November 16, 2003 - On Senior Day for the Hornets, Ray Ray Davis had ten catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns as #16 Emporia State defeated #23 Washburn 34-23 to finish 9-1 on the season. With the win the Hornets should be all but assured of a spot in the NCAA Playoffs when they are announced Sunday.
Going against a wind that gusted to 40 miles per hour the Hornets took the opening drive down the field and got a 19 yard field goal from Eli Kuhns for a 3-0 lead with 10:24 left in the first quarter. The Ichabods answered with a six play, 64 yard drive and took a 6-3 lead on Vershon Moore's five yard run as the extra point sailed wide. It looked like the Hornets would trail after one quarter for the first time this year, until Brent Wilson found Kavaski Ervin wide open for a 74 yard touchdown with 35 seconds left in the quarter for a 10-6 lead.
Washburn worked the ball down to the Hornet 18 yard line when they elected to go for it on fourth down. Ashton Reichmann hurried Joel Piper into an incomplete pass to give the Hornets the ball back. Emporia State then went 82 yards in seven plays and pushed the lead to 17-6 on a nine yard pass from Wilson to Davis. Wilson scored from three yards out with 46 seconds left to give the Hornets a 24-6 lead at the half.
Emporia State went three and out to open the second half and were forced to punt into the wind. Kuhns got off a 34 yard punt to the Washburn 39 yard line. On first down Joel Piper found Mark Fancher for a 61 yard touchdown and the Ichabods pulled to within 24-13 with 13:02 left in the third. The Hornets drove to the Ichabod 19 yard line before back to back sacks pushed them out of field goal range. Washburn made it to the Emporia six yard line before settling for 24 yard field goal by Linn to pull within 24-16 with 1:43 left in the quarter.
Wilson was left the game for the Hornets on the first drive of the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury when he was sacked on second down. Kuhns pinned the Bods inside their own five with a 35 yard punt down to the three yard line. The defense allowed a first down before forcing Washburn to punt from their own 15 yard line. The Hornets took over at the 50 yard line and Antonio Brown carried the ball four straight times for 40 yards down to the ten. Corben Jones, playing for the injured Wilson, scrambled and found Davis for a ten yard touchdown. With the extra point the Hornets went up 31-16 with 9:21 to play. Emporia State forced a three and out and after a 25 yard punt set up at the Washburn 38.
Brown had four carries for 16 yards around an eight yard run by Jones to give the Hornets the ball at the Washburn 16 yard line. Kuhns drilled a 33 yard field goal to give Emporia State a 34-16 lead with 4:58 left. The Ichabods would get an 85 yard punt return with eight seconds left for the final margin of 34-23.
Wilson ended the game 25 of 35 for 362 yards and two touchdowns with one rushing score in three quarters. Jones was one for three with the one completion being a ten yard touchdown pass. Brown ended the game with 66 yards on 15 carries with 60 yards coming in the fourth quarter. Davis had ten catches for 158 yards and two scores while Ervin had seven receptions for 129 yards and a score.
Ashton Reichman led Emporia State with nine tackles. Kadeem Satchell and Ryan Louia both had interceptions for the Hornets.
Emporia State will learn their post-season fate at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Hornets will host a watch party in Webb Hall of the Memorial Union with the team expected to arrive around 3:45 p.m