Emporia State nabs first win, Hornets sting Nebraska-Kearney

Courtesy: Emporia State Athletics

KEARNEY, Neb. – After being held to just 53 offensive plays last week, Emporia State broke the century mark on plays with 100 in a 34-7 win at Neb.-Kearney on Thursday night.

The Hornet defense set the tone early holding the Lopers to just 41 yards and three first downs in the first half. The Loper gained two yards on six plays in their opening possession, getting a first down on a roughing the punter call to prolong the drive. The next drive resulted in an interception by Eddie Vinson on the first play while the third drive was a three and out that gained no yards.

Emporia State would take their opening drive and go 77 yards on 13 plays before taking a 3-0 lead on an Austin Morton 21 yard field goal. Only one of the 13 plays let the play clock drop below 20 seconds on the drive.

Kole Schankie picked off a pass on the Lopers first possession of the second quarter and the Hornets went 48 yards in five plays to go up 10-0. Antonio Brown scored the touchdown on a one yard run that followed a 26 yard completion from Braxton Marstall to Justin Brown.

Marstall and Brown hooked on the Hornets next drive for a four yard touchdown pass to give Emporia State a 17-0 lead with 6:12 left in the half. Marstall almost made it 24-0 at the break when he was flushed from the pocket and rambled 33 yards before being called down at the one yard line with two seconds left in the half.

MJ Mathis returned the opening kick-off of the second half 33 yards out to the Hornet 45 yard line. Emporia State used eight plays to go 46 yards before settling for a 26 yard field goal from Morton for a 20-0 lead with 11:22 left in the third.

The Lopers would drive down to the Emporia State 21 yard line midway through the third quarter when Steve Worthing hit Kentrez Bell with a 20 completion down to the Hornet one yard line. After taking a step with the ball Marcus Houghton hit bell and knocked the ball loose. Houghton scooped it up and returned it 49 yard to midfield. Ten plays later Denzel Strong scored from one yard out to complete the 14 point swing and give Emporia State a 27-0 lead.

Marstall found Louis Dailey wide open in the flat on the first play of the fourth quarter and Dailey would take it 49 yards for the Hornets final touchdown and a 34-0 lead with 14:52 left in the game.

The Hornets were trying for their first shutout since a 13-0 win over Lindenwood in 2012 but the Lopers would 46 yards in six plays and scored on an eight yard pass from Worthing to Julian Navarrette with 8:28 left in the game.

Marstall went 24 of 42 for 272 yards with two touchdowns and an interception that bounced of the receivers helmet. He added 73 yards on ten carries for 345 yards of total offense. Mitchell Foote had a team high eight receptions for 89 yards while Justin Brown had seven catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Brown had 58 yards rushing an a touchdown on just seven carries.

Tre Dickerson was credited with a team high sven tackles and a passbreak up. Marcus Houghton, Kole Schankie, and Josh Monteagudo all had five stops and either a take away or forced fumble. Houghton forced a fumble and returned it 49 yards, Schankie had a four yard interception while Monteagudo had a sack and strip for the Hornets. Eddie Vinson was credited with one tackle for loss and added an interception while Patrick Dugan picked up another fumble to complete the Hornets four take-aways.

Emporia State will return to Jones Field at Welch Stadium on September 17 for their first Saturday afternoon game of the season. The Hornets take on Missouri Southern at 2:00 p.m. on Family and Friends Weekend. The game will follow the Inauguration of Emporia State President Allison Garrett on Friday and proceed the annual Football Traditions Event at the Anderson Building following the game.

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