#23 Emporia State Hornets (5-0, 5-0 MIAA)
vs. Southwest Baptist Bearcats (1-4, 1-3 MIAA)
Sat. Oct. 12, 2013 • 2:37 p.m. • Jones Field at Welch Stadium (7,000) • Emporia, Kan.
Series Record: ESU leads 16-3
Last Meeting: ESU 19, SBU 15 (Oct. 6, 2012)
Radio: KFFX-FM (104.9), 1:30 p.m. Pregame TV: MIAA Network
Internet (Audio): www.kvoe.com Internet (Video): americaonesports.com ($8 per game)
Up Next: ESU at Lindenwood • Saturday, October 19 • 1:30 p.m.
Harlan Hunter Stadium (6,000) • St. Charles, Mo.
Emporia State returns to Jones Field at Welch Stadium to take on Southwest Baptist for Homecoming 150 with a 5-0 record for the second straight year and just the 11th time in school history.
LAST TIME OUT
The #24 Hornets raced out to a 45-0 lead before settling for a 52-14 victory over Lincoln on Saturday in Jefferson City, Mo. The game started in a heavy downpour before the skies lightened up in the second half. Antonio Brown led Emporia State with a career high 102 yards on 16 carries with four touchdowns. The Hornets rolled up 233 rushing yards and 409 total yards on a soggy Dwight Reed Stadium field. Brent Wilson was 11 of 20 for 123 yards and a touchdown and added 49 yards on five carries including a 27 yard touchdown run. Ray Ray Davis had four catches for 79 yards while the nation's leader in receiving yardsEmporia State had a season high 11 tackles for loss on the day. Brandon Gentz had two interceptions while Chris Poston picked off his third pass of the year.
Garin Higgins has compiled a career record of 85-47 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 34-38 in his seventh season at his alma mater and is 25-14 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. He is 3-0 against SBU.
Craig Schuler is 1-4 in his first year at SBU. This is his first meeting with ESU.
SCOUTING THE HORNETS
Emporia State is ranked in the top ten nationally in total offense, scoring offense, passing offense, passing efficiency, completion percentage, red zone offense, and turnover margin. Brent Wilson is ranked in the top four nationally in total offense, passing efficiency, touchdown passes, and points responsible for.
SCOUTING THE BEARCATS
Southwest Baptist is 1-4 on the year and 1-3 in the MIAA. They are second to the Hornets in time of possession in the MIAA and rank fifth in the league in passing offense. Derwyn Lauderdale is ranked third in the MIAA in receiving yards at 122.7 yards per game.
This is the 20th contest between the two and the first in Emporia since 2007. The Hornets lead the series 16-3 and have won the last eight meetings.
LAST TIME AGAINST SW BAPTIST
Tyler Eckenrode threw for 299 yards in the second half to lead #25 Emporia State to a 19-15 come from behind win at Southwest Baptist. The Hornets trailed 15-0 at the half and scored 19 second half points. Chris Muhammad returned the opening kick-off 97 yards and ESU trailed 15-0 with 5:14 left in the half. Eckenrode hit Shjuan Richardson for a 46 yard touchdown with 11:25 left in the third, found Adam Schiltz from six yards out with :36 left in the third and completed the comeback with a 73 yard strike to Austin Willis with 12:29 left. Eckenrode ended the game 17 of 29 for 322 yards and three touchdowns.
The Hornets make their first trip to St. Charles, Mo. to take on Lindenwood. Kick-off is set for 1:30 p.m. at Hunter Stadium.
LAST LOOK AT LINCOLN
The Hornets held the Blue Tigers to just 124 yards on 57 plays through the first three quarters. Lincoln amassed 195 yards on 19 plays in the fourth quarter, with 165 yards coming on their last two drives after Emporia State had taken a 45-0 lead.
This is the fourth time the Emporia State and Southwest Baptist have met in a Homecoming game in Welch Stadium with the Hornets winning two of the three previous games. Emporia State is 11-11 in Homecoming games since joining the MIAA, with six of the losses coming to either Northwest Missouri or Missouri Western. The Hornets lost their only other televised Homecoming game 37-34 against Truman in 2011.
THE POLLS SAY
The Hornets moved up to #23 in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) NCAA Division II Poll. The Hornets are one of five MIAA teams in the Top 25. Emporia State has received votes in the last 16 polls dating back to Sept. 17, 2012. The Hornets stayed #23 in the D2Football.com poll this week as well.
Despite the national recognition, Emporia State was slated for seventh in both the MIAA Coaches and Media Preseason Polls. The Hornets did garner one first place vote in the media poll. There was a clear split in the voting of both polls. The Hornets were almost as close to first as they were to eighth in the coaches poll. Emporia State was just 46 points behind co-favorites Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri in the coaches poll and were 43 points in front of Ft. Hays State, who came in eighth. The Hornets were one of four teams to pick up a first place vote in the media poll. The gap between seventh and eighth was the largest point differential in both polls.
Emporia State is ranked in the top 15 nationally in scoring offense, total offense, passing offense, red zone offense, passing efficiency, completion percentage, and first downs. The Hornets are averaging 45.6 points per game and have scored at least 28 points in 17 of their last 21 games. Of their 348 plays run, 139 of them (39.9%) have gone for either a first down or a touchdown.
LEADING THE WAY
Quarterback Brent Wilson (So./Ponca City, Okla.) is second in the nation in points responsible for and touchdown passes and is ranked third in total offense, fourth in passing efficiency and completion percentage and eighth in passing yards. He leads the MIAA in total offense, points responsible for, passing touchdowns, and passing yards, is second in the league in completions and completion percentage and ranked third in passing efficiency. In sloppy conditions at Lincoln he went 11 of 20 for 123 yards and a touchdown and added 49 yards on five carries with a rushing touchdown. He is fourth on the Emporia State single season list for touchdown passes with 20 through five games. He went 27 of 41 for 410 yards and five touchdowns with 75 rushing yards on 13 carries against Northeastern State. He was 11 of 12 for 129 yards in the third quarter alone against the RiverHawks. 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 went 23 of 34 for 297 yards with four touchdowns against Neb.-Kearney. 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 for 375 yards of total offense. He saw action in nine games as a true freshman in 2012 and was three for four for 70 yards and a touchdown over his last three games.
THE FIFTH ELEMENT
Quarterback Corben Jones (Fr.-RS/Yukon, Okla.) 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 carried the ball four times for a total of seven yards against the Tigers. 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.
Quarterback Ty Reasnor (Fr./Cashion, Okla.) will likely travel as the third quarterback to start the season for Emporia State. 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.
WHAT YOU TALKIN' ABOUT
Receiver Austin Willis (Jr./Topeka, Kan.) is ranked third in the nation in receiving yards, fourth in touchdown catches, 25th in receptions per game, 26th in scoring and 32nd in all-purpose yards. He leads the MIAA in touchdown catches and is ranked second in receiving yards, fourth in receptions, fifth in all-purpose yards and seventh in scoring. He had just three catches for eight yards in the rain 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. He is averaging 21.9 yards per catch on the season. Of his 35 receptions on the year, 12 have gone for more than 25 yards including three catches for over 60 yards. He has already passed his yardage total for last season when he caught 26 passes for 326 yards as a sophomore. 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 1,045 yards on 62 receptions in his career for a 16.9 yard average per catch..
Receiver Ray Ray Davis (Sr./Indian Trail, N.C.) is ranked ninth in the nation in touchdown receptions and is 14th in the nation in receptions per game. He is second in the MIAA in receptions and touchdown catches and ranked sixth in receiving yards. On the season he has ten first downs and two touchdowns on 12 third down receptions and 28 of his total 39 receptions have gained either a first down on touchdown on the season. He had four catches for 79 yards at Lincon. He had six catches for 74 yards and a touchdown against Northeastern State. 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. He is a versatile athlete who caught and threw a touchdown pass in the Kanza Bowl. He had five catches for 50 yards and two carries for 19 yards at Washburn, including his second straight rushing touchdown off a direct snap. He had a career high 138 yards on nine catches at Northwest Missouri and scored a touchdown on a five yard rush. He caught five passes for 61 yards and a touchdown against Missouri Western. He had five catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns at Truman. He caught seven passes for 95 yards and a touchdown against Lindenwood. He had 97 yards on six catches at Northeastern State following a six reception, 91 yard day against Central Oklahoma. 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 150 catches for 1,902 yards and 19 touchdowns in his three seasons with the Hornets.
Receiver Kavaski Ervin (So./Mesquite, Texas) 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 before moving over to defense against Truman.
Mitchell Foote (Fr.-RS/Enid, Okla.) 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. 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.
A total of 13 players have caught at least one pass this season. Drake Smithon (So./Woodward, Okla.) has a pair of catches for 30 yards on the year. He had four catches for 34 yards last season after transferring from Oklahoma State. Dyland Walker (So./Schertz, Texas) had a 44 yard touchdown at Washburn last season.
HIGHWAY 99 ALL-STAR
H-back Josh Klumpe (Sr./Olpe, Kan.) 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 has 11 catches for 108 yards in his first three games. 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 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) caught a 37 yard touchdown pass at Lincoln. He has three catches for 62 yards on the season. He was the team MVP and earned second-team All-District honors for Azle (Texas) HS as a senior.
THAT'S A DOZIE
Running back Dozie Iwuagwa (Sr./Pittsburg, Calif.) is ranked tenth in the MIAA in rushing yards. 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 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.
BROWN AND SERVE
Running back Antonio Brown (Fr.-RS/St. Louis, Mo.) 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. He had four games with over 200 yards rushing as a senior.
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.
PUTTING IT BLUNTLY
Tackle Aaron Blount (Jr./Garland, Texas) 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.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU
Tackle Clayton Brown (Jr./Braymer, Mo.) earned Squarehead honors against Central Oklahoma. He was the Squarehead winner at Neb.-Kearney last season after transferring from Iowa Central CC.
A FEW GOOD MEN
Danny Goodman (Jr./Emporia, Kan.) has taken over the starting center spot for the Hornets and was named the Squarehead Award winner against Ft. Hays State.
OFF THE ICE
Guard Jarrett Stastny (Fr.-RS./Sanger, Texas) earned the Squarehead Award against Neb.-Kearney.
Guard Jordan McAdoo (So./Piedmont, Okla.) started eight games as well between the guard and tackle position 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.
Trey Rodgers (Sr./Collinsville, Okla.) is expected to see 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 this week.
Emporia State is ranked eighth in the nation in interceptions with nine on the year. The Hornets are ranked in the top five of the MIAA in scoring defense, pass defense efficiency, red zone defense, interceptions and turnovers forced. The Hornets are tied for the most red zone turnovers forced despite allowing the fourth fewest penetrations. Emporia State is allowing just 6.2 yards per completion on passing plays to rank second in the MIAA.
THE POST MAN
Safety Chris Poston (Sr./Oklahoma City, Okla.) is out for the Southwest Baptist game with an injury. He was on several preseason All-American watch lists. He leads the MIAA and is ranked 11th in the nation with three interceptions on the season. 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 ten career interceptions in 30 career games.
IT'S IN THE BAG
Safety Kadeem Satchell (Jr./Princeton, Texas) was credited with three tackles at Lincoln. 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. He had six total tackles in ten games as a freshman.
SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Brandon Gentz (So./Emporia, Kan.) 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 thrid 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.
CUT IT SHORT
Curtis Shorts (So./Ft. Worth, Texas) 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 BATTLE OF FIVE FORKS
Cornerback Deveon Dinwiddie (Jr./Hutchinson, Kan.) was credited with just one tackle at Lincoln, but had three punt returns for a total of 82 yards. He is ranked seventh in the nation and second in the MIAA in punt returns at 16.4 yards per return. 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 as running back 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 Julian Dozier (Sr./Round Rock, Texas) 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 was named Defensive Player of the Game by the Hornet coaches after recording seven tackles with a forced fumble against Ft. Hays State last year. He had played in 35 straight games until his injury.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE
Cornerback Gary Fortune (Sr./Indian Head, Md.) is ranked fourth in the MIAA lead and 56th in the nation in interceptions with two. 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 Neb.-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 four tackles at Southwest Baptist. He recorded five tackles and a pass break up against Lincoln. He had five tackles and a pass break up against Central Oklahoma after missing the Neb.-Kearney game with a hamstring injury. He had one tackle for loss against Ft. Hays State and added a 24 yard kick return after transferring from Ohio University.
Cornerback Jarrett Strode (So./St. Charles, Mo.) recorded four tackles and a fumble recovery at Lincoln before leaving the game with an injury. He is out for the Southwest Baptist game. 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 after earning all-district honors for Francis Howell HS in St. Charles, Mo. as a senior in high school.
Linebacker Jordan Sanders (Sr./Warner Robins, Ga.) is averaging 7.3 tackles per game over three games to rank 19th in the MIAA. 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. The ten solo tackles rank 25th in the nation for a single game this year. 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 will return to the line-up after sitting out last game. 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 191 tackles in his three years at Emporia State.
Linebacker Tariq Allen (Jr./Irving, Texas) is ranked fourth in the MIAA in solo tackles. He had three stops, including half a tackle for loss at Lincoln. He was credited with eight solo stops against Northeastern State. He had five tackles at Central Oklahoma. 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.
Linebacker Deshawn Dinwiddie (Jr./Hutchinson, Kan.) is ranked second in solo tackles and 20th in total tackles in the MIAA. He had five tackles and a pass break up at 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.) 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 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.
PILLAR OF HERCULES
Linebacker Corben Abila (So./Weatherford, Texas) 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.
REMEMBER TWO THINGS
Defensive end Aaron Mathews (Sr./McKinney, Texas) recorded five tackles, two for a loss including a sack against Northeastern State. He was also credited with three quarterback hurries on the day. He had four tackles and a fumble recovery at Central Oklahoma. He is the lone returning starter on the defensive line and 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. He had two TFL including a sack and was credited with four quarterback hurries against Lindenwood. He had three solo stops at Northeastern State.
Defensive lineman Justin Wilson (So./Luther, Okla.) 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. He had three tackles against Missouri Western. He had two solo stops, one of them a tackle for loss against Central Oklahoma. He was credited with three tackles, including a tackle for loss at Neb.-Kearney.
Defensive lineman Ryan Louia (Sr./Burlington, Kan.) 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 played in all 12 games with one start last season. He is able to use his size to break up four passes and block two kicks at the line of scrimmage. A fifth year player, he is one of the four Hornet team captains.
LONG AND SHORT OF IT
Neil Shortell (Sr./Mission Hills, Kan.) had two tackles, one of which was a sack, strip and fumble recovery at Lincoln. He has a team best four TFL for 14 yards on the season. He had 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.
BRING THE LUMBER
Defensive lineman Nick Schutte (Jr./Elk Run Heights, Iowa) had a sack and a forced fumble at Lincoln. He had his first career sack a week earlier against Northeastern State. He recorded one tackle at Ft. Hays State. He had 36 tackles, 3.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks for Ellsworth CC team that finished last season 7-4 with a win at the Graphic Edge Bowl.
Defensive lineman James Junious (So./Arlington, Texas) 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 and an Academic All-State selection for Lamar HS.
Defensive lineman Ryan Kinkaid (Kansas City, Kan.) 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 Russell Hampton (So./Ottawa, Kan.) had a solo tackle against Neb.-Kearney. He had a tackle for loss and a forced fumble against Ft. Hays State.
ISN'T THAT SPECIAL
Emporia State is ranked ninth in the nation in punts blocked and 12th in kick return defense. The Hornets have made nine of ten field goal attempts to lead the MIAA and rank fourth in the nation in makes. The Hornets had two PAT, a field goal and a punt blocked in the first three games. Emporia State is ranked 14th in the MIAA in kickoff returns.
BOOK OF ELI
Kicker Eli Kuhns (So./Copperas Cove, Texas) leads the MIAA in made field goals and field goal percentage with his nine makes in ten attempts. He ranks fourth in the nation in made field goals and is 23rd in scoring. He has made four straight field goals and 17 straight PAT. He was two of two on field goals at Central Oklahoma. He hit two field goals against Neb.-Kearney, including a season long 49 yarder. He went three for three on field goals and four of five on PATs at Ft. Hays State. He is averaging 55.4 yards per kick-off with seven touchbacks in 39 kicks. He is averaging 36.4 yards per punt with five of his 19 punts going inside the opponents 20 yard line. He was nine of 12 on field goals last season, with eight of them over 35 yards and was ranked seventh in the MIAA and 53rd in the nation in made field goals. 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 All-American Justin Gray was eight of ten from over 40 yards in 2004. He averaged 53.6 yards on kick-offs with eight touchbacks last season. He is tied for second on the Emporia State career list with 18 made field goals in just 17 games.
Kicker Kyle Savner (Sr./Basehor, Kan.) is two of two on PAT and has kicked off twice 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 will have a home game featured on the MIAA Television Network when they play host to Southwest Baptist on October 12 for Homecoming. It is just the second time in seven games that the Hornets will play 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. 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.
OUTSIDE THE CONFERENCE
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 seven 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 went 11-3 outside the league last year and are 36-6 outside the league over the last three seasons with two wins over NCAA Division I-FCS teams while five of the losses came in postseason play and the sixth by Southwest Baptist against former MIAA member Truman. Five MIAA schools are ranked this week in both the AFCA Division II Coaches and D2Football.com Media Top 25 polls.
THE NFL EXPERIENCE
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 eight losses over the last three seasons have came to teams that went a combined 77-26 overall and included seven teams ranked in the top ten of Super Region-4. The last seven 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.
Safety Chris Poston (Sr./Oklahoma City, Okla.) is out with a hand injury. Defensive back Jarrett Strode (So../St. Charles, Mo.) is out with a shoulder injury.
HEAD COACH GARIN HIGGINS
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. He is 85-47 as a head coach with a 33-38 record at his alma mater. He is 25-14 over the last four seasons and 19-4 over the last 23 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.
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.
A Hornet win would...
•make Emporia State 6-0 overall, 6-0 in the MIAA;
•make Emporia State 17-3 all-time against Southwest Baptist;
•be Emporia State's ninth straight win over Southwest Baptist;
•give Emporia State a 12-11 record in Homecoming games since joining the MIAA;
•give Emporia State two straight wins in Homecoming games for the first time since 2000-04;
•make Emporia State 6-0 for the second straight year and ninth time in school history;
•be Emporia State's eighth straight win overall dating back to last season;
•make Coach Higgins 35-38 at Emporia State and 86-47 overall.
•tie Coach Higgins for fourth on the all-time victory list at Emporia State
A Hornet loss would...
•make Emporia State 5-1 overall, 5-1 in the MIAA.
•make Emporia State 16-4 all-time against Southwest Baptist;
•snap Emporia State's eight game winning streak against Southwest Baptist;
•give Emporia State an 11-12 record in Homecoming games since joining the MIAA;
•snap Emporia State's seven game winning streak overall dating back to last season;
•make Coach Higgins 34-39 at Emporia State?and 85-48 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 18 of their last 22 games. ESU came from 17-0 at the end of the first quarter to defeat Ft. Hays State 24-17 to open the 1992 season.