November 10, 2012-Senior Harlon Hill candidate Tyler Eckenrode completed his first 13 passes on the way to a 26 of 30 effort for 364 yards as #25 Emporia State defeated Washburn 55-23 on Saturday at Yager Stadium in Moore Bowl. The win snapped an eight game losing streak to the Ichabods and gives the Hornets a 9-2 record on the season.
With winds gusting upwards of 40 miles per hour, Washburn took the wind after winning the coin toss. On second down Eckenrode gained nine yards before fumbling the ball that was recovered by Washburn's Jahmil Taylor at the Hornets 40 yard line. Six plays later Hayden Groves scored on a three yard touchdown run. Jeremy Linn's PAT was blown wide right to leave WU ahead 6-0 with 11:58 left in the quarter.
The Hornets responded with a 13 play, 75 yard drive to take the lead on a 17 yard touchdown pass from Eckenrode to Ray Ray Davis. Eckenrode was six of six on the drive for 54 yards on the drive. The Ichabods retook the lead with a 30 yard field goal by Linn with 3:55 left in the quarter.
The Hornets coughed up the ball again on their next possession but the defense forced a three and out for minus six yards by the Ichabods. Emporia State went 79 yards on 12 plays before Derek Jonas' 36 yard field goal was blown wide left. The Hornet defense again forced a three and out, this time for negative 18 yards and after a fair catch took over on the Ichabod 34 yard line.
Five plays later Derwin Hall ran the ball in from 18 yards out to put Emporia State up 14-9 with 7:34 left in the half. It was the first of 41 straight points for the Hornets. After another three and out Emporia State drove 47 yards on six plays to get a 25 yard field goal from Jonas and a 17-9 lead with 3:32 left in the half. Kevin Gaddis picked off a Joel Piper pass on the next Washburn possession and three plays later Eckenrode found Austin Willis for five yards and a 24-9 lead with 2:03 remaining in the frame. The Hornets outscored the Ichabods 17-0 in the second quarter and outgained WU 149-7 yards in the quarter.
The Ichabods got the ball to start the second half and drove to the Hornet 34 yard line when Gaddis got his second pick of the day. He returned it 27 yards to the Hornet 47 yard line to set the Hornets up again. After a Jordan Tice 12 yard run, Eckenrode hit Adam Schiltz for 19 yards and then connected with Shjuan Richardson for a 22 yard touchdown and 31-9 lead. After another punt from WU, ESU drove 73 yards on five plays capped by a 38 yard pass from Eckenrode to Josh Klumpe for a 38-9 Hornet lead.
The next series saw WU fumble on second down and Tim Chandler recovered it a the WU 19 yard line. Ray Ray Davis came in at the Wildcat to gain 16 yards and three yards to score and give the Hornets a 45-9 lead. Emporia State would end their 41 point run with an Eli Kuhns 27 yard field goal with 6:20 left for a 48-9 lead.
Washburn got on the board for the first time since the opening series with a six play, 61 yard drive to cut the Emporia State lead to 48-16 with 4:45 left in the game. After the Hornets recovered the onside kick, Brent Wilson relieved Eckenrode at quarterback and hit Dyland Walker for a 44 yard touchdown pass on first down to put the Hornets ahead 55-16 with 4:36 remaining. Jordan Hart returned the kick-off 50 yards to the ESU 23 yard line and five plays later Piper hit Ryan Mertz for an eight yard touchdown to make the final score 55-23.
Eckenrode finished the game 26 of 30 for 364 yards and four touchdowns while gaining 39 yards on 13 carries. He connected with seven different receivers and had at least a 12 yard completion to each of them. Schiltz had a career high 150 yards on eight catches withl Davis added 50 yards on five catches and Richardson had four catches for 48 yards. Klumpe had 63 yards on two receptions. Hall led the Hornets with 54 yards on ten carries and a touchdown.
Ben Carlson had a game high 13 tackles and was joined in double figures by Jordan Sanders with ten stops. Gaddis had two interceptions and five solo tackles.
The Hornets will find out their post-season fate on Sunday afternoon. Emporia State will finish the year 9-2 and in second place in the MIAA.