No. 22-Ranked Ichabods Take On Northeastern State On Saturday

By: WU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley
By: WU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley

First and 10
• The No. 22-ranked Washburn Ichabods will look to improve to 3-0 overall and in MIAA play at Northeastern State on Sept. 21 in Tahlequah, Okla.
• Washburn topped Fort Hays State last time out in Yager Stadium 54-17 in its home opener.
• Washburn is making its first appearance in the AFCA top 25 coaches poll.
• Washburn lost its last and only game played in Tahlequah 35-30 on Sept. 24, 1988.
• Washburn topped the RiverHawks 24-20 in the meeting last season in Topeka on Sept. 15, 2012.

Numbers to know
• 8,262 - The attendance of the Ichabod home opener against Fort Hays State.
• 7 - The number of Ichabod scoring drives which have been under five plays.
• 18 - The number of Ichabod scoring drives this season.
• 4-1 - Washburn head coach Craig Schurig's record against teams from Oklahoma. (1-0 vs Northeastern State, 1-1 vs Central Oklahoma, 2-0 vs Langston).
• 1-1 - Washburn's record in games played in the state of Oklahoma under Schurig - (1-0 at Langston, 0-1 at Central Oklahoma).
• 520 - The exact number of total offensive yards the Ichabods have had in each of their two games this season.
• 40-0 - Washburn's scoring compared to its opponents scoring in the third quarter this season.
• 20-0 - Washburn's scoring compared to its opponents scoring in the first quarter this season.
• 112:28 - The amount of time in minutes and seconds of 120:00 the Ichabods have been in the lead in games this season -- 94 percent.
• 7:32 - The amount of time in minutes and seconds of 120:00 the Ichabods have been tied in games this season -- 6 percent.
• 0:00 - The amount of time in minutes and seconds of 120:00 the Ichabods have trailed in games this season -- 0 percent.

Ichabod head coach Craig Schurig . . .
• was named head coach of the Ichabod football program Dec. 28, 2001.
• is 81-48 (.602) in his 12th season as the Ichabod head coach.
• is 64-38 (.600) against the MIAA.
• has led the Ichabods to three NCAA Playoff appearances and two bowl appearance championships.
• led the Ichabods to the 2005 MIAA regular season outright championship.
• has recorded nine-straight winning seasons for the first time in the program's history.
• led the Ichabods to the program's first 10-win season and their first NCAA or NAIA playoff game victory in school history with a win over Abilene Christian during the 2011 season.
• is Washburn's all-time winningest coach with 81 wins.
• is 1-0 against the RiverHawks.

RiverHawks head coach Terry Evans . . .
• Is in his sixth year leading his alma mater.
• He returned to NSU after serving as an assistant coach for 28 years at six universities.
• Evans has guided the RiverHawks to a 20-37 (.356) overall record.
• Evans spent time as an assistant coach at Missouri Southern.
• Is 0-1 against Washburn.
• Led the RiverHawks to a 7-5 record in 2011 and to a Mineral Water Bowl appearance.

For starters
• 5 - Number of touchdowns Mitch Buhler tossed against Fort Hays State last time out.
• 4 - Number of touchdowns Mitch Buhler tossed in the first half tying a Washburn single half record.
• 2 - The number of times the Ichabods have scored at least 50 points in back to back games under Craig Schurig with scoring 58 and 54 in both games this season. (Previous back to back 50 point games was during the 2009 season when Washburn scored 82 against New Mexico Highlands and 54 against Missouri Southern.)
• 0 - The number of times the Ichabods have scored at least 50 points in back to back games prior to head coach Craig Schurig's arrival on campus.
• 4 - The number of interceptions the Ichabods recorded against the Tigers giving the Ichabods seven so far this season.
• 8:09 - The time remaining in the game when the Ichabods attempted their first punt against Fort Hays State.

On offense
• Senior tight end Tore' Hurst has started the last 28 games playing in 37 games … he ranks tied for fifth all-time at Washburn with 18 touchdown receptions while he is 14th in both receiving yards with 1,356 and receptions with 96 on the Ichabod career chart.
• Junior quarterback Mitch Buhler has made 12 starts at Washburn passing for 2,449 yards and 25 touchdowns.
• Sophomore running back Sean McPherson returns after missing the 2012 season with a knee injury and has rushed for 890 yards in his career and leads the Ichabods with 154 yards rushing this season and two scores on the ground.
• Junior DaJuan Beard leads the Ichabods with nine catches for 86 yards and one score … he needs 11 yards to go over the 1,500-yard plateau and three catches for 100 in his career.
• Sophomore Jordan Hart leads the Ichabods with three touchdown receptions and 219 receiving yards … he has seven touchdown receptions in his career.
• Senior center Kyle Duncan has started the last 26 games for the Ichabods on the offensive line while playing in 33 overall.
• Senior Matt Kobbeman became the 12th Ichabod to go over 100 receptions in his career … his 101 receptions is 11th all-time at Washburn … his 1,320 career receiving yards is 15th all-time for the Ichabods.
• Junior Vershon Moore went over the 2,000-yard mark for his career as he now has 2,074 rushing yards in 22 games … the yardage total is seventh all-time at Washburn … he passed current graduate assistant coach Brandon Walker for eighth who had 2,015 career rushing yards.

On defense
• Senior inside linebacker Bryce Atagi has started 28 career games playing in 38 overall … he is eighth all-time at Washburn with 281 total tackles … his 153 assisted tackles is sixth all-time and his 27 career tackles for loss is eighth all-time at Washburn … with 19 more tackles he would become the eighth Ichabod to reach at least 300 tackles for a career.
• Senior linebacker Willie Williams has started the last 25 games appearing in 38 overall and has recorded 174 tackles with 79 solo stops.
• Senior defensive end Adebayo Oladapo has started the last 13 games appearing in 30 overall recording 59 tackles with 10 for loss and five sacks while picking off three passes.
• Senior linebacker Ryan Macken has played in 26 games making six starts tallying 88 tackles with 45 solo stops and eight tackles for loss.
• Junior safety Calvin Kenney has played in 26 games making 21 starts tallying 104 tackles with 63 solo stops with three interceptions. … he had a career-high two pass break ups against the Tigers.

On special teams
• Senior wide receiver/kickoff return specialist Mark Fancher's 1,412 kickoff return yards is second all-time at Washburn and his 64 kickoff returns is third all-time … in 2012 he broke a 22-year old Washburn record with his 38 kickoff returns and 786 kickoff return yards.
• Redshirt freshman Justin Linn was named the MIAA special teams player of the week after the opening round of games after connecting on three field goals in three attempts including a 51-yard connection … the kick was one shy of the Washburn record … he is 5 of 5 on field goals this season hitting 3 of 3 beyond 40 yards.
• Junior Aaron Hummert has 102 punts for 4,194 yards averaging 41.1 yards per punt playing in 26 career games … his 41.12 career punting average is the best in school history … he has only punted twice in 2013 … his career 41.12 yards per punt is third among active punters in the NCAA.

Bods and ends . . .
Shay Wooten led the team in tackles against Fort Hays State with nine and is second on the team with 13 this season with six solo stops … the 54 yards and two receptions by Tyrell Brown were career-highs and the 43-yard catch against the Tigers was the longest of his career … the five touchdown passes against the Tigers by Mitch Buhler was a career-high … Cody Heiman had a career-high six tackles against the Tigers …Dwayne Joseph had a career-high four tackles against the Tigers … Adam Luthi recorded his first career catch for 11 yards against the Tigers … Jordan Nelson recorded his first career interception against the Tigers … D.J. Wakes' five tackles were a career high in a Washburn uniform.

Know the foe
• The RiverHawks are looking for their first win of the season after falling at No. 21 Pittsburg State 45-6 and at home to Missouri Southern 17-14 in the MIAA TV game of the Week last time out.
• Joel Rockmore leads the team with 122.0 ypg averaging 6.0 yards per carry.
• Thor Long has passed for 214 yards in two games and one score completing 14 of 33 attempts in place of starter Johnny Deaton who was injured against Pittsburg State in the season opener.
• Langston Jones leads the MIAA in tackles with 33 with 13 solo stops and a forced fumble.
• The RiverHawks have the No. 1 pass defense as they are allowing only 133 yards per game through the air.
• The RiverHawks have not had a sack or an interception this season on defense.

Series history with Northeastern State
Series Record: WU leads 2-1-0
Streak: WU won last meeting
First Meeting: WU 23-21 (09/26/1987) in Tahlequah
Last Meeting: WU 24-20 (09/15/2012) in Topeka
Last WU win: 24-20 (09/15/2012) in Topeka
Last NSU win: 35-30 (09/24/1988) in Topeka
Largest WU win: 24-20 (09/15/2012) in Topeka
Largest NSU win: 35-30 (09/24/1988) in Topeka

Series Notes with Northeastern State
• Washburn is playing its first game in Tahlequah since a 23-21 win on Sept. 26, 1987.
• Washburn is 1-0 in games played in Tahlequah.
• Washburn won the first meeting since Sept. 24, 1988 last season in Topeka 24-20 on Sept. 5, 2012.

Last meeting between Washburn and Tahlequah (9/15/12)
TOPEKA, Kan. -- The No. 9 Washburn Ichabods held off a comeback by Northeastern State to come away with a 24-20 win over the RiverHawks.
Devon Connors' interception of a Johnny Deaton pass with 1:34 remaining wrapped up the win for the Ichabods at the Washburn 48 yardline. The RiverHawks took over possession with a chance to win the game after the Ichabods missed a 42-yard field goal with 1:42 to play.
The RiverHawks took the opening kickoff and marched 53 yards in 11 plays as Drew Patton kicked Northeastern's first field goal of the season - a 46-yard make with 10:03 to play.
The Ichabods responded with a 60-yard drive covering eight plays when Mitch Buhler hit Tore' Hurst with a 9-yard touchdown strike in the back of the end zone with 7:37 to play in the first quarter as the Ichabods took a 7-3 lead.
Northeastern returned serve and regained the lead as Deaton connected with Jermaine Sherman for a 46-yard pass with 5:03 to play in the first quarter as Patton added the extra point staking NSU to a 10-7 lead.
After the teams traded drives with no success, the RiverHawks were set to punt and Connors blocked it and returned it 26 yards for the score putting the Ichabods in front for good at 14-10 with 14:54 to play in the first half.
A 26-yard field goal by Jeremy Linn put the Ichabods up 17-10 with 5:53 to play in the first half. Washburn scored its final points of the half on a 1-yard run by Kameron Stewart right before the half with 32 seconds to play in the half stretching the Ichabod lead to 24-10. The score was set up by Adebayo Oladapo recording his second career interception at the NSU 17.
In the third quarter, the Washburn offense struggled recording two first downs and 46 yards on 14 plays while the RiverHawks had 123 total offensive yards as neither team scored in the third quarter.
NSU's Joel Rockmore pulled the RiverHawks to within seven at 24-17 with 10:43 with a 3-yard touchdown run. A three and out by the Ichabods returned the ball back to NSU and they scored with a 27-yard field goal by Patton with 7:09 remaining.
Following a punt by the Ichabods, the Washburn defense came up big as Tyler Ewy forced a fumble by NSU's Rockmore and it was recovered by Jaime Myers at the NSU 48.
Washburn missed a field goal on the ensuing possession setting up the Connors interception.
The RiverHawks outgained the Ichabods 423 to 286, but had two interceptions and a fumble.
Buhler finished 16 of 32 for 169 yards and a touchdown. Matt Kobbeman had five catches for 91 yards (all in the first half) and Hayden Groves had 19 carries for 52 yards.
Ryan Macken had a career-high 10 tackles with five solo and assisted stops. Bryce Atagi had 10 tackles as well.
Rockmore had 176 yards on 15 carries to lead NSU to lead the RiverHawks as they had 251 rushing yards. Deaton finished 17 of 39 for 172 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Sherman finished with six catches for 84 yards and the one touchdown.
Defensively Langston Jones had 13 tackles to lead NSU.

Last time out for Northeastern State vs Missouri Southern (9/17/13)
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Northeastern State football team dropped its home opener 17-14 to Missouri Southern State University Saturday afternoon at Doc Wadley Stadium.
The contest was the MIAA Game of the Week and was televised live on the MIAA Network.
The two teams scored on five of six total possessions in the opening half, but the game would grind to a screeching halt as neither team scored in the second half.
The closest either squad came to putting points on the board in the final 30 minutes ended with a 38-yard missed field goal by NSU senior kicker Drew Patton and an interception in the end zone thrown by NSU sophomore quarterback Thor Long.
Missouri Southern State (2-0, 2-0 MIAA) punted on all six of its second-half possessions after scoring on all three of its first-half possessions.
The RiverHawks (0-2, 0-2 MIAA) outgained the visitors 303-281. The home side had the edge in passing yards 85-38, but the Lions led in rushing 243-218.
Junior running back Joel Rockmore finished with a game-high 145 yards rushing on 22 carries. He also added 54 kick-return yards and 18 receiving yards for 217 all-purpose yards.
Senior linebacker Langston Jones registered a career-high 21 tackles, while sophomore safety Kyler Harris added a career-best 11. Junior linebacker Eddie General added a personal-best nine stops after receiving his first-career starting assignment in only his second game as a RiverHawk.
Long started for the first time in his career after taking over the reins of the offense for the injured Johnny Deaton. He finished the day 7-of-16 for 85 yards and his first-career touchdown pass.
The leading rusher for the Lions was Giresse Forchu, who finished with 81 yards and a score on 19 carries. Quarterback Jay McDowell was held to just 62 yards on 14 carries, and he also completed just 3-of-5 passes for 38 yards.
Northeastern State won the toss and chose to receive the opening kickoff. Nine plays later the home side was celebrating in the end zone following a six-yard pass from Long to senior fullback Nick Whitlow. The TD was the third of Whitlow's career, and Rockmore registered 74 yards rushing on the opening drive.
The visitors responded with a near-identical drive, finding the promised land in nine plays. The drive was capped by a nine-yard run by Forchu.
The next NSU drive was 10 plays and 90 yards that resulted in a four-yard TD rush from junior running back Terrance Dixon.
Yet again, however, the Lions responded with an 11-play, 64-yard drive of their own. McDowell tied the contest at 14-14 following a one-yard plunge.
NSU punted on its next possession and Missouri Southern marched down the field to end the half on what would become the game-winning 31-yard field goal from Sean Seefeldt. The final drive of the half for MSSU consisted of 14 plays and 65 yards, while eating up the final 8:11 off the clock.
Despite a redzone trip, a field-goal opportunity and an all-of-a-sudden stout defense, the RiverHawks were unable to score in the second half and remained winless.

Last time out for Washburn vs Fort Hays State (9/14/13)
TOPEKA, Kan. -- The Washburn Ichabods scored seven touchdowns in their first nine possessions as they rolled to a 54-17 win over Fort Hays State in Yager Stadium at Moore Bowl on Saturday night in front of 8,268 people as Washburn improved to 2-0 on the season.
Washburn scored on its first drive of the game when the reigning MIAA Special Teams Player of the WeekJustin Linn hits a 38-yard field goal putting the Ichabods up 3-0 with 10:12 to play in the first quarter.
The Tigers would take their opening possession of the game and drive to the Washburn 11, but could not convert as they missed a 27-yard field goal.
The Ichabods would then add to their lead when Mitch Buhler hit Matt Kobbeman on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 2:20 to go in the first quarter going up 10-0. The Tigers would return with a score on their next drive when Treveon Albert connected with Zack Gaughan on a 16-yard score cutting the Ichabod lead to 10-7.
Washburn pushed their lead back to 10 at 17-7 after Buhler threw his second touchdown pass of the day when he found Tore' Hurst from 7-yards out with 6:06 left to play in the first half. After forcing a punt, Buhler found DaJuan Beard in the corner of the end zone for a score stretching the Ichabod lead to 24-7 with 4:24 to play in the half.
After forcing a Tiger punt, Jordan Hart streaked down the middle of the field and was hit in stride by Buhler for his fourth touchdown pass of the half for a 49-yard yard strike with 1:03 to play in the half and a 31-7 Washburn lead.
Washburn's Bryce Atagi picked off Albert on the Tigers' first drive of the second half setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Sean McPherson putting the Ichabods up 38-7.
On the Tigers' next play from scrimmage, Isaac Wright picked off Albert and returned it 27 yards to the Tiger 15 yard line. Washburn needed two plays to score as Buhler threw touchdown No. 5 to Connor Crimmins for 11 yards with 9:19 to play in the third quarter.
The Ichabod defense forced another Tiger punt and on Washburn's first play, Vershon Moore had carries of 9- and 65-yards, the latter for a touchdown stretching the lead to 51-7.
Washburn picked off another Tiger pass, this time by Jordan Nelson at the Ichabod 30 and Washburn wrapped up its scoring with a 45-yard field goal by Linn with 12:57 to play in the game. The Tigers added a score with 6:11 to play when Edin Kovan completed a pass to Keaton Callins for 2-yards for the final points of the game.
Buhler finished with a career-high five touchdown passes to five different people. His previous high was four set against Fort Hays State last season. He finished 19 of 27 overall for 272 yards. Moore led the Ichabods on the ground with 106 yards rushing and one score and McPherson finished with 17 carries for 85 yards and a score. Kobbeman had five catches for 58 yards and Hart finished with four catches for 69 yards.
Defensively Shay Wooten led the Ichabods with nine tackles and Atagi finished with seven including one for loss and an interception. Cody Heiman had six tackles and DeAnthony Rimmer had five with an interception.
Washburn pounded out 28 first downs with 520 yards of total offense with 206 coming on the ground and 314 through the air. The Ichabod defense allowed 370 yards with 129 coming in the fourth quarter.

Fort Hays State game odds and ends . . . the win . . .
• lifted the Ichabods to 519-554-44 in their football history.
• was the Ichabods' fourth-straight over the Tigers.
• was the eighth-straight win over the Tigers in Topeka.
• made the Ichabods 42-23-3 all-time against the Tigers.
• improved the Ichabods to 2-0 in the MIAA for the third-straight season.

Washburn football history
Washburn is 519-554-44 (.480) in the 123rd year of Ichabod football.

A win for Washburn over Northeastern State would . . .
• lift the Ichabods to 520-554-44 in their football history.
• be the Ichabods' second-straight over the RiverHawks.
• be the first win for the Ichabods in Tahlequah (1-1 overall)
• make the Ichabods 3-1 all-time against the RiverHawks.
• improve the Ichabods to 3-0 in the MIAA for the third-straight season.

A loss for Washburn to Northeastern State would . . .
• drop the Ichabods to 519-555-44 in their football history.
• drop the Ichabods to 2-2 all-time against the Northeastern.
• be the second-straight loss to the RiverHawks in Tahlequah.

Ichabods in the national polls
The Washburn Ichabod football team moved into the American Football Coaches Association Top 25 at No. 22 in the latest poll which was released Monday after their 54-17 win over Fort Hays State last time out. The Ichabods will be back in action on Sept. 21 at Northeastern State.
It was the first appearance for the Ichabods in the top 25 since Oct. 22 of last season when the Ichabods were ranked 16th. Among other MIAA schools, Northwest Missouri is ranked No. 3 while Missouri Western is ranked sixth and Pittsburg State is ranked 14th. Emporia State and Missouri Southern also received votes.
Under head coach Craig Schurig, the Ichabods have been ranked or have received votes in the AFCA poll 43 times.

Up next
The Ichabods will return to Yager Stadium on Sept. 28 to face Central Oklahoma in the MIAA TV game of the Week kicking off at 2:37 p.m. The game will also be Family Day on the Washburn campus.

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