September 15, 2007 - Emporia State scored 21 straight points to come from behind in a 35-28 victory over Southwest Baptist at Welch Stadium in Emporia. Seville Ko's 47 yard touchdown run with 3:00 left helped ESU open the season 3-0 for the first time since the 2003 season.
SBU opened the game with a seven play, 55 yard touchdown drive. Lamarcus Windham made it 7-0 just two minutes into the game on a six yard pass from Steve Gachette. ESU scored on a one yard touchdown run by Seville Ko with 7:16 left in the first. The point after was blocked to keep ESU behind 7-6. On SBU's next possession Emmanuel Howard picked off a Gachette pass and returned it 41 yards to give the Hornets the lead. A two-point conversion by Justin Wieser gave ESU a 14-7 lead with 7:02 left in the first quarter.
The Bearcats would score the next 21 points, all courtesy of Gachette. He would tie the score on a 12 yard run with 4:32 left in the first quarter and give the Bearcats the lead on a two yard pass to Windham. The freshman would then connect with Nick Smart on a 29 yard pass to give the Bearcats a 28-14 lead with 7:44 left in the second quarter.
Sean Partridge scored the first of his two touchdowns with 5:16 left in the half on a 38 yard pass from Andre Sloan El. Neither team would score again until Partridge collected his second score of the day on a 37 yard pass from Sloan El with 5:19 left in the game. ESU then got the ball back on downs when Desmond Mays was stopped for a loss of one on fourth and two. Ko gained seven yards on first down and then burst through the middle for a 47 yard touchdown run to give ESU the lead.
On SBU's first play after the touchdown, Howard picked off Gachette again and returned it 31 yards to the SBU 42 yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty moved the Hornets back to their own 43 yard line. ESU was forced to punt with 1:38 left and the defense held allowing only a Gachette completion to Nick Smart in the next four plays to preserve the win.
The Hornets gained 412 yards of total offense and were at 422 yards before losing ten yards on three kneel downs at the end of the game. Sloan El was 12 of 24 for 242 yards and two touchdowns and added 28 yards rushing. Partridge was his favorite receiver, catching four balls for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Ko had 87 yards rushing on 14 carries along with a seven yard reception. Defensively Jake Richter recorded 11 tackles with two pass break ups. Howard had six tackles to go along with his two interceptions.
The Hornets are back in action on Saturday, Sept. 22 when they travel to Ft. Hays State. Kick-off from Lewis Field in Hays, Kan. is set for 7 p.m.
This is the first time ESU has rallied from a fourth quarter deficit to win since coming from behind at SBU last season, a span of 10 games.
Emmanuel Howard now has four interceptions in his last two games. Jake Richter had three interceptions to lead ESU last season.
Howard's two interception returns for touchdowns ties the MIAA season record shared by nine other players.
ESU has now returned three interceptions for touchdowns this year. The MIAA season record is four.
ESU held SBU to 99 total yards in the second half, the second straight game they have their opponent to less than 100 yards in the second half.
With the win Garin Higgins becomes just the second head coach in ESU history to open his career with three wins