ESU football returns to Welch Stadium on Saturday

Emporia State football

Courtesy: Emporia State Athletics

After being held to just 53 offensive plays the previous 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. The Hornets were trying for their first shutout since 2012 but the Lopers would go 46 yards in six plays to get on the board with 8:28 left in the game.
Braxton 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 seven tackles and a passbreak up. Marcus Houghton, Kole Schankie, and Josh Monteagudo all had five stops and either a take away or forced fumble.

Garin Higgins has compiled a career record of 105-60 in his 15th season as a head coach. He is 54-51 in his tenth season at his alma mater and is 45-27 since the start of the 2010 season. He led the Hornets to the Kanza Bowl in 2012, the NCAA playoffs in 2013 & the national quarterfinals in 2015. 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 4-3 against Mo. Southern.
Denver Johnson is 1-12 in his second year at Mo. Southern and 70-78 overall in 13 years as a head coach. He is 0-1 against Emporia State.

Emporia State is 1-1 on the season with a won over Neb.-Kearney and a loss to #1 Northwest Missouri. The Hornets have scored on their opening drive and forced their opponent to punt on their first drive in both games this season. They are averaging 24.0 points per game and giving up 24.0 points per game. Braxton Marstall is averaging 216.5 yards of total offense per game with three touchdown passes. Kole Schankie is the leading tackler at 7.0 stops per game. The Hornets are +3 in turnover margin after two games.

Missouri Southern is 0-2 on the season with losses to Ft. Hays State and Missouri Western. They are averaging 12.0 points per game and giving up 36.5 points per game. TJ Fleeton is averaging 203.5 yards of total offense per game. Justin Legier is the leading tackler at 7.5 tackles per game.

This will be the 42nd meeting in the series that dates back to 1970. The Hornets lead the series 13-10 in MIAA play with the Lions leading the overall series 22-19. Emporia State has won four straight against Missouri Southern.

Brent Wilson threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns while Mitchell Foote had a school record 88 yard punt return for a touchdown in the Hornets 38-20 win at Missouri Southern to open last season. Justin Brown was the leading receiver with five catches for 61 yards as eight different Hornets caught at least one pass for at least 12 yards. Antonio Brown had 17 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Jason Tetuan was the credited as the leading tackler with 12 stops. Emporia State ended with 486 yards of total offense on 81 plays.

Emporia State travels to Warrensburg, Mo. next weekend to take on their second ranked opponent in the first four weeks of the season. Kick-off against #14 Central Missouri is set for 1:00 p.m. from Vernon Kennedy Field at Walton Stadium.

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