Emporia State gets ready to take on Washburn in Turnpike Tussle

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 5:23 PM CDT
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EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) - Emporia State football will travel to Topeka on Saturday afternooon to take on Washburn in the Turnpike Tussle.

The last time the two met, the Hornets sealed a 35-30 win over the Ichabods at Welch Stadium, but now it’s on Washburn’s home turf. The Hornets are coming off a 14-13 loss to the then raked No. 14 Pitt State Gorillas, and are 2-2 on the season. Washburn is coming off a 38-35 OT win over Missouri Western and are 3-1.

“It’s a rivalry game, yeah they’re two good teams coming in and playing each other, but at the end of the day it’s just the game we grew up loving to play,” linebacker Dawson Hammes said. “You take that approach, relax, do our thing, and I think it’s just another game.”

Emporia State is focused on bouncing back from that week four loss. Quarterback Braden Gleason currently leads the MIAA in passing yards, while Washburn QB Kellen Simoncic is just behind him in 2nd place.

Both head coaches have a lot of experience playing each other. ESU Head Coach Garin Higgins recognizes the many similarities between the two teams, and knows it will be a good fight.

”They’ve not changed much. Yeah, a few little things here and there, both on offense and defense,” said Coach Higgins. “But for the most part, they are who they are and they do it well. And I think they would say the same thing about us. They know what they’re gonna get when they play us offensively and defensively.”

Kickoff is set for 4:00 p.m. at Yager Stadium.