EMPORIA, Kan. -- The #22 Emporia State football team rolled up 517 yards of total offense and had 15 defensive points in a 53-28 win over Missouri Southern State on Thursday night on Jones Field at Welch Stadium. The Hornets two defensive touchdowns and defensive PAT were the first points not scored by the Emporia State offense since September 8, 2012.
After a scoreless first quarter Southern broke the scoring drought with the first of three rushing touchdowns by Michael Nelson with 14:18 left in the half. Emporia State quickly answered with a 54 yard touchdown pass from Brent Wilson to Austin Willis to tie the score with 13:01 remaining in the half.
The Hornets took the lead for good on a 17 yard touchdown run by Antonio Brown with 7:00 left in the half. Emporia State scored back to back defensive touchdowns in the span of 14 seconds to take control of the game. Kadeem Satchell scooped and scored from 31 yards out after Josh Monteagudo forced a fumble by Nelson. On the next offensive play for the Lions, Lyndell Johnson broke up a pitch from quarterback Jay McDowell and took it 27 yards for the score. A missed extra point gave the Hornets a 27-7 lead.
Missouri Southern went 75 yards on nine plays, capped by a one yard dive from Will Gregory, to pull within 27-13. The point after attempt was blocked by Deveon Dinwiddie and his brother Deshawn Dinwiddie returned the block all the way for a defensive score and 29-13 lead with 2:12 left in the period.
Emporia State scored first in the second half on an 11 yard pass from Wilson to Mitchell Foote for a 36-13 lead with 8:39 left in the third quarter. Nelson scored his second touchdown from five yards out on the ensuing drive and converted the two point conversion to pull the Lions within 36-21 with 7:39 remaining in the third.
Austin Morton connected on his first career field goal, from 33 yards out, to put the Hornets up 39-21 with 12 seconds left in the quarter. Deveon Dinwiddie intercepted Jay McDowell on the next play from scrimmage to give the Hornets the ball back with one second left in the third.
Jordan Tice capped the drive seven plays later with a 12 yard touchdown run to put the Hornets up 46-21 to start the fourth quarter. Nelson scored the last of his three touchdowns on a five yard rush to pull Missouri Southern to within 46-28. Freshman Kai Callins capped the scoring for the Hornets with a 57 yard touchdown run with 4:49 left for the final score of 53-28.
Willis ended the game with five catches for 126 yards and a touchdown as Wilson went 21 of 31 for 244 yards and two touchdowns in a little over three quarters of action. Callins finished with 107 yards on 11 carries to become the first Hornet freshman with over 100 yards rushing in a season opener since Justin Wieser had 156 against Western State in 2007. The Hornets outrushed the Lions, who led the nation in rushing last year, by 61 yards as Emporia State churned out 273 yards on 42 carries. Missouri Southern had just 212 yards on 53 rushes.
Deshawn Dinwiddie had a team high nine tackles, a forced fumble and defensive point after touchdown. Johnson had six tackles two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, including the 27 yarder for a score. Satchell was credited with six tackles and the fumble return for touchdown.
The Hornets are back in action next Thursday, September 11 when the travel to Warrensburg, Mo. to take on Central Missouri. Kick-off from Kennedy Field/Walton Stadium is set for 7 p.m.