November 2, 2013-In a battle of the top two teams in the nation in turnover margin #14 Emporia State forced six turnovers to come out on top of a 35-30 win at #12 Missouri Western. The Hornets Gary Fortune picked off Travis Partridge in the endzone with 11 seconds left to seal the win.
Neither team scored in the first quarter, the first time the Hornets had been held scoreless in the opening frame this season. Emporia State finally got on the board with 13:18 left in the half when Brent Wilson found Kavaski Ervin for a 13 yard score. The Hornet defense then forced a punt to get the ball back. Dozie Iwaugwu scored from 22 yards out to cap a five play, 79 yard drive for a 14-0 lead with 8:31 left. Dominic Thomas fumbled the ensuing kick-off and Deveon Dinwiddie recovered it at the Western 19 yard line. Three plays later Iwaugwu scored from six yards out for a 21-0 lead with 7:44 remaining in the half.
Western, the defending MIAA Champions, got on the board with an eight yard touchdown pass from Partridge to Alek Ferbet with 3:33 left in the half. After a three and out by the Hornets, the Griffs took over at their own nine yard line with 1:59 left. They drove down to the Hornet 23 yard line when Tariq Allen sacked Partridge for a loss of seven back to the 30 yard line. John Schmiemeier then nailed a 47 yard field goal to make the score 21-10 at the break.
Dalton Krysa pulled the Griffs to within 21-17 to open the third quarter with a two yard touchdown run. Western would take their first lead at 24-21 on their first drive of the fourth quarter when Partridge hit Stephon Weaver in the enzone from 30 yards out on third and 27.
The Hornets answered with a 12 play, 75 yard drive highlighted by a 30 yard run from Antonio Brown. Wilson was four of six for 27 yards on the drive including a one yard pass to Ervin for 28-24 lead with 7:08 left in the game.
Josh Monteagudo intercepted Partridge on the following drive to set the Hornets up at the Griffon 49 yard line. A 27 yard pass from Wilson to Ervin was followed by a 21 yard rush from Brown to set the Hornets up at the one yard line. Wilson then hit Davis in the corner for his school record 30th touchdown pass of the season and a 35-24 lead with 4:20 left.
Partridge then marched the Griffons down the field and scored on a two yard run with 2:46 left. The two point conversion pass failed and the Hornets led 35-30.
After a nine yard run by Brown Wilson's second down pass was tipped and intercepted by Michael Jordan who then fumbled the ball only to have it recovered by the Griffs Marc Harrison with 2:05 remaining.
Western drove down to the Hornet six yard line with 16 seconds left when Fortune intercepted Partridge in the endzone and returned it 25 yards with 11 seconds left. After two kneel downs the Hornets had their first win over a ranked team since 2003 and moved to 8-0 for the second straight year.
Wilson was 19 of 32 for 159 yards and three touchdowns through the air and added 39 yards on ten rushes on the ground. Brown finished the game with 14 carries for 109 yards while Iwaugwu had 43 yards on seven carries and two touchdowns. Davis had nine catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. Ervin finished with four receptions for 45 yards and two scores.
Tariq Allen had 12 tackles, a sack and an interception while Monteagudo had 12 tackles and an interception to lead the Hornet defense. Fortune and Chris Poston both had six tackles and an interceptions as well for the Hornets.
The win sets up the first November matchup of undefeated teams at Welch Stadium since Emporia State moved to Division II. Second ranked Northwest Missouri defeated Washburn 52-21 to move to 9-0 on the season. Kick-off from Jones Field at Welch Stadium is set for 1:00 p.m. on November 9. It will be Veteran's Appreciation Day in the founding city of Veteran's Day.
It was the first win over a ranked team by Emporia State since a 22-20 win at #4 Pittsburg State on Oct. 18, 2003.
It is the first time Emporia State has defeated a ranked team other than Pittsburg State since the AFCA began their ranking system in 2000.
Davis moved into fifth in career catches at Emporia State with 177 to pass Shjuan Richardson who had 169.
Wilson broke Tyler Eckenrode's school record for touchdown passes and now has 30 on the season.