October 25, 2012-The #15 Emporia State Hornets outscored #12 Missouri Western in the second half but it was not enough in a 57-28 loss to #12 Missouri Western on Thursday on Jones Field at Welch Stadium. The loss was the first of the season for Emporia State and drops them into a four way tie at the top of the MIAA standings.
The Hornets could not get anything going in the first quarter against a strong wind out of the north. Emporia State went three and out on the opening possession and then held Missouri Western to a field goal on the next drive. The Griffons went up 10-0 with 7:04 left in the first quarter on the first of Michael Hill's two touchdown runs. The three yard score capped a three play, 68 yard drive that began with a 51 yard pass from Travis Partridge to Tarell Downing. Hill scored again with 1:30 left on another three yard run to make it 17-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Hornet defense opened the second half holding the Griffons to another field goal, this time from 30 yards, as Missouri Western went up 20-0 with 13:02 left in the half. Partridge threw his only touchdown of the game to Tyron Crockom with 6:58 left in the period. Ben Carlson intercepted the two point attempt to keep the score 26-0. The final score of the half came on a Partridge eight yard run with 2:31 left to send the teams to the locker rooms with Missouri Western ahead 33-0. It was the largest halftime deficit for the Hornets since trailing 42-0 at Northwest Missouri in 2008.
The Griffons got the ball to start the second half and on the second play from scrimmage Josh Taylor forced a fumble by Missouri Western's Derek Libby that was recovered by Chris Poston at the MWSU 37 yard line. Emporia State drove to the Missouri Western 18 yard line when Tyler Eckenrode tossed his first pick six of the season as Michael Jordan took it 91 yards down the sideline to give the Griffons a 40-0 lead with 12:52 left in the third qaurter. Eckenrode was picked off by David Bass on the Hornets next play from scrimmage to set the Griffons up a the Hornet 24 yard line. Three plays later Raphael Spencer scored from seven yards out to put the Griffons up 47-0.
Emporia State finally got on the board with a four yard pass from Eckenrode to Ray Ray Davis wtih 8:09 left in the third quarter. Carlson recovered a bad snap from center out of the shotgun on Missouri Western's next offensive play and three plays later Eckenrode found Shjuan Richardson from 22 yards out to pull the Hornets within 47-14 with 7:46 left in the quarter.
Missouri Western eventually answered with an 11 yard run by Dominic Thomas with 1:45 left in the third to make the lead 54-14. The Hornets scored on the first of two Derwin Hall touchdown runs to open the fourth quarter. Emporia State forced a three and out on the next Missouri Western possession and went 80 yards in 11 plays to cut the lead to 54-28 on Hall's second touchdown run with 7:43 left. The Griffons put the final score on the board with a 44 yard field goal from Anderson with 3:03 left in the game.
Eckenrode finished the game 24 of 48 for 290 yards and two touchdowns to go with two interceptions. He was 16 of 30 for 245 yards in the second half. Richardson finished with 11 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown while Davis had five catches for 61 yards and a score. Hall was the leading rusher for Emporia State with 33 yards on seven carries with two touchdowns.
Hill led all rushers with 185 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. He had 183 of those yards in the first half and only carried the ball once after halftime. Partridge finished 12 of 16 for 150 yards adn a touchdown passing and added 55 yards on nine carries on the ground.
Defensively Ben Carlso had a game high 13 tackles and a fumble recovery. His interception on the point after does not officially count in the stats. Kadeem Satchell, playing for All-American Derek Lohmann who was injured on the first series of the game, had ten tackles and a pass break up.
Nick Williams led the Griffons with eight tackles while Jordan had the pick six and Bass had an interception.
After a short week to prepare for the #12 team in the nation, Emporia State will have ten days to get ready for the #5 team when they travel to Northwest Missouri next weekend. Kick-off in Maryville, Mo. is tentatively set for 2:00 p.m.
Richardson became the fifth Hornet to have 1,000 receiving yards and ten touchdown receptions in the same year. He now has 1,111 yards and ten touchdowns on the season to rank fifth all-time at ESU in both categories.
Eckenrode has 2,808 yards passing to move into second on the single season chart at Emporia State. His 19 touchdown passes rank third on the ESU single season chart.
The Hornets did not give up a sack in 49 passing attempts or a tackle for loss in 66 offensive plays to the Griffons who entered the game ranked 12th in the nation in sacks.