Pitt State aims to stay hot against rival Lions

The Gorillas have beaten the Lions in 25 of the last 26 meetings.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pittsburg State Gorillas hit the road this weekend to face the rival Missouri Southern Lions.

Pittsburg State is aiming for its third straight win after topping Northeastern State and Emporia State in their last two games.

Saturday’s game will be the first meeting between the two head coaches, Brian Wright for Pitt State and Atiba Bradley for Missouri Southern. It will also be the first taste of the rivalry for a lot of new players on the Pitt State roster.

“I know it’s a long tradition,” says Pitt State cornerback Jordan Hendy, “I know there’s…I don’t want to say bad blood between us right now, but when there’s a rivalry you always want to get after it. You know about the people who have come before you who have done this for years. I’m just looking forward to being a part of it.”

“We spent quite a bit of time on Tuesday talking about the history of this game, the rivalry and what it’s meant to both programs,” says Pitt State head coach Brian Wright, “We also try to put ourselves in their shoes a little bit, and how important this game is to them and how good we’re going to have to play on Saturday.”

With the two schools being separated by just a short drive, both teams are expecting their fans to show up and be loud Saturday afternoon.

“I know this rivalry runs really deep. We’re not far apart, so I think we’re going to bring a lot of fans there,” Hendy adds, “We’re going to expect them to really have our back.”

“There’s no way that we’re going to have a hostile crowd at our house,” Bradley says of Gorilla fans traveling well to Joplin, “Part of being a competitor is being able to do it on a stage, being able to use the crowd to your advantage and being able to use that as an added tool to hype you up. But no, they wont be more hostile than The Jungle.”

“Pitt State Gorilla fans will show up like they have throughout this season,” Wright says, “I’m excited to see our fans over there and I’m excited that our players’ families have the opportunity to travel the short distance and be able to see their people play.”

Saturday’s game begins at 2 PM in Joplin.