#14 Emporia State Hornets (9-1, 9-1 MIAA)
at #5 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (10-1, 10-1 NSIC)
Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 • 1:00 p.m. • Griggs Field at Malosky Stadium (4,500) • Duluth, Minn.
Series Record: UMD leads 2-0
Last Meeting: UMD 12, ESU 7 (1955)
Radio: KFFX-FM (104.9), 12:00 p.m. Pregame TV: None
Internet (Audio): www.kvoe.com Internet (Video): client.stretchinternet.com/client/umd.portal
Officials: Announced on Game Day
Up Next: Winner at #2 Northwest Missouri • Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 • 12:00 p.m.
Bearcat Stadium • Maryville, Mo.
The #14 Emporia State football team returns to the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the first time since 2003 when they travel to two-time national champion #5 Minnesota-Duluth. This is the second time the Hornets have traveled to Minnesota for NCAA playoff action.
LAST TIME OUT
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. Brent Wilson ended the game 25 of 35 for 362 yards and two touchdowns with one rushing score in three quarters. Corben Jones was one for three with the one completion being a ten yard touchdown pass. Antonio Brown ended the game with 66 yards on 15 carries with 60 yards coming in the fourth quarter. Ashton Reichman led Emporia State with nine tackles. Kadeem Satchell and Ryan Louia both had interceptions for the Hornets.
Garin Higgins has compiled a career record of 89-48 in his 12th season as a head coach. He led the Hornets to ten wins for just the second time in school history last year. He is 38-39 in his seventh season at his alma mater and is 28-15 over the last three seasons. He had a 51-9 career record as the head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma, including two trips to the national championship game. Higgins was a quarterback for Emporia State from 1987-90 and was on the 1989 national runners-up team. This is his first meeting with Minnesota-Duluth.
Curt Wiese is 10-1 in his first year as head coach at Minnesota-Duluth after spending five years as the offensive coordinator. This is his first meeting with Emporia State.
SCOUTING THE HORNETS
The Hornets lead the nation in turnover margin are ranked in the top ten nationally in scoring offense, total offense, passing efficiency and interceptions. Brent Wilson was having one of the best seasons by a Hornet quarterback before injuring his shoulder in the fourth quarter against Washburn. He has the Emporia State record with 33 touchdown passes and has thrown for 2,985 yards in ten games. Corben Jones is 19-26 for 287 yards and three touchdowns in relief action on the year. Ray Ray Davis has 80 catches for 1,026 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season.
Minnesota-Duluth is 10-1 and ranked #5 in the AFCA Poll. They are primarily a running team with 3,161 yards on the ground and 1,662 yards through the air. The Bulldogs are in the top five in the nation in time of possession, holding the ball for over 35 minutes a game. Austin Sikorski has gained 1,117 yards with 14 rushing touchdowns. Drew Bauer has 1,407 passing yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions and has added 586 yards and five rushing touchdowns.
This will be the third meeting between Emporia State and Minnesota-Duluth. The Bulldogs won a pair of games in 1954 and 1955.
LAST TIME AGAINST UMD
The Hornets lost 12-7 in their last game against Minnesota-Duluth in the second to last game of the 1955 season.
The winner will advance to the second round of the NCAA Playoffs and will play at MIAA Champion Northwest Missouri on November 30.
LAST LOOK AT WASHBURN
Enporia State increased their lead to 53-51-6 in the most played Division II rivalry with their 34-23 victory over Washburn. The Hornets second win over a ranked team are the most by Emporia State since the AFCA began conducting a Division II poll in 2000.
Emporia State has scored on their opening drive in five of ten games and have scored first in eight of ten games. They have never trailed at the end of the first quarter this year. The Hornets have led for 466:08 of the 600 minutes played this season, been tied for 76:29 and trailed for just 57:01 of action.
THE POLLS SAY
The Hornets moved up top #14 in the AFCA NCAA Division II Poll and #13 in the D2Football.com Poll this week. The Hornets are one of three MIAA teams in the AFCA Top 25 and one of five in the D2Football.com Poll. Emporia State has received votes in the last 22 AFCA polls dating back to Sept. 17, 2012. Minnesota-Duluth is ranked #5 this week, making this the fourth straight game against a nationally ranked team for Emporia State.
Emporia State leads the nation in turnover margin and are ranked in the top ten nationally in scoring offense, total offense, red zone offense and completion percentage. The Hornets are averaging 43.3 points per game and have scored at least 28 points in 21 of their last 26 games. Of their 784 plays run, 250 of them (31.9%) have gone for either a first down or a touchdown. Nine Emporia State starters earned All-MIAA honors with two on the first-team, two on the second-team, one on the third-team and four earning honorable mention.
THE FIFTH ELEMENT
Quarterback Corben Jones (Fr.-RS/Yukon, Okla.) will become the first freshman to start a postseason game of any type at quarterback for the Hornets. He came into the Washburn game with Emporia State leading 24-16 in the fourth quarter and led the Hornets on two scoring drives. He is 19 of 26 for 287 yards with three touchdowns in seven games this season. He is 18 for 23 for 268 yards and three touchdowns since throwing an interception in his first game with a 219.18 passing efficiency rating. He was two for two for 78 yards and a touchdown against Northwest Missouri. He was 10 of 12 for 116 yards as he led the Hornets on two scoring drives against Southwest Baptist. He went three of four for 53 yards with a 37 yard touchdown pass against Lincoln. He was one for three for 19 yards in his Hornet debut against Ft. Hays State. He redshirted last season following an All-State career at Yukon HS. He threw for 1,999 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior and had over 7,000 career passing yards for Yukon HS.
LEADING THE WAY
Quarterback Brent Wilson (So./Ponca City, Okla.) was named second-team All-MIAA at quarterback. He lit up the record book at Emporia State before suffering a season ending injury against Washburn. He set the single season touchdown passes record with 33, is just the second Hornet to go over 3,000 yards of total offense with 3,381 yards, and is third in passing with 2,985 yards in just ten games on the season. He is sixth in the nation in passing efficiency, touchdown passes, and points responsible for, is seventh in completion percentage, tenth in total points responsible for, 11th in total offense, 13th in passing yards per game, 22nd in total passing yards, 25th in completions per game and 37th in yards per completion. He leads the MIAA in total offense, points responsible for, and passing touchdowns, and is second in passing yards, passing efficiency, completion percentage and completions per game. He was 25 of 35 for 362 yards and two touchdowns in three quarters against Washburn. He led his first fourth quarter comeback at Missouri Western going four of six for 27 yards and adding two carries for 14 yards on the Hornets go ahead touchdown drive. He went 19 of 23 for 385 yards and three touchdowns with seven carries for 60 yards in the first half against Southwest Baptist. He was 27 of 41 for 410 yards and five touchdowns with 75 rushing yards on 13 carries against Northeastern State. He was named MIAA, D2Football.com and BSN National Offensive Player of the Week after setting MIAA records for passing yards, total offense and touchdown passes at Central Oklahoma. He was 38 of 47 for 522 yards with seven touchdowns against the Bronchos and added 49 yards rushing for a total of 571 yards. He was the first quarterback in Emporia State history to throw for over 300 yards in his first start as he went 21 of 29 for 301 yards and three touchdowns against Ft. Hays State. He also ran for 74 yards on 13 carries with a pair of rushing touchdowns. He saw action in nine games as a true freshman in 2012.
Quarterback Ty Reasnor (Fr./Cashion, Okla.) has traveled as the third quarterback all season for Emporia State and will move into the backup spot. He earned first-team Class A All-State honors as he threw for 3,562 yards and 48 touchdowns with just three interceptions to lead Cashion HS to a 13-1 record as a senior.
Receiver Ray Ray Davis (Sr./Indian Trail, N.C.) was named first-team All-MIAA. He is ranked fourth in the nation in touchdown receptions, 11th in receptions per game, 19th in scoring and 23rd in receiving yards per game. He leads the MIAA in touchdown catches, is ranked second in receptions per game, third in scoring, and is fourth in receiving yards. On the season he has 23 first downs with four touchdowns on 26 third down receptions and 59 of his total 80 receptions have gained either a first down on touchdown on the season.
He had ten catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns against Washburn. He had four catches for 30 yards against Northwest Missouri. He had nine catches for 79 yards and a touchdown at Missouri Western. He caught 11 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns at Lindenwood with 109 yards and all three touchdowns coming in the first half. He had seven catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns along with a one yard touchdown run against Southwest Baptist, all in the first half. He had an MIAA record five touchdown catches and finished with 16 receptions for 181 yards against Central Oklahoma. The 16 receptions are the most by a Hornet since Jarrett Vito's school record 21 catches against Truman in 1995. He caught eight passes for 94 yards against Neb.-Kearney. He had five catches for 35 yards against Fort Hays State. He earned honorable mention All-MIAA honors after catching 61 passes for 899 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior. He is a versatile athlete who caught and threw a touchdown pass in the Kanza Bowl. He had a then career high 138 yards on nine catches at Northwest Missouri and scored a touchdown on a five yard rush. As a sophomore he was sixth in the MIAA in receptions with 50 catches for 540 yards and four touchdowns in ten games. He has 191 career catches to rank third in Emporia State history. He has 2,465 receiving yards and 27 touchdown catches in his three seasons with the Hornets. His 27 touchdown receptions rank eighth on the MIAA career list.
Receiver Kavaski Ervin (So./Mesquite, Texas) earned honorable mention All-MIAA honors. He is sixth in the MIAA in receiving touchdowns with eight. He has caught six of the last nine touchdown passes thrown by Emporia State and has 12 catches for 272 yards and three touchdowns over his last two games. He had career highs of seven receptions for 129 yards including a Hornet season best 74 yard touchdown against Washburn. He had five catches for 114 yards and two scores against Northwest Missouri. He had four receptions for 45 yards and two touchdowns at Missouri Western. He pulled in a 12 yard touchdown pass at Lindenwood. He had a break out game with six catches for 93 yards with two touchdowns and he also blocked a punt against Northeastern State. He had three catches for 40 yards at Central Oklahoma. He played at both receiver and corner back last season. He was the only Hornet to have a rush of over 25 yards and a reception of over 40 yards last season. He was credited with two tackles at Northwest Missouri. He averaged 17.2 yards per catch last year including a 42 yard touchdown reception against Central Oklahoma.
Mitchell Foote (Fr.-RS/Enid, Okla.) caught five passes for 61 yards against Washburn. He had two catches for 43 yards against Northwest Missouri. He has a catch of at least 15 yards in five of the last seven games. He caught three passes for 25 yards at Missouri Western. He had five catches for 50 yards at Lindenwood. He had career bests of four receptions and 82 yards against Southwest Baptist. He had an eight yard touchdown grab at Lincoln. He caught two passes for 29 yards against Northeastern State. He snagged a five yard touchdown pass the first time he set foot on the field for the Hornets on a fade against Neb.-Kearney. Eleven of his 15 receptions on the year have been good for either a first down or a touchdown. He was a first-team All-State selection and was Enid HS's all-time leader with 102 receptions for 1,552 yards and 19 touchdowns in his career.
WHAT YOU TALKIN' ABOUT
Receiver Austin Willis (Jr./Topeka, Kan.) is ranked 18th in the nation in receiving yards per game and 38th in touchdown catches. He is third in the MIAA in receiving yards per game, fifth in total touchdown catches and receptions per game, sixth in total receiving yards and tenth in all-purpose yards. He was limited to one catch at Missouri Western with an injury, was not able to go against Northwest Missouri or Washburn but has increased is practice time and will likely be a game time decision against Minnesota-Duluth. Of his 44 receptions on the year, 14 have gone for more than 25 yards including six catches for over 50 yards. He had a 51 yard reception and a 63 yard kick return at Lindenwood and finished the game with 127 all-purpose yards on four touches. He had five catches for 83 yards with a 52 yard touchdown - all in the second quarter - against Southwest Baptist. He had just three catches for eight yards in rainy, sloppy conditions at Lincoln. He had nine catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns against Northeastern State. He was the first Hornet to have over 125 yards receiving in four straight games as an NCAA Division II school. He had eight catches for 196 yards and a touchdown against Central Oklahoma. He had six catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns against Neb.-Kearney. He caught nine passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns at Fort Hays State. He also had a rush for 18 yards to give him 234 all-purpose yards. The 216 yards were the most by a Hornet since Shjuan Richardson caught 11 passes for 217 yards against Truman last season. Also a member of the Hornet track team, his 74 yard touchdown catch gave Emporia State the lead at Southwest Baptist and was the fourth longest play from scrimmage last year for the Hornets. He has 1,193 yards on 71 receptions in his career for a 16.8 yards per catch average.
STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
Receiver Drake Smithon (So./Woodward, Okla.) caught three passes for 22 yards against Southwest Baptist. He has a five catches for 52 yards on the year with a long of 17 yards. He had four catches for 34 yards last season after transferring from Oklahoma State.
A total of 14 players have caught at least one pass this season and 11 have a reception of at least 11 yards. J.P. Lohrentz (Fr.-RS/Buhler, Kan.) has three catches for 26 yards on the year after moving from safety during training camp. Dyland Walker (So./Schertz, Texas) had his first catch of the year against Southwest Baptist and had a 44 yard touchdown at Washburn last season.
HIGHWAY 99 ALL-STAR
H-back Josh Klumpe (Sr./Olpe, Kan.) earned honorable mention All-MIAA honors this season. He had caught at least two passes in every game this season until he was injured early against Missouri Western. He did not play against Northwest Missouri or Washburn and is doubtful for this week. He caught two passes for 55 yards against Southwest Baptist. He had two catches for 24 yards at Lincoln. He caught two passes for 38 yards against Northeastern State. He had a career high five receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown at Central Oklahoma. He had three catches for 28 yards against Neb.-Kearney and three catches for 25 yards against Fort Hays State with a long of 13 yards. He has 19 catches for 236 yards on the year. He had three catches for 95 yards and a touchdown in the final two regular season games last year. He had two receptions for 63 yards and a score at Washburn. He pulled in a 32 yard pass at Northwest Missouri.
H-back Reese Richards (Fr.-RS/Azle, Texas) got his first career start against Northwest Missouri. He had two catches for 31 yards against Southwest Baptist. He caught a 37 yard touchdown pass at Lincoln. He has five catches for 93 yards, an average of 18.6 yards per catch, on the season. He was the team MVP and earned second-team All-District honors for Azle (Texas) HS as a senior.
BROWN AND SERVE
Running back Antonio Brown (Fr.-RS/St. Louis, Mo.) was the Offensive Freshman of the Year in the MIAA and was named honorable mention All-MIAA. He is ranked eighth in the MIAA in rushing touchdowns. He rushed for 66 yards against Washburn with 60 of them coming on ten carries in the fourth quarter. He had 13 carries for 68 yards against Northwest Missouri. His nine rushing scores are the most by a Hornet since Kevin Smart had 11 touchdowns in 2009. He had 109 yards on 14 carries at Missouri Western. It was his second 100 yard rushing day of the season, the first time a Hornet has had two 100 yard games in a season since LaDarrian Page and Dasor Horton each did it in 2011. He gained 76 yards on 16 carries with a pair of touchdowns against Lindenwood. He 11 carries for 47 yards with two touchdowns against Southwest Baptist. He had a career high four rushing touchdowns on 16 carries with 102 yards at Lincoln. It was the most rushing touchdowns by a Hornet since Brian Shay had four against then Missouri-Rolla in 1998. He had ten carries for 51 yards and a touchdown against Northeastern State. He had seven carries for 19 yards and added a 19 yard reception in his Hornet debut against Ft. Hays State. He was a first-team All-State selection at Christian Brothers HS in St. Louis. He scored 46 touchdowns with over 2600 rushing yards combined as a junior and senior.
THAT'S A DOZIE
Running back Dozie Iwuagwa (Sr./Pittsburg, Calif.) has scored six rushing touchdowns in the last five games. He scored from one yard out against Northwest Missouri. He had two touchdowns on seven carries with 43 yards at Missouri Western. He had 68 yards on nine carries including a 44 yard touchdown at Lindenwood. It was the first time a Hornet has had two rushes of over 40 yards in a season since LaDarrian Page had a pair of 50 yard runs in 2010. He had 11 carries for 73 yards with a 55 yard touchdown rush against Southwest Baptist. It is the longest rush by a Hornet this year and the longest touchdown rush since Derwin Hall went for 65 yards against Truman in 2010. He had nine carries for 14 yards in the rain at Lincoln. He only carried the ball five times against Northeastern State for 26 yards and added one reception for seven yards. He went for 90 yards on 16 carries at Central Oklahoma. He had a career high 123 yards on 19 carries against Neb.-Kearney. He had a then career high 86 yards on 18 carries against Ft. Hays State. He was the first Hornet to rush for over 85 yards in each of the first three games of a season since Tyler Paul hit that mark in the first five games of 2003. He had 357 yards on 91 carries with six touchdowns last season. He led Emporia State with 79 yards on 14 carries with a career high three touchdowns at Truman. He was the first Hornet to have three rushing touchdowns in a game since Page at Southwest Baptist in 2011. He had a then career high 18 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns at Northeastern State last year. He also had four catches for 54 yards to end with 134 all-purpose yards.
TICE IS NICE
Running back Jordan Tice (Jr./Osage City, Kan.) had 34 yards on ten carries and also recorded four tackles on special teams at Lindenwood. He scored on an 11 yard touchdown run and finished with 31 yards on seven carries against Southwest Baptist. He had a season high 43 yards on eight carries at Central Oklahoma. He had nine carries for 36 yards against Neb.-Kearney. He carried the ball 13 times for 38 yards at Ft. Hays State. He had 320 yards on 82 carries last season with two touchdowns. He led Emporia State with 12 carries for 67 yards at Southwest Baptist. He had a career high 91 yards on 12 carries against Central Oklahoma. He had ten carries for 33 yards and a touchdown at Neb.-Kearney. He had 88 yards from scrimmage on 14 carries and four catches with a touchdown against Ft. Hays State. He averaged 9.6 yards per carry with a touchdown as a freshman.
Running back Josh Matthews (Sr./McKinney, Texas) had eight carries for 52 yards against Lincoln. He had six carries for 29 yards in his Hornet debut at Ft. Hays State. He transferred to Emporia State last year from Drake where he played in 22 games as a defensive back for the Bulldogs. He is the brother of Hornet defensive end Aaron Matthews.
OFF THE ICE
Guard Jarrett Stastny (Fr.-RS./Sanger, Texas) was named First-Team All-MIAA on the offensive line. He was the only freshman named First-Team All-MIAA. He earned the Squarehead Award three times this season. His first honor was against Neb.-Kearney and he has won the award in the Hornets wins over nationally ranked Missouri Western and Washburn.
PUTTING IT BLUNTLY
Tackle Aaron Blount (Jr./Garland, Texas) was named Third-Team All-MIAA at tackle. He earned Squarehead Award honors for the Northeastern State and Lincoln games. He was the Squarehead winner for the Truman and Northwest Missouri games last season. He was the first overall pick in the Hornets 2012 Spring Game Draft.
A FEW GOOD MEN
Center Danny Goodman (Jr./Emporia, Kan.) was named honorable mention All-MIAA. He has taken over the starting center spot for the Hornets and was named the Squarehead Award winner against Ft. Hays State.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU
Tackle Clayton Brown (Jr./Braymer, Mo.) earned Squarehead honors against Lindenwood and Central Oklahoma. He was the Squarehead winner at Neb.-Kearney last season after transferring from Iowa Central CC.
Trey Rodgers (Sr./Collinsville, Okla.) earned the Squarehead Award against Southwest Baptist playing in his first action since the fifth week of last year. He started the first five games last year before suffering an injury against Lincoln. He was set to start this year before a training camp injury delayed his return until last week.
Guard Jordan McAdoo (So./Piedmont, Okla.) was named Squarehead Award winner off the bench against Northwest Missorui. He has rotated in at several positions along the line all year long this season. He started eight games between the guard and tackle position last season and earned Squarehead honors against Lindenwood.
Garrett Ericson (Sr./Bronson, Kan.) worked his way into the starting line up against Ft. Hays State in his third year in the program after transferring from Ft. Scott CC.
Offensive tackle Jake Roepke (So./Fort Polk, La.) saw his first action against Central Oklahoma. He sat out the first two games while an eligibility issue was resolved. He was set to enroll at Emporia State in the fall of 2012 when his tour of duty with the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry of the 4th Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division of the United States Army was extended into the school year. He played at Butler CC one semester before enlisting in the Army and serving our country in Afghanistan.
Tanner Surber (Jr./Osawatomie, Kan.) saw action in four games last season and is the main back up at both tackle positions.
Emporia State leds the nation in turnover margin and is ranked fifth in the nation in interceptions with 21 on the year. The Hornets are fourth in the MIAA in rushing defense, allowing 140.5 yards per game. Emporia State is ranked fifth in the MIAA in red zone defense and had a goal line stand at the one yard line on the opening series against Northwest Missouri. The Hornets are allowing just 6.6 yards per completion on passing plays to rank third in the MIAA and 5.3 yards per play overall to rank fourth in the league.
IT'S IN THE BAG
Safety Kadeem Satchell (Jr./Princeton, Texas) recorded four solo tackles, one for a loss and had an interception against Washburn. He had three solo stops against Northwest Missouri. He had four tackles and an interception at Lindenwood. He had two tackles and a pass break up in the end zone against Southwest Baptist. He had five tackles against Northeastern State. He had nine tackles at Central Oklahoma to share the team lead. He had two solo tackles against Ft. Hays State including one tackle for a loss of five yards. He had 45 tackles last season including a career high ten stops with a pass break up against Missouri Western. He had seven tackles, including a tackle for loss against Lincoln in his first career start.
SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Brandon Gentz (So./Emporia, Kan.) recorded five solo tackles against Washburn. He was credited with two pass breakups against Northwest Missouri. He had five tackles at Missouri Western. He had three solo tackles at Lindenwood. He had seven tackles in his first career start against Southwest Baptist. He had a career high two interceptions at Lincoln that he returned a total of 39 yards. The first came in the Blue Tigers end zone to end a scoring threat in the third quarter. He moved to safety after playing receiver last season. He had a career high five catches against Lincoln for 16 yards and had one catch for 37 yards against Ft. Hays State.
Safety Josh Monteagudo (Fr.-RS/Cape Coral, Fla.) had three tackles against Washburn. He was credited with eight solo tackles including two for a loss against Northwest Missouri. He had a career high 12 tackles, nine of them solo, and an interception at Missouri Western. His interception came with 5:22 left in the game and led to a Hornet touchdown and 35-24 lead. He had eight tackles, seven of them solo, against Southwest Baptist. He had seven solo stops, including three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble at Lincoln. He has 35 tackles in the last five games after getting six stops in the first four of the year. He is a transfer from Hutchinson CC where he redshirted as a true freshman.
CUT IT SHORT
Safety Curtis Shorts (So./Ft. Worth, Texas) picked off his first career interception as a Hornet and returned it 33 yards against Southwest Baptist. He is in his second year with Emporia State after transferring from Abilene Christian. He was a first-team All-District selection for Lake Worth HS after recording 115 tackles as a senior.
THE POST MAN
Safety Chris Poston (Sr./Oklahoma City, Okla.) was named First-Team All-MIAA. He missed part of the Northwest Missouri game with a thumb injury and still recorded six tackles, including half a tackle for loss. He missed the Washburn game and is out for the season. He leads the MIAA with 0.6 interceptions per game and is tied for third in total interceptions in the league with four. He was on several preseason All-American watch lists. He missed the Lindenwood and Southwest Baptist games with a hand injury before returning against Missouri Western when he recorded six tackles and an interception including a stop on a fake punt that eventually led to a Hornet touchdown. He had an interception and a tackle before leaving the Lincoln game with an injury. He had seven tackles and a sack against Northeastern State. He recorded seven tackles and had an interception at Central Oklahoma. He had eight tackles with an interception return for 23 yards, pass break up and tackle for loss against Neb.-Kearney. He had four interceptions last season with a season long 47 yard return at Neb.-Kearney and a 41 yard interception return against Texas A&M-Kingsville. He returned to safety and had nine tackles, 1.5 TFL and a pass break up at Washburn after recording five solo tackles and an interception while playing corner at Northwest Missouri. He recorded seven tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass break up against Missouri Western. He had eight tackles, including the final stop on fourth down at Northeastern State last season. He was an honorable mention All-MIAA pick as a true freshman for the Hornets in 2008. He has 11 career interceptions in 32 career games.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE
Cornerback Gary Fortune (Sr./Indian Head, Md.) was named Second-Team All-MIAA. He is ranked 42nd in the nation and third in the MIAA in interceptions per game, is tied for third with four total picks and leads the MIAA with 96 return yards on the four interceptions. He returned to the lineup against Washburn and had three solo tackles. He had three tackles against Northwest Missouri before leaving the game with an injury. He intercepted a pass in the end zone with 16 seconds left to seal the Hornets win at Missouri Western. He had a season's best 31 yard return of his interception at Lindenwood. He had three tackles and a pass break up against Southwest Baptist. He had a fourth quarter interception that sealed the win against Central Oklahoma. He had a tackle and interception and a pass break up against Nebraska-Kearney. He missed the final five games of last season with an ACL injury. He picked off two passes against Lindenwood and had two more pass break ups to go with four tackles before injuring his knee. He had five tackles and a pass break up against Central Oklahoma.
Cornerback Julian Dozier (Sr./Round Rock, Texas) was an honorable mention All-MIAA selection. He returned to the lineup against Washburn and had a tackle and pass break up. He missed the Northwest Missouri game with an injury suffered against Missouri Western, in which he had eight tackles and two pass break-ups before leaving. He had three tackles and a 35 yard interception return at Lindenwood. He recorded six tackles against Southwest Baptist. He had four tackles and three pass break ups at Lincoln. He was credited with three solo stops against Northeastern State. He had eight solo tackles and two pass breakups at Central Oklahoma. He had four solo tackles against Neb.-Kearney. He made his return to the line up against Ft. Hays State after missing most of last season. He saw action in the first two games last year before suffering a broken foot. He recorded seven tackles with a forced fumble against Ft. Hays State last year. He had played in 34 straight games until his injury and his 43 games played are the most of any active Hornet.
THE BATTLE OF FIVE FORKS
Cornerback Deveon Dinwiddie (Jr./Hutchinson, Kan.) earned honorable mention honors as a punt/kick returner. He recorded seven solo and an assisted tackle against Washburn. He had eight tackles and pass break up against Northwest Missouri. He was credited with three solo tackles and a fumble recovery at Missouri Western. The fumble came on a kickoff that set up the Hornets third touchdown. He also had a 31 yard kick-off return to start the game. He had a 21 yard interception return, two punt returns for 22 yards and two kick returns for 34 yards at Lindenwood. He had three tackles, including a TFL against Southwest Baptist. He was credited with just one tackle at Lincoln, but had three punt returns for a total of 82 yards. He had three tackles and a pass break up against Northeastern State. He led the Hornets with nine tackles, eight of them solo including a tackle for loss at Central Oklahoma. He had eight tackles against Neb.-Karney with a pass break up. He had three tackles and an interception return of 44 yards against Ft. Hays State. He also had a 23 yard kick-off return and a long punt return of 18 yards. He transferred from NCAA Division I-FCS Champion North Dakota State. He played running back and gained 206 yards on 29 carries in ten games for the Bison last year. He rushed 143 times for a team-high 860 yards and 12 touchdowns for Hutchinson CC and returned four kickoffs for an average of 21.8 yards per return. He was rated a two-star prospect and the 15th best player in Kansas by Rivals.com and played an integral role in Hutchinson HS's four straight state championships.
Cornerback Jarrett Strode (So./St. Charles, Mo.) had missed three games with a shoulder injury before returning against Northwest Missouri. He recorded four tackles and a fumble recovery at Lincoln before leaving the game with an injury. He had three solo tackles and a pass break up against Ft. Hays State. As a freshman he moved into the starting line up late last year as injuries piled up in the Hornet secondary. He had 12 total tackles in seven games that included two starts last season.
ACE OF MAYZE
Cornerback Ace Mayze (Fr./Arlington, Texas) had a season high five tackles, four of them solo stops, against Southwest Baptist. He has been a mainstay on special teams as a true freshman and saw his first extended action on defense against Southwest Baptist. He has at least one tackle in five of the six games he has played in this season. He was a first-team All-District selection as a utility player for Seguin HS where he played wide receiver, quarterback, cornerback, safety and kick returner.
Linebacker Jordan Sanders (Sr./Warner Robins, Ga.) was a First-Team All-MIAA pick. He is ranked tenth in the MIAA in solo tackles and 14th in total tackles. He had six tackles against Washburn. He had 11 tackles against Northwest Missouri with seven credited as solo stops. He had ten tackles against Missouri Western. He was credited with just three solo tackles at Lindenwood as 12 Hornets had either three or four tackles on the day. He had 12 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss against Southwest Baptist. He was credited with four stops at Lincoln. He recorded 13 tackles, ten of them solo, and was in on a tackle for loss against Neb.-Kearney. He had five tackles and a blocked PAT against Ft. Hays State and was named the Defensive Player of the Game by the Hornet coaching staff. He is back after earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors last season when he was second on the team with 97 total tackles. He is also being mentioned on some preseason All-America lists after grabbing at least ten tackles in each of the last three games, including a season high 15 in the Kanza Bowl against Texas A&M-Kingsville. He had ten tackles at Washburn. He had 11 tackles at Northwest Missouri. He led Emporia State with nine tackles, an interception, 1.5 tackle for loss, two pass break ups and a quarterback hurry against Lincoln. He had ten tackles and a fumble recovery against Central Oklahoma after recording ten tackles and a team high seven solo stops at Neb.-Kearney. He had three tackles and a sack against Ft. Hays State. He was the second leading returning tackler for the Hornets with 65 stops in just seven starts as a sophomore. He has 232 tackles in 30 games at Emporia State.
Linebacker Deshawn Dinwiddie (Jr./Hutchinson, Kan.) was an honorable mention All-MIAA selection. He is ranked seventh in the MIAA and 98th in the nation in solo tackles and is 19th in total tackles in the MIAA. He had seven tackles, a pass break up and a forced fumble with the recovery against Northwest Missouri. He was credited with 11 tackles including a tackle for loss at Missouri Western. He had seven tackles, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and and a pass break up against Lincoln. He cracked double figures in tackles for the first time against Northeastern State, ending with 11 total including one for a loss. He had seven tackles, a TFL and a pass break up at Central Oklahoma. He was credited with eight solo stops on his nine tackles against Neb.-Kearney. He had three tackles and a fumble recovery against Ft. Hays State. He played in 21 games for NCAA Division I-FCS Champion North Dakota State before transferring to Emporia State. He recorded 24 tackles in 11 games as a sophomore for the Bison and played in 10 games as a true freshman, primarily on special teams. He was a second team all-Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I selection for Hutchinson HS in 2010.
Linebacker Ashton Reichmann (Sr./Maize, Kan.) was credited with nine tackles, half a TFL and a quarterback hurry against Washburn. He had a career high ten tackles, eight of them solo against Northwest Missouri. He had two solo stops at Lindenwood. He picked off his first career pass against Southwest Baptist to end a Bearcat scoring threat. He had four solo tackles against both Lincoln and Northeastern State. He recorded three tackles at Central Oklahoma. He had 21 tackles in 12 games last season for the Hornets. He is in his fifth year with the program. He had 13 total tackles as a sophomore when he saw time on both Hornet special teams and as a reserve linebacker. He was named first team All-State in class 6A at Maize High School where he had 126 tackles during his senior season.
Linebacker Tariq Allen (Jr./Irving, Texas) is ranked 29th in the MIAA in tackles. He pulled a quad muscle on the first series against Northwest Missouri He missed the Washburn game and is questionable for Minnesota-Duluth. He had 12 tackles, a sack and an interception at Missouri Western. He had four solo stops, including a TFL and a pass break up at Lindenwood. He was credited with six tackles against Southwest Baptist. He was credited with eight solo stops against Northeastern State. He had a career high 13 stops with a sack and a quarterback hurry against Neb.-Kearney. He had four tackles and was credited with the Big Stick Award against Ft. Hays State. He was rated among the top 20 inside linebackers in the country at #4 by ESPN and #16 by rivals.com as a senior at MacArthur HS before joining the Texas Longhorns.
PILLAR OF HERCULES
Linebacker Corben Abila (So./Weatherford, Texas) was credited with four unassisted tackles at Lindenwood. He had four unassisted tackles against Neb.-Kearney. He had an interception return of 21 yards against Ft. Hays State along with two tackles. He had 16 tackles last year for the Hornets. He was All-District as a utility player in high school as well as being named the team MVP at C.F. Brewer High School.
Linebacker Jason Tetuan (So./Topeka, Kan.) had four tackles with a TFL of three yards at Lincoln. He had three tackles in his first career start at Central Oklahoma. He was credited with four tackles against Neb.-Kearney. He had seven tackles, six of them solo, last year for the Hornets. He was an honorable mention All-State selection and earned All-Centennial League honors on offense and defense for Topeka Hayden HS. His brother John was an All-American baseball player at Wichita State, brother Jesse was a member of the 2003 Big 12 Champion Kansas State football team and brother Jarod was an All-MIAA performer for Washburn in 2007.
LONG AND SHORT OF IT
Defensive lineman Neil Shortell (Sr./Mission Hills, Kan.) earned Third-Team All-MIAA honors. He is ranked 12th in the MIAA in tackles for loss per game. He had six tackles against Washburn. He had five unassisted tackles and gained a first down with a 12 yard run on a fake punt against Northwest Missouri. He had a career high seven tackles at Missouri Western with a sack. He had an eight yard sack at Lindenwood. He had four tackles, two for loss against Southwest Baptist. He had two tackles, one of which was a sack, strip and fumble recovery at Lincoln. He missed the Northeastern State game with an injury. He had two solo tackles, one for a loss, at Central Oklahoma. He also returned three kick-offs from his up-back position with a long of 18 yards. He had two tackles against Neb.-Kearney. He led Emporia State with five tackles at Ft. Hays State, including 2.0 tackles for loss. He played six games at UConn after transferring from Butler CC. He had four receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown as a tight end for Butler CC in 2011 on his way to All-Jayhawk Conference honors. His brother Eric Shortell hit 23 home runs for the Hornet baseball team in 2008.
Defensive lineman Justin Wilson (So./Luther, Okla.) was an honorable mention All-MIAA selection. He was credited with four tackles a 1.0 tackles for loss against Washburn. He had three tackles against Northwest Missouri. He played every defensive snap against Missouri Western with a career high five tackles. He had a solo sack at Lindenwood for a loss of six yards. He had two tackles at Central Oklahoma. He recorded four tackles with half a tackle for loss against Neb.-Kearney. He got the only sack on the night for Emporia State against Ft. Hays State. He saw action in all 12 games last year.
Defensive lineman Ryan Louia (Sr./Burlington, Kan.) was named honorable mention All-MIAA. After knocking down eight passes in his career he held on to one for an interception against Washburn. He recorded two tackles, one for a loss, against Northwest Missouri. He had a tackle for loss and a pass break up at Missouri Western. He forced a fumble at Lindenwood. He had two tackles and a pass break up against Southwest Baptist. He had three tackles at Lincoln. He had a pass break up and a solo tackle against Northeastern State. He recorded three tackles with two of them solo at Central Oklahoma. He had two tackles against Neb.-Kearney. He had a tackle and a pass break up at Fort Hays State. He has blocked two kicks at the line of scrimmage in his 34 career games.
REMEMBER TWO THINGS
Defensive end Aaron Mathews (Sr./McKinney, Texas) has had two solo tackles in each of the last three games. He had two sacks and a forced fumble among his four tackles at Lindenwood. He was credited with two tackles both behind the line of scrimmage and two quarterback hurries against Southwest Baptist. He recorded five tackles, two for a loss including a sack and three quarterback hurries against Northeastern State. He had four tackles and a fumble recovery at Central Oklahoma. He led the Hornets with four sacks and nine tackles for loss last season. He had four solo tackles, including one for a loss at Washburn.
BRING THE LUMBER
Defensive lineman Nick Schutte (Jr./Elk Run Heights, Iowa) had three tackles against Washburn. He was credited with two tackles and a pass break up at Missouri Western. He had four tackles at Lindenwood. He had a sack and a forced fumble at Lincoln. He had his first career sack against Northeastern State. He had 36 tackles, 3.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks for Ellsworth CC last season.
Defensive lineman Ryan Kinkaid (Kansas City, Kan.) had half a tackle for loss against Washburn. He was back on the Hornet interior line against Northwest Missouri after leaving the Missouri Western game with an injury. He had a solo stop at Lindenwood. He had two assists against Neb.-Kearney from his interior spot on the line. He was named second-team All-Jayhawk Conference at Ft. Scott CC.
Defensive lineman James Junious (So./Arlington, Texas) had a fumble recovery against Southwest Baptist. He recorded a tackle at Central Oklahoma. He had a solo tackle and a quarterback hurry against Neb.-Kearney. He saw action in nine of 11 games last year. He had a solo tackle at Truman. He had five tackles and a quarterback hurry on the season. He was a second-team All-District pick at defensive end for Lamar HS.
ISN'T THAT SPECIAL
Emporia State leads the MIAA and is sixth in the nation in kick return defense. The Hornets have made 12 of 15 field goal attempts to rank fourth in the MIAA in percentage and third in makes. The Hornets had two PAT, a field goal and a punt blocked in the first three games and had two more punts blocked against Northwest Missouri. Washburn returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown, the first non-blocked punt returned for a touchdown against Emporia State since Albert Coker returned one 48 yards for Truman on October 24, 2009 - a span of 45 games.
BOOK OF ELI
Kicker/punter Eli Kuhns (So./Copperas Cove, Texas) was named honorable mention All-MIAA as a kicker. He is ranked 18th in the nation in field goals per game, 32nd in scoring, and 36th in field goal percentage. He leads the MIAA in kick scoring is ranked third in made field goals, fourth in field goal percentage and scoring, and fifth in PAT percentage. He has connected on 45 straight PAT after hitting four against Washburn to go with his two field goals against the Ichabods. He tied the school record for made PAT with nine in nine attempts against Southwest Baptist. He hit a season long 49 yard field goal at Neb.-Kearney. He went three for three on field goals and four of five on PATs at Ft. Hays State. He is averaging 55.2 yards per kick-off with eight touchbacks in 70 kicks. He is averaging 36.0 yards per punt with 13 of his 43 punts going inside the opponents 20 yard line. He had a season's best 57 yard punt at Lindenwood. He was nine of 12 on field goals last season, with eight of them over 35 yards. He was named Special Teams Player of the Week by the MIAA and NCAA.com against Lincoln as he hit four field goals, all over 37 yards, including a school record tying 51 yarder against Lincoln. He was the first true freshman to hit six 40+ field goals in a season in school history and the first Hornet to hit four field goals of over 40 yards since Justin Gray was eight of ten from over 40 yards in 2004. He second on the Emporia State career list with 21 made field goals in just 22 games.
Kicker Kyle Savner (Sr./Basehor, Kan.) is two of two on PAT and has kicked off eight times for the Hornets with a touchback. He is in his third year at Emporia State after transferring from Coffeyville CC.
Linebacker Ben Carlson was named a Capital One Academic All-American last season. He and offensive lineman Kameron Neal both earned Capital One Academic All-District honors from CoSIDA. Carlson has a 3.84 GPA in business adminstration. He was a two-time Academic All-American in baseball at Missouri State. Neal had a 3.78 GPA in computer operating systems.
DID YOU CATCH IT
For the fourth year in a row, the Hornets had a home game featured on the MIAA Television Network when they defeated Southwest Baptist 63-17 on October 12 for Homecoming. It was just the second time in seven games that the Hornets played a team with an under .500 record on the MIAA Network. Emporia State was featured on the MIAA Television Network twice last year. The Hornets are third behind Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri for the most appearances on the MIAA Network over the last three years with seven appearances. The Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 game against Missouri Western was the first televised match-up of nationally ranked teams from Jones Field at Welch Stadium. The MIAA Network is available live to nearly 2 million homes. The Hornets have played 15 games on live television in the last 16 seasons with six of the games coming from Welch Stadium. Video webcasts for all of Emporia State's regular season games are available on a pay per view basis from americaonesports.com. Audio of all ESU games are available at www.kvoe.com with Greg Rahe, Chuck Samples and Ron Thomas providing the call. The playoff game with Minnesota-Duluth will be streamed through the UMD web site.
The Hornets have gone 10-1 in non-conference games under Garin Higgins and are 21-6 outside the MIAA in the 21st century. Since joining the MIAA, ESU is 30-11 in non-conference games and has lost only three games to unranked non-conference D-II opponents since 1996. The MIAA?has sent eight different schools to the NCAA?playoffs in the last eight years and has had a team in the national championship game seven of the last nine seasons. The MIAA is 10-4 outside the league this year and are 38-9 outside the league over the last three seasons with two wins and a loss against NCAA Division I-FCS teams while five of the losses came in postseason play. Three MIAA schools are ranked this week in the AFCA National Poll and five are ranked in the D2Football.com poll.
The Hornets have had 14 players play in one of the major professional football leagues. Two Hornets have won Super Bowl rings - Kelly Goodburn with the Washington Redskins and Leon Lett with the Dallas Cowboys. Adam Schiltz caught two passes for the Houston Texans in exhibition action this season and is currently on the practice squad with the Tennessee Titans. Harold Ayodele was a part of the Kansas City Chiefs during training camp in 2011. Garin Higgins has coached three players that have gone on to play in the NFL regular season - Lynn Scott with the Dallas Cowboys, Sam Breeden with the Green Bay Packers, and San Diego Charger Patrick Crayton.
The Hornets nine losses over the last three seasons have came to teams that went a combined 87-26 overall and included eight teams ranked in the top ten of Super Region-3. The last eight losses were to teams that were ranked in the AFCA top 25 nationally at some point during the season.
MIAA IN THE POSTSEASON
Since the MIAA first expanded in 1989 and the new teams became eligible for post season play in 1990, the MIAA has won five national championships and had a representative in 12 of 22 national championship games. The MIAA has been represented in seven of the last nine national championship games. In that time the MIAA is 28-11 in the NCAA Playoffs and 8-4 in bowl games for a combined post season record of 36-15 against non-conference opponents.
Former Hornet Garin Higgins is the 21st head football coach at Emporia State and is just the second to lead the Hornets to ten wins in a season. Last year he became the sixth Hornet coach to lead his team to the post season. This year he became just the second coach to take the Hornets to the NCAA Playoffs. He is 89-48 as a head coach with a 38-39 record at his alma mater. He is 29-15 over the last four seasons and 23-5 over the last 28 games. He compiled a 51-9 record as the head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University before becoming the co-offensive coordinator at Minnesota State in 2005. He was the offensive coordinator at Northeastern State in 2006.
With five more wins in 2012 than 2011, he led the Hornets to the biggest improvement in wins from one season to the next in Emporia State history. He has helped establish a true home field advantage for ESU, with the Hornets winning at least four home games in three of the last four seasons. He had led the Hornets to within just one game of a post season berth in 2010 and 2011 before winning the Kanza Bowl in 2012. He is one of six Hornet coaches to win at least five games in four straight years.
While at NWOSU, he was named the Central State Football League Coach of the Year five straight years from 2000 through 2004. The Rangers won 31 consecutive games from 1998 through 2000 and were 15-3 against NCAA Division II schools under Higgins.
A native of Blackwell, Okla., Higgins graduated from Emporia State in 1992. He was a four-year letterman for the Hornets and helped lead the team to a national runner-up finish in 1989. He has been involved with four teams that have played for or won national championships as a player, coordinator or head coach. Higgins and his wife Heather, a 1995 graduate of ESU, are the parents of three children - son Halen and daughters Harlee and Gracyn.
Quarterback Brent Wilson is out with a broken collarbone. Safety Chris Poston is out with a broken thumb. H-Back Josh Klumpe is doubtful with a knee injury. Linebacker Tariq Allen is questionable with a quad injury. Receiver Austin Willis will be a game day decision with an ankle injury.
A Hornet win would...
•make Emporia State 10-1 overall, 9-1 in the MIAA;
•make Emporia State 1-2 all-time against Minnesota-Duluth;
•be Emporia State's first NCAA Playoff win in school history;
•be Emporia State's first playoff win since a 51-44 win at Adams State in 1989 NAIA playoffs;
•be Emporia State's second straight postseason win after winning the 2012 Kanza Bowl;
•make Emporia State 1-1 all-time in the NCAA playoffs;
•be the first time Emporia State has defeated three ranked Division II schools in the same year;
•be the third ten win season in 116 seasons of football at Emporia State;
•make Coach Higgins 39-39 at Emporia State and 90-48 overall.
A Hornet loss would...
•end Emporia State's season at 9-2 overall.
•make Emporia State 0-3 all-time against Minn.-Duluth;
•make Emporia State 0-2 all-time in the NCAA playoffs;
•make Coach Higgins 38-40 at Emporia State?and 89-49 overall.
• The Hornets are 3-8 in overtime games with wins in three of their last five after dropping their first four extra period contests.
• Three of ESU's 11 overtime games have come against Truman with ESU winning two of the three games.
• The quadruple overtime game in 2006 between ESU and PSU?was the first MIAA?regular season game to go to four overtimes and the first involving an MIAA?team since NWMSU's 4 OT?win against Carson Newman in the 1999 National Championship Game.
• ESU's 17 point deficit at the half against MSSU in 2011 was the largest half-time spread the Hornets have overcome for a win since joining the MIAA and matched the greatest deficit ever overcome for a win as an NCAA school. Including the win against MSSU, the Hornets have won 23 of their last 28 games with the five losses coming to nationally ranked teams. ESU came from 17-0 at the end of the first quarter to defeat Ft. Hays State 24-17 to open the 1992 season.