PITTSBURG (ESU ATHLETICS) – Braxton Marstall threw for 321 yards and #12 Emporia State gained a season high 228 on the ground in a 41-36 win at Pittsburg State on Saturday afternoon in Pittsburg, Kan.
FULL THROTTLE FIRST
The teams combined for 360 yards and 31 points in the first quarter. Morris Williams II went 45 yards on a reverse on the first play from scrimmage to jump start a 75 yard, seven play drive. Braxton Marstall capped the drive with a 12 yard run to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead with 12:48 left in the first.
Pittsburg State answered with an eight play, 65 yard drive of their own before the Hornets forced a 24 yard field goal with 9:12 left in the period.
The Hornets then went 75 yards on six plays and Williams scored on a rush from three yards out to put Emporia State up 14-3 with 7:10 left in the first quarter.
Pittsburg Stat then scored the next two touchdowns to go up 17-14. Roderique hit Levi Copelin from 21 yards with 3:44 remaining to pull within 14-10 and the two hooked up on a 28 yard pass with 1:31 left in the quarter to take a 17-14 lead.
SECOND QUARTER SLOW DOWN
The Hornets picked up the first turnover of the game on the first play of the second quarter when Logan Thompson forced Michael Rose into a fumble that Ugonna Nwarie recovered at the Pitt State 32 yard line. Emporia State would turn it into a 34 yard field goal from Austin Morton to tie the game at 17-17 with 10:52 left in the half.
Emporia State’s defense forced a three an out on the next possession for Pitt State and got the ball at their own 11 yard line after a 56 yard punt from Carter Anchors. The Hornets would then go 89 yards on ten plays before Marstall found Williams for a 24 yard touchdown pass to retake the lead.
Pitt State got the ball back at their own 15 yard line with 5:07 left in the half and went the length of the field in eight plays before Roderique hit Copelin from 25 yards out to tie the score at 24-24 with 2:50 left.
After a 17 yard kick return out to the 30 yard line, Emporia State went 70 yards on nine plays to take a 31-24 lead. Marstall had the score on a 20 yard scramble with :37 left in the half.
NOTHING IN THE THIRD
After putting up a combined 55 points and 616 yards in the first half, both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter.
Emporia State had the best chance to score in the third quarter. Kole Schankie intercepted Roderique and returned it 19 yards to the Pitt State 33 yard line with 8:12 left in the quarter. The Hornets drove down to the Pitt State three yard line when Schankie came in to run the wildcat formation. He gained two yards on first down and then tried to score again but lost the ball just before crossing the goal line. Matt Magee recovered and took the ball out to the Pitt State nine yard line. On the next play Tre Dickerson forced a fumble by Copelin at midfield and Josh Monteagudo recovered for the Hornets at the Pitt State 49 yard line with 4:51 left in the quarter.
FOURTH QUARTER CONTROL
The Hornets went up two scores to start the fourth quarter when Landon Nault bulled his way in from the one yard line with 13:41 left in the game. The one yard run came after a 46 yard completion from Marstall to Louis Dailey.
The Gorillas drove down to the Hornet four yard line on the ensuing possession, but Marcus Houghton broke up a pass in the endzone on fourth down to keep Pitt State from scoring.
Emporia State went three and out and had to punt from their own six yard line. The Gorillas took advantage of the short field and went 34 yards in seven plays as Roderique scored from one yard out. The extra point attempt hit the upright and the Hornets led 38-30 with 7:29 remaining.
The Hornets then turned in a 50 yard drive that used 13 plays and 6:27 off the clock before Morton connected on a 37 yard field goal with 1:01 left in the game for a 41-30 Emporia State lead.
Pittsburg State was able to get one more score as they drove 82 yards on ten plays capped by a 29 yard pass from Roderique to Andre Taylor. The two point pass attempt failed and the Hornets led 41-36 with five seconds left. Denzel Strong then recovered the onside kick and the Hornets took a knee to ice the win.
Marstall was 28 of 37 for 321 yards and a touchdown through the air and added 73 yards and two touchdowns on 18 rushes. Nault had 24 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown and Williams added 51 yards on four carries with a touchdown. Dailey had seven catches for 75, Mitchell Foote caught six passes for 85 yards and Jaylen Lowe had 80 yards on five receptions for the Hornets.
Defensively Schankie had seven tackles to go with his fifth interception of the season. Dickerson and Logan Thompson both had seven tackles and each forced a fumble. AJ West was credited with a team high eight tackle and a pass break up.
ODDS AND ENDS
This is the second straight win for Emporia State over Pittsburg State and the first win in Pittsburg since 2003.
The #12 Hornets return to Jones Field at Welch Stadium on Saturday to take on Ft. Hays State. The final regular season home game of the year is set to kick-off at 2:00 p.m. with recognition of Emporia State’s senior class prior to kick off.