ESU football prepares for defending champs on Thursday

EMPORIA (KSNT) – Fresh of the first two playoff wins in program history last season, the Emporia State football team is ready for another successful season in 2016.

No. 24 Emporia State will host the defending DII national champions, and preseason No. 1, Northwest Missouri State on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. from Welch Stadium in Emporia.

“I love Thursday night games,” said ESU head coach Garin Higgins. “I think it’s great. Not only for our students, but the community. We’re looking forward to a good crowd, a great crowd actually.”

“It’s going to be exciting,” said ESU junior wide receiver Morris Williams II. “We got the new field with the new track and have a lot of fans behind us. Everyone is coming out to the game. Everyone is still in school so there’s no excuse not to be at the game.”

“This is the best way to start the season,” said ESU senior defensive back JP Lohrentz. “The whole town, they’ve got stuff shutting down at 3:00 p.m. The crowd is going to be bigger than normal. We’ve never had an opening game with two ranked teams at Welch stadium. It is a big deal for us.”

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