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Gorillas Finally Finish Hornets - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

Gorillas Finally Finish Hornets

Updated:

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

EMPORIA, Kan. -- The Pittsburg State University football team overcame a nearly 24-hour weather delay and a game challenge from Emporia State University to claim a 27-10 victory over the Hornets Sunday (Oct. 22).

Lightning halted the contest with the Gorillas (4-4, 4-4 MIAA) leading the Hornets (4-4, 4-4 MIAA), 24-10, with the ball at the ESU 22 with 10:08 to play in the game. After a six-hour, 39-minute delay, the game was suspended until 2 p.m. Sunday.

When play resumed, the Gorillas ran the ball three times to reach the ESU 14 and Jared Vincent booted a 31-yard field goal to stretch Pitt State's margin to 27-10 with 7:37 remaining.

The Pitt State defense then stopped ESU on its final possession of the game in Gorillas territory. ESU backup quarterback T'Quan Wallace drove the Hornets to the PSU 40, but Morgan Selemaea and Willie Cooper registered sacks, including Cooper's stop on 4th and five at the PSU 40.

The Gorillas, with backup quarterback Thomas LePage subbing for an injured starter John Roderique, then ran out the remaining 5:10 of game clock with a 10-play, 48-yard drive. The Gorillas picked up three first downs on the game-clinching drive, including a LePage to Austin Panko pass to the ESU 2 that sealed the win.

Running back Michael Rose carried the ball 23 times for  career-high 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns, becoming the first Pitt State player to eclipse 200 rushing yards since former quarterback Mark Smith did so on Nov. 15, 2008. Tucker Horak also rushed 15 times for a season-high 89 yards as Pitt State compiled 360 rushing yards in the game.

The Pitt State defense limited the high-scoring Hornets to 10 points and 344 total yards in the game. The Gorillas held ESU on downs five times in the contest. Cooper made five tackles with three of Pitt State's four sacks in the game. Selemaea made a team-leading nine stops and registered an interception.

On Saturday, the Hornets struck first as ESU drove 75 yards in 13 plays with Braxton Marstall tossing a four-yard touchdown pass to Louis Dailey to cap the game's opening drive.

The Gorillas countered late in the first quarter when Michael Rose broke loose for a 59-yard touchdown scamper with 44 seconds remaining in the opening period.

Rose added a 10-yard scoring run to cap a 12-play, 87-yard drive and give Pitt State a 14-7 lead with 9:20 remaining in the second quarter.

Brendon Franklin added a 36-yard reverse pass for a touchdown to Lorenzo West to stretch the Gorillas margin to 21-7 with 11:38 to play in the third quarter. Both squads traded field goals later in the period with ESU's Justin Marcha connecting on a 43-yard kick and Vincent connecting on a 29 yarder.

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