committing to Ole Miss.

ACE OF MAYZE
Cornerback Ace Mayze (So./Arlington, Texas) had a pair of solo tackles against Central Oklahoma. He had one tackle and was credited with two pass break ups at Central Missouri. He was credited with five tackles against Missouri Southern. He saw action in all 11 games last year with 11 tackles. He had a season high five tackles, four of them solo stops, against Southwest Baptist. He has been a mainstay on special teams as a true freshman and saw his first extended action on defense against Southwest Baptist. He was a first-team All-District selection as a utility player for Seguin HS where he played wide receiver, quarterback, cornerback, safety and kick returner.

SPEEDY
Cornerback A.J. West (Fr.-RS./Yukon, Okla.) has seen action on defense, offense and special teams in each of the last two games. He had a 17 yard kick return and a tackle against Central Oklahoma. He had a 20 yard kick return against Central Missouri. He had one tackle against Missouri Southern after making the move from running back to corner during training camp. He earned All-American honors last spring as a member of Emporia State’s men’s 4x400m relay team that placed eighth in the nation. He gained 1,702 yards on 195 carries as a senior for Yukon HS in his only year of high school football.

DESTINY
Cornerback Kumani Armstead (Fr.-RS./North Richland Hills, Texas) saw his first action as a Hornet against Central Oklahoma and had three tackles. He was a second-team All-District performer for Richland HS.

THE BATTLE OF FIVE FORKS
Cornerback Deveon Dinwiddie (Sr./Hutchinson, Kan.) had a career high 12 tackles, ten of them solo, and an interception against Central Missouri. He also had two punt returns for 16 yards and a kick-off return of 17 yards that he injured his ankle on. He is out for the Northeastern State game. He is tied for third in the MIAA with two interceptions. He had two solo tackles, an interception and blocked a PAT against Missouri Southern. He earned honorable mention honors as a punt/kick returner. He also had 58 yards on three kick returns. He was the top tackler among corners last season with 50 total, including 44 solo stops. He averaged 32.5 yards on two interception returns and 12.5 yards per return on 12 punt returns last season. He recorded seven solo and an assisted tackle against Washburn. He had eight tackles and pass break up against Northwest Missouri. He had a 21 yard interception return, two punt returns for 22 yards and two kick returns for 34 yards at Lindenwood. He led the Hornets with nine tackles, eight of them solo including a tackle for loss at Central Oklahoma. He had eight tackles against Neb.-Karney with a pass break up. He had three tackles and an interception return of 44 yards against Ft. Hays State. He also had a 23 yard kick-off return and a long punt return of 18 yards. He transferred from NCAA Division I-FCS Champion North Dakota State. He played running back and gained 206 yards on 29 carries in ten games for the Bison last year. He rushed 143 times for a team-high 860 yards and 12 touchdowns for Hutchinson CC and returned four kickoffs for an average of 21.8 yards per return. He was rated a two-star prospect and the 15th best player in Kansas by Rivals.com and played an integral role in Hutchinson HS’s four straight state championships.

SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Brandon Gentz (Jr./Emporia, Kan.) suffered a potentially season ending injury against Central Missouri as his liver was damaged while making a tackle on special teams. He had six starts at the end of last year and recorded 26 of his 29 tackles in those starts. He had seven tackles in his first career start against Southwest Baptist. He had a career high two interceptions at Lincoln that he returned a total of 39 yards. He moved to safety after playing receiver as a freshman. He had a career high five catches against Lincoln for 16 yards and had one catch for 37 yards against Ft. Hays State.

CLEANHEAD
Defensive lineman Eddie Vinson (So./Omaha, Neb.) is 15th in the MIAA in sacks. He had four solo tackles against Central Oklahoma. He had six tackles, five of them solo, at Central Missouri. He had five tackles and a sack in his Hornet debut against Missouri Southern. He had 32 tackles and eight tackles for loss for Iowa Western CC last season. He was a first-team Academic All-Region selection for the Reivers. He was named a first-team All-Metro performer for Omaha Central HS.

A TREE
Defensive lineman James Junious (Jr./Arlington, Texas) had three tackles and was in on half a tackle for loss against Central Oklahoma. He recorded four tackles and a sack at Central Missouri. He had two tackles against Missouri Southern. Last year he played in ten games with three solo tackles and a fumble recovery. He saw action in nine of 11 games as a freshman. He had a solo tackle at Truman. He had five tackles and a quarterback hurry on the season.

BRING THE LUMBER
Defensive lineman Nick Schutte (Sr./Elk Run Heights, Iowa) was credited with four tackles against Central Missouri. He is the only senior on the defensive line. He had three tackles against Washburn. He was credited with two tackles and a pass break up at Missouri Western. He had four tackles at Lindenwood. He had a sack and a forced fumble at Lincoln. He had his first career sack against Northeastern State. He had 36 tackles, 3.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks for Ellsworth CC in 2012.

LEARJET
Defensive lineman Lear Schrader (Jr./Irvine, Calif.) blocked a field goal attempt by Central Oklahoma and recovered a fumble against the Bronchos. He transfers to Emporia State from Orange Coast CC. He saw action in seven games as a sophomore for OCC with 17 tackles, four tackles for loss and an interception. He played in eight games as a freshman in 2012 and totaled 23 tackles including 2.5 tackles for loss. He was named OCC’s Most Improved Player in 2012.

NINE LIVES
Defensive lineman Dameitrik Morris (Sr./Hutchinson,Kan.) had two tackles with a sack against Missouri Southern. He played in eight games last year for the Hornets after transferring from Garden City CC. He had eight tackles on the season last year with three coming at Lindenwood.

MAN OF STEELE
Defensive lineman Steele Fleming (Jr./Pratt,Kan.) had two solo tackles against Missouri Southern. He was named Lifter of the Year for the Hornets this fall. He redshirted at Emporia State last year after transferring from Hutchinson CC.

ISN’T THAT SPECIAL
Kickers Austin Morton (Fr.-RS/Rockwall, Texas) and Justin Marcha (Fr./Edmond, Okla.) have split the kicking duties this season. Morton is 12 of 13 on PATs and has hit two field goals, one from 33 yards and one from 26 yards. Marcha is averaging 53.9 yards with four touchbacks on 17 kick-offs and averaged 36.4 yards per punt on eight punts in the first two games. Back-up quarterback Ty Reasnor has a 46 yard punt and is averaging 37.9 yards on 14 punts with five inside the opponents 20 yard line while forcing five fair catches.
Lyndell Johnson had Emporia State’s first punt return for a touchdown off a non-blocked punt since 2008 with his 69 yard return against Central Oklahoma. He leads the MIAA and ranks third in the nation at 23.0 yards per punt return. Deveon Dinwiddie averaged 18.8 yards per kick return and 8.0 yards per punt return on the season before his injury against Central Missouri. He blocked a PAT against Missouri Southern. He earned honorable mention All-MIAA recognition as a returner last year. He averaged 22.1 yards per kick-off return to rank tenth in the MIAA last season and 12.5 yards per punt return.
A.J. West had a 20 yard kick return against Central Missouri and a 17 yard return against Central Oklahoma. Austin Willis averaged 23.3 yards per kick return against Central Oklahoma with a long of 34 yards and had a 63 yard kick return last year against Lindenwood.
Long snapper Reid Buckingham (Fr./Lawrence, Kan.) was ranked 17th in the country last year at the position and is the only player in the top 30 not going to an NCAA Division I school.

DID YOU CATCH IT
For the fifth year in a row, the Hornets will have a home game featured on the MIAA Television Network when they play host to Northwest Missouri on November 8. It will be the second of two scheduled appearances on television for Emporia State with their game at Missouri Western on October 25 also scheduled to be on. Last year they defeated Southwest Baptist 63-17 on October 12 for Homecoming. It was just the second time in seven games that the Hornets played a team with an under .500 record on the MIAA Network. Emporia State was featured on the MIAA Television Network twice last year. The Hornets are third behind Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri for the most appearances on the MIAA Network over the last four years. The Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 game against Missouri Western was the first televised match-up of nationally ranked teams from Jones Field at Welch Stadium. The MIAA Network is available live to nearly 2 million homes. The Hornets have played 15 games on live television in the last 16 seasons with six of the games coming from Welch Stadium.
Video webcasts for all of Emporia State’s regular season games are available on a pay per view basis from Stretch Internet as part of the conference wide webcast agreement. Each MIAA school receives credit for the games accessed through their portal.
Audio of all Emporia State games are available on KFFX 104.9FM and at http://www.kvoe.com with Greg Rahe, Chuck Samples and Ron Thomas providing the call. KFFX is in their 27th straight year as the radio home of Hornet Athletics, the longest active streak between a commercial station and an MIAA school.

HEAD COACH GARIN HIGGINS
Former Hornet Garin Higgins is the 21st head football coach at Emporia State and is just the second to lead the Hornets to ten wins in a season. Last year he became just the second coach to take the Hornets to the NCAA Playoffs and is one of just six Emporia State coaches to take the Hornets to a post season game of any type. He is 90-51 as a head coach with a 39-42 record at his alma mater. He is 30-18 over the last four seasons and 24-8 over the last 32 games. He compiled a 51-9 record as the head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University before becoming the co-offensive coordinator at Minnesota State in 2005. He was the offensive coordinator at Northeastern State in 2006.
He has built the Hornets the right way over his seven seasons and orchestrated one of the great turnarounds in Emporia State history. The Hornets went 19-4 in 2012 and 2013 after going 19-36 in his first five seasons. The 19 wins in back to back seasons are the most 19-5 in 1988-89, while Higgins was a quarterback for Emporia State.
With five more wins in 2012 than 2011, he led the Hornets to the biggest improvement in wins from one season to the next in Emporia State history. He has helped establish a true home field advantage for ESU, with the Hornets winning at least four home games in four of the last five seasons. He had led the Hornets to within just one game of a post season berth in 2010 and 2011 before winning the Kanza Bowl in 2012. He is one of six Hornet coaches to win at least five games in four straight years.
While at NWOSU, he was named the Central State Football League Coach of the Year five straight years from 2000 through 2004. The Rangers won 31 consecutive games from 1998 through 2000 and were 15-3 against NCAA Division II schools under Higgins.
A native of Blackwell, Okla., Higgins graduated from Emporia State in 1992. He was a four-year letterman for the Hornets and helped lead the team to a national runner-up finish in 1989. He has been involved with four teams that have played for or won national championships as a player, coordinator or head coach. Higgins and his wife Heather, a 1995 graduate of ESU, are the parents of three children – son Halen and daughters Harlee and Gracyn.

THE NFL EXPERIENCE
The Hornets have had 14 players play in one of the major professional football leagues. Two Hornets have won Super Bowl rings – Kelly Goodburn with the Washington Redskins and Leon Lett with the Dallas Cowboys. Adam Schiltz caught two passes for the Houston Texans in exhibition action last season and was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad this year. Chris Poston was at mini-camp with the New York Jets last spring. Harold Ayodele was a part of the Kansas City Chiefs during training camp and saw action in exhibition games in 2011. Garin Higgins has coached three players that have gone on to play in the NFL regular season – Lynn Scott with the Dallas Cowboys, Sam Breeden with the Green Bay Packers, and Patrick Crayton with the Cowboys and San Diego Chargers.

OUTSIDE THE CONFERENCE
The Hornets have gone 10-2 in non-conference games under Garin Higgins and are 21-7 outside the MIAA in the 21st century. Since joining the MIAA, ESU is 30-12 in non-conference games and has lost only three games to unranked non-conference D-II opponents since 1996. The MIAA has sent eight different schools to the NCAA playoffs in the last eight years and has had a team in the national championship game seven of the last nine seasons. The MIAA was 15-5 outside the league last year year and are 44-10 outside the league over the last three seasons with two wins and a loss against NCAA Division I-FCS teams while six of the losses came in postseason play. Two MIAA schools are ranked and two more are receiving votes in this week’s AFCA National Poll and three are ranked in the D2Football.com poll.

MIAA IN THE POSTSEASON
Since the MIAA first expanded in 1989 and the new teams became eligible for post season play in 1990, the MIAA has won six national championships and had a representative in 13 of 23 national championship games. The MIAA has been represented in eight of the last ten national championship games. In that time the MIAA is 32-12 in the NCAA Playoffs and 9-4 in bowl games for a combined post season record of 41-16 against non-conference opponents.

A Hornet win would…
•make Emporia State 2-2 overall, 2-2 in the MIAA;
•make Emporia State 4-5 all-time against Northeastern State;
•be Emporia State’s third straight win against Northeastern State;
•make Coach Higgins 40-42 at Emporia State and 91-51 overall;

A Hornet loss would…
•make Emporia State 1-3 overall, 1-3 in the MIAA.
•make Emporia State 3-6 all-time against Northeastern State;
•be the first loss to Northeastern State since 1990;
•make Coach Higgins 39-43 at Emporia State and 90-52 overall.

INJURY REPORT
Safety Brandon Gentz (liver), defensive back Deveon Dinwiddie (ankle), linebacker Deshawn Dinwiddie (leg) are out for the Central Oklahoma game. Offensive lineman Dan Goodman (ankle) is doubtful. Linebacker Tariq Allen (back) is probable.

WORKING OVERTIME
• The Hornets are 3-8 in overtime games with wins in three of their last five after dropping their first four extra period contests.
• Three of ESU’s 11 overtime games have come against Truman with ESU winning two of the three games.
• The quadruple overtime game in 2006 between ESU and PSU was the first MIAA regular season game to go to four overtimes and the first involving an MIAA team since NWMSU’s 4 OT win against Carson Newman in the 1999 National Championship Game.
• ESU’s 17 point deficit at the half against MSSU in 2011 was the largest half-time spread the Hornets have overcome for a win since joining the MIAA and matched the greatest deficit ever overcome for a win as an NCAA school. Including the win against MSSU, the Hornets have won 23 of their last 30 games with six of the losses coming to nationally ranked teams.
•ESU came from 17-0 at the end of the first quarter to defeat Ft. Hays State 24-17 to open the 1992 season.

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