Emporia State prepares for tough match-up with Pitt State

EMPORIA (ESU ATHLETICS) — The #18 Hornets play host to #13 Pittsburg State in a key top 25 battle in the MIAA and Super Region 3.

Brent Wilson set the Emporia State career record for touchdown passes and the Hornet defense held Lindenwood to just 289 yards of total offense in a 20-13 road win in St. Charles, Mo. on Saturday. The Hornet offense was held to a season low 20 points on the day but still had nearly 500 yards of total offense. In fact Emporia State was at 500 yards exactly until they lost a total of eight yards on kneel downs in victory formation at the end of the game. Brent Wilson was 43 of 58 for 386 yards with three touchdowns for the Hornets. Kavaski Ervin had ten catches for 140 yards while Mitchell Foote caught 11 balls for 90 yards and two touchdowns. The Hornets gave up just 289 yards of total offense, their lowest allowed this season. Emporia State entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in sacks and added five more to their total against Lindenwood. Tre Dickerson had a career high 12 tackles with a pass break up while Josh Monteagudo added 11 tackles. Larenz Abston had six tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Garin Higgins has compiled a career record of 98-56 in 14 seasons as a head coach. He is 47-47 in his ninth season at his alma mater and is 38-23 since the start of the 2010 season. He led the Hornets to the NCAA playoffs in 2013. 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 1-5 against Pittsburg State.
Tim Beck is 51-15 in his sixth year at Pittsburg State. He is 2-1 against Emporia State.

The #18 Hornets are third in the nation in passing offense and ninth in total offense and lead the MIAA in scoring, total offense, passing offense, and passing effieciency. Brent Wilson is leading the MIAA in passing efficiency, passing yards, touchdown passes, points responsible for, and total offense while ranking in the top 10 nationally in all of those categories. Defensively the Hornets are ranked sixth in the nation in sacks.

Pittsburg State is 4-1 on the season and ranked #13 in the nation. They have come back from double digit halftime deficits each of the last two games for wins and have not led at the end of the first quarter since the season opener against Northeastern State. John Rodirique is leading the MIAA in rushing touchdowns with seven, while Darnell Walker is leading the league in interceptions. The Gorillas have not lost a road MIAA game since a 17-14 Hornet win on October 9, 2010, their last trip to Welch Stadium.

This will be the 94th meeting between the schools, which makes it the fifth most played active rivalry at the NCAA Division II level. Pitt State leads the all-time series 59-32-2.

Emporia State jumped out to a 10-0 lead but 17 points for Pittsburg State in the final 2:35 of the half turned the tide in a 45-17 Gorilla win. Antonio Brown led Emporia State with 134 yards rushing on 20 carries with a touchdown. Ty Reasnor was nine of 19 for 103 yards. Defensively Deshawn Dinwiddie and Josh Monteagudo each had 11 tackles and a forced fumble while Lyndell Johnson had seven tackles, a sack, fumble recovery and blocked field goal

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