Emporia State takes the Turnpike Tussle 26-20 over Washburn

Article courtesy of Washburn Athletics

EMPORIA, Kan. – The Washburn Ichabods season came to an end with a 26-20 loss to Emporia State in the 114th meeting of the second-longest series in NCAA Division II history on Saturday in Emporia. Washburn finishes the season 6-5.

The Hornets took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in five plays needing 1:19 to go up 7-0 over the Hornets. After the teams traded punts, Washburn tied the score with a six-play, 75-yard drive when Blake Peterson scrambled in from 12 yards out knotting the score at 7-7.

Washburn started the scoring in the second quarter on the second play of the frame when Perry Schmiedeler connected on a 42-yard field goal staking the Ichabods to a 10-7 lead with 14:52 to play in the first half.

After the Ichabods forced a Hornet punt, Washburn was pinned at its own three, but a Washburn fumble in the end zone was recovered by the Ichabods for a safety as Washburn led 10-9 with 12:13 to play in the opening half.

The Hornets scored after the free kick on a 10-play, 65-yard drive to go up 16-10 with 9:02 to play in the second half.

Both teams turned it over on their next two drives and after an Ichabod punt, ESU would go up 23-10 going 91 yards in 2:19, but the Ichabods came back with a touchdown of their own set up by a 63-yard kickoff return by Corey Ballentine and three plays later, Washburn’s Will Hamilton pulled down a Peterson pass for the score with 14 seconds to go in the half as the Hornets took a 23-17 lead into the break.

To start the second half, Washburn punted on its first drive and ESU would go up 26-17 capping an 83-yard drive with a 21-yard field goal with 8:41 to play in the third quarter.

Neither team would score until Schmiedeler connected on a 24-yard field goal with 2:26 to go in the game cutting ESU’s lead to 26-20.

The Ichabods held the Hornets to one yard on three plays and took over at their own 11 with 1:23 to go in the game, but a Washburn fumble on the first play of the drive and it was recovered by the Hornets to wrap up the game.

Cedric Gonzalez and Derrick McGreevy each had 11 tackles with nine solo stops to lead the Ichabods and Heath Tucker and Corey Ballentine each had seven tackles. Peter Pfannenstiel had five tackles with an interception and Josh Wright had an interception with two tackles.

Peterson led the Ichabods on the ground with 93 rushing yards on 16 carries and one score and Mickeel Stewart had 17 carries for 93 yards. Ryan Peroo had eight carries for 65 yards. Peterson finished 15 of 29 passing for 164 yards, but was sacked four times in the game. Jake Horner led the Ichabods with four catches for 28 yards and James Brania-Hopp had three catches for 60 yards.

Each team recorded 22 first downs in the game and ESU held a 457 to 429 advantage in total yards running 80 plays compared to 74 for the Ichabods. Washburn rushed for 265 yards and ESU had 267 and ESU outpassed the Ichabods 190 to 164. The Hornets were 7 of 15 on third down compared to 4 of 13 for the Ichabods in the game.

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