ESU football looks to continue winning ways on Saturday

Emporia State football

Courtesy: Emporia State Athletics

The #12 Hornets return to Jones Field at Welch Stadium for a homecoming contest against Lindenwood. Emporia State has won three of their last four homecoming games.

The #18 Emporia State football teams got touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in a 47-27 win at Northeastern State on Saturday afternoon in Tahlequah, Okla.
The Hornets took the lead on the second play from scrimmage when Tre’Vaun Ammons sacked and stripped RiverHawk quarterback Dimonic McKinzy in the endzone and Donovan Walker recovered it with 14:34 left in the first quarter. Kole Schankie had a pick six interception return of 65 yards with 8:44 left in the third quarter to give the Hornets a 37-20 lead. Jaylen Lowe gave the Hornets a 47-20 lead when he returned a punt 47 yards for a touchdown with 12:10 left in the fourth quarter.
Emporia State was balanced on offense with 247 passing yards and 203 rushing yards for 450 total yards on 75 plays. Marstall was 22 of 31 for 211 yards through the air with Jordan Jackson collecting six passes for 60 yards. Landon Nault had 67 yards on 12 carries while Marstall added 64 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Lowe was one for one passing for 36 yards, had seven carries for 13 yards and a touchdown and two punt returns including the 47 yarder for a touchdown.
Defensively the Hornets got interceptions from Schankie, Woods and AJ West along with fumble recoveries by Walker and Ugonna Nwarie.

Garin Higgins has compiled a career record of 109-60 in his 15th season as a head coach. He is 58-51 in his tenth season at his alma mater and is 48-27 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 4-0 against Lindenwood.
Patrick Ross is 91-54 in his 13th year at Lindenwood and 105-61 in 15 years overall. He is 0-4 against Emporia State.

Emporia State is 5-1 on the season and ranked #12 in the nation. The Hornets have kept their opponent from scoring on their first drive in all six games this season. They are ranked fourth in the MIAA in scoring defense at 24.7 points per game and scoring offense at 36.0 points per game. The Hornets are +12 in turnover margin on the season to rank second in the nation. Kole Schankie leads the MIAA and is ranked tenth in the nation in interceptions. Braxton Marstall is leading the MIAA in completions, is second in points responsible for and completion percentage and third in total offense.

Lindenwood is 1-5 on the season. They are ranked eighth in the MIAA in scoring offense at 27.2 points and scoring defense at 36.5 points per game. The Lions have split time at quarterback between two players and are ranked 11th in passing offense in the MIAA and are 12th in pass defense. Conner Harris is the leading tackler in NCAA history with 575 stops in his career.

This will be the fifth meeting between the two schools and the second time the two have met on Emporia State’s homecoming. The Hornets have won all four of the previous games.

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. 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.

Emporia State travels to southeast Kansas to take on Pittsburg State next Saturday. Kick-off in Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg is set for 2:00 p.m.

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