ST. JOSEPH, MO (ESU Athletics) For the third time this year Braxton Marstall led #9 Emporia State to a fourth quarter win as the Hornets defeated Missouri Western 27-14 on Saturday afternoon on Craig Field at Spratt Stadium in St. Joseph, Mo.
For the first time this year the Emporia State defense allowed their opponent to score on their opening possession. After the Hornets went three and out on the opening possession, the Griffons went 70 yards on 11 plays capped by a nine yard touchdown pass from Corey Bertini to Brock Broughton.
The two teams traded punts before the Hornets got on the board with 34 yard field goal from Austin Morton with 1:54 left in the first quarter. It was just the second time this year Emporia State has trailed at the end of the first period.
BEGINNING AND END
Missouri Western took a 14-3 lead with 12:49 left in the half when Josh Caldwell broke through for a 25 yard touchdown run. Neither team could muster much the rest of the quarter as the next six possessions ended in punts after drives of less than 25 yards.
Emporia State got the ball with 3:51 left in the half and went 83 yards on eight plays as Marstall found Mitchell Foote on a three yard touchdown with :47 left to pull within 14-10 at the break.
NO GO IN THIRD
Neither team was able to score in the third quarter. After forcing a three and out on Mo. Western’s first drive, Emporia State got down to the Western 23 yard line when a Marstall pass was deflected twice before Charlie Scaria picked it off.
The next four possessions ended in punts, again with neither team gaining more than 20 yards on a drive. The Griffons had the ball the final 3:07 of the quarter and drove to the Hornet 21 yard line to end the period.
ACTION IN THE FOURTH
The first play of the fourth quarter was a 38 yard field goal attempt by the Griffons Sean Galey that missed wide left. Both teams again traded punts before the Hornets started getting hot. Marstall was five for five on the next drive for 73 yards on the next drive, capped by a 37 yard touchdown pass to Justin Brown with 10:42 left to put the Hornets up 17-14
On the first play from scrimmage by Mo. Western Josh Monteagudo intercepted Bertini and returned it to the Griffon 22 yard line. Three plays later Marstall and Brown hooked up again, this time from 19 yards out to give the Hornets a 24-14 lead with 9:50 left.
The Hornet defense forced another three and out and got the ball back with 7:51 remaining at their own 31 yard line. Emporia State drove 55 yards on nine plays before Austin Morton converted from 32 yards out to put the Hornets up 27-14 with 3:34 remaining.
The Griffons got to near midfield on their next possession when Tre Dickerson intercepted Bertini and returned it 55 yards with 2:30 remaining.
Marstall gained 11 yards on first down and after two timeouts by the Griffons the Hornets were facing third and one with 1:45 left. Landon Nault was stopped for a loss of three yards, but was tackled by the facemask resulting in a 15 yard penalty on the Griffons and a first down. The Hornets then kneeled down to end the game.
Marstall was 33 of 52 for 359 yards with three touchdowns for the Hornets. Mitchell Foote had ten catches for 118 yards and a touchdown while Justin Brown had 102 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions. Landon Nault had 49 yards on 18 rushes.
It is the second time this year Foote and Brown each had 100 receiving yards in the same game.
Defensively Gabe Cleveland ws credited with nine tackles while the Hornets had a total of eight tackles for loss. Tre Dickerson had six tackles, a pass break up and the 55 yard interception. Tre’Vaun Ammons had four tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a pass break up at the line and two quarterback hurries.
The #9 Hornets will travel to Topeka for the 113th edition of the Turnpike Tussle. Kick-off is set for 2:00 p.m. in Yaeger Stadium at Moore Bowl.