Gorillas Handle Missouri Southern in Regular Season Finale - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

Gorillas Handle Missouri Southern in Regular Season Finale

Pittsburg State Pittsburg State


PITTSBURG — Quarterback Thomas LePage passed for a pair of touchdowns and rushed for a third score to help lead the Pittsburg State University football team to a 56-7 victory over Missouri Southern State University in the regular season finale Saturday (Nov. 11).

The Gorillas (7-4, 7-4 MIAA) closed out the regular season with five consecutive victories after a 2-4 start to the year. The Lions (0-11, 0-11 MIAA) wrapped up a winless campaign in falling to Pitt State in the annual Miner's Bowl in front of 7,039 fans at Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium.

LePage completed 10 of 17 passes for 163 yards. He tossed a 43-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lorenzo West and a two-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Austin Panko in a 28-point second quarter as Pitt State built a 35-0 halftime cushion. LePage also scored on an eight-yard run in the second period.

Running back Michael Rose carried the ball 20 times for a game-high 134 yards, scoring on runs of five yards for the Gorillas first score of the game and four yards in the third quarter. Rose eclipsed 1,000 yards for the season on his 20th and final carry of the game – his four-yard touchdown run that staked Pitt State to a 49-0 lead with 4:11 to play in the third period.

Keynan Scheurich also scored on a two-yard touchdown run in the second quarter as the Gorillas rushed for 244 yards in the game and compiled 479 yards of total offense.

Panko finished the game with four catches for 108 yards.

Cornerback Juanté Baldwin intercepted an errant T.J. Fleeton pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown with 13:09 to play in the third quarter. Reserve tight end Bryce Barto also scored on a 19-yard touchdown pass from back-up quarterback Quez Allen with 1:36 to play in the game.

MSSU posted its lone score of the game on Fleeton's 20-yard touchdown pass to Dante Vandeven with 1:32 remaining in the third quarter.

Baldwin added two pass break-ups and a tackle-for-loss to his defensive stat line in the contest. Demetrius Bernard and Darian Taylor registered quarterback sacks, while Morgan Selemaea posted a team-leading seven tackles and a forced fumble.

The Gorillas limited the Lions to 245 total yards in the game, forcing three turnovers and inducing MSSU into 10 punts in the contest. Pitt State controlled time of possession, keeping the ball for 37 minutes, 29 seconds compared to 22:31 for the Lions.

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