HAYS (ESU ATHLETICS) – The #13 Hornets came back twice in the fourth quarter but could not complete a third comeback as Fort Hays State posted a 27-24 victory on Saturday afternoon in Hays, Kan. It is the first loss of the season for Emporia State.
BACK AND FORTH
The Hornets scored the first ten points of the game and led 10-6 at the half. The Tigers took their first lead with 4:43 left in the third quarter on a 41 yard touchdown run by Treveon Albert. Emporia State answered with a 16 yard touchdown pass from Brent Wilson to Mitchell Foote with 14:05 left in the fourth quarter. Shaquille Cooper put the Tigers up 20-17 with 7:51 left on an 89 yard run. With 2:48 remaining Foote had his second punt return for a touchdown of the season, going 66 yards to give the Hornets a 24-20 lead. Fort Hays State then went on an eight play, 75 yard drive capped by Albert’s 20 yard pass to Evan Jennings that gave the Tigers a 27-24 lead.
The Hornets would get the ball back with 52 seconds left at their own 34 yard line following a pooch kick-off. After an incomplete pass on first down, Wilson found Landon Nault for five yards and then Kavaski Ervin for 15 yards to the FHSU 46 yard line. A spike stopped the clock with 19 seconds left and Wilson connected with Foote for 13 yards down to the Tiger 33 yard line and out of bounds. Wilson and Ervin hooked up again for a ten yard gain to the 23 yard line with eight seconds left. The Horents elected to go for one more play from scrimmage and as Wilson was trying to throw the ball away, Brock Long made a shoe string catch to intercept him and seal the win for Fort Hays State.
Brent Wilson was 27 of 41 for 247 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. It is the first three interception game of his career.
Mitchell Foote became the first Hornet to return two punts for over 65 yards and touchdowns since at least 1999.
Dominique Jones had a team high 11 tackles, nine of them solo for the Hornets.
The Hornets had four sacks form four different players.
Fort Hays State’s 375 rushing yards are the most against the Hornets since Minn.-Duluth had 476 rushing yards in the 2013 NCAA Division II Playoffs.
The Hornets return to Jones Field at Welch Stadium for a Homecoming contest against Missouri Western. Kick-off on Saturday, October 24 is set for 2:00 p.m.