#14 Gorillas hold off Emporia State, take over 1st place in MIAA

Pitt State tops Emporia State 14-13 Saturday to get to 4-0 this season.
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PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pittsburg State Gorillas are all alone at the top of the MIAA standings.

The 14th-ranked Gorillas held off Emporia State 14-13 on Saturday afternoon to get to 4-0 this season. Caleb Lewis rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown, while Bryce Murphy caught 7 passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Mlekus, Alex Gaskill and PJ Sarwinski each had 6 tackles to lead the Pitt State defense.

#2 Northwest Missouri State dropped their week four game to Central Oklahoma on Saturday, leaving Pitt State as the lone undefeated team remaining in the MIAA.

Pittsburg State will host Missouri Southern next Saturday at 2 PM.


The Pittsburg State University offense ran off the final 8:10 of game clock and the Gorillas defense held Emporia State University scoreless in the second half to preserve a 14-13 victory Saturday (Sept. 24) at Welch Stadium.

Caleb Lewis, who rushed for a game-high 117 yards in the contest, capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive on the first possession of the third quarter to give Pitt State a 14-13 lead, after trailing 13-7 to the Hornets at halftime.

ESU kicker Sam Dobbins missed a pair of go-ahead field goal attempts in the second half, a 26-yard try midway through the third quarter and a 39-yard attempt with 8:10 to play in the game. He also missed a PAT try in the second quarter that forced the Hornets to settle for a 13-7 lead against the Gorillas at the time.

No. 14 ranked Pitt State (4-0, 4-0 MIAA) converted four of five fourth-down attempts in the contest, including a pivotal 4th-and-1 conversion at the PSU 31 yard line with 5:43 to play in the game. Lewis rushed for seven yards on the play after the Gorillas elected not to punt the ball away to the Hornets.

The Gorillas converted another 4th down play on the final drive to seal the win. Pitt State faced 4th-and-2 at the ESU 31 with 1:10 to go and ESU’s Derrick Maxwell was called for defensive holding to give the Gorillas a first down.

Chad Dodson Jr. completed 24 of 39 passes for 239 yards in the contest, including a four-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Murphy on the Gorillas’ opening offensive series of the game.

Murphy caught seven passes for 67 yards, while Devon Garrison added three grabs for 62 yards.

Lewis carried the ball 19 times for 117 yards, including a 54-yard scamper on the Gorillas’ opening drive that helped set up Dodson’s TD pass to Murphy.

Antione Nunn Jr. secured an interception in a second straight game for the Gorillas and he added a pair of pass breakups.

Luke Jennings and Trent Thompson each posted quarterback sacks. Thompson’s sack came on ESU’s final offensive series with the Hornets facing a 1st-and-10 at the Pitt State 15 yard line. His seven-yard drop of quarterback Braden Gleason backed up the Hornets and forced them to try the field goal attempt by Dobbins.

Brandon Mlekus, Alex Gaskill and P.J. Sarwinski each were credited with six tackles in the game for the Gorillas.

Pitt State will return to the friendly confines of Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium to host MIAA rival Missouri Southern State University next Saturday (Oct. 1) at 2 p.m.