No. 23 Hornets give head coach late birthday present on Homecoming

On Friday, Emporia State head football coach Garin Higgins celebrated his birthday. The No. 23 Hornets made sure he received a late birthday present Saturday as the Hornets outscored Southwest Baptist 63-17.

It was yet another record-setting afternoon for the Hornets, but after seeing several individual school and conference marks go by the wayside in past games, this time the mark that fell was a team record. ESU had 747 yards of total offense, breaking the old mark set against then-Missouri-Rolla of 703 yards in 1997.

Higgins was pleased with his team's effort.

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The Hornets scored every time they had the ball in the first half to take a 49-7 lead, powered by Brent Wilson's 385 yards and three passing touchdowns -- with seven receptions, 166 yards and two scores to Ray Ray Davis before halftime.

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Wilson gave way to Corben Jones in the third quarter. Jones threw for 116 yards and led the Hornets to two second-half scores.

ESU gained over 260 yards in the first quarter alone, scoring on long drives each time they had the ball in the period. Antonio Brown's 15-yard run put ESU on the board to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive. On the Hornets' next possession, Wilson connected with Davis on a 41-yard TD pass to make the score 14-0 and finish a four-play, 88-yard drive. Davis then scored on a 1-yard run out of the Wildcat formation to make the score 21-0.

The second quarter saw more of the same, and big scoring plays were a big part of the attack. Running back Dozie Iwaugwa scored on a 55-yard run and Wilson threw a 52-yard strike to Austin Willis as the Hornets expanded their lead to 49-7 at the break.

After a sluggish stretch for most of the third period, ESU's offense came alive again. Brown scored from four yards out late in the third. Iwaugwa scored on a 1-yard run with 6:11 left.

In all, five Hornets scored on the afternoon. Davis had three scores, while Brown and Iwaugwa each scored twice. Willis and Jordan Tice also scored.

Defensively, the Hornets bent but rarely broke, allowing 421 total yards. SBU quarterback Willie Tindal threw for 114 yards before he was injured in the second quarter. His replacement Joey Dominguez, passed for 215 yards and a score.

Josh Sanders led Emporia State with 12 tackles, including seven solo stops. Josh Monteagudo had eight tackles. Emporia High native Brandon Gentz had seven stops in his first start as safety.

The Hornets were penalized 45 yards on SBU's first scoring drive in what was a flag-filled affair. Overall, ESU was flagged 11 times for 125 yards. Southwest Baptist, meanwhile, was penalized 14 times for 131 yards.

With the victory, Emporia State moved to 6-0 overall and in the MIAA with a road game at Lindenwood on Oct. 19. Kickoff will be 1:30 pm on Mix 104.9 FM and KVOE.com. Southwest Baptist fell to 1-5 overall and 1-4 in conference play.


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MIAA Scores:

Washburn 58  Lincoln 7

Northwest Missouri State 72  Central Oklahoma 10

Fort Hays State 31  Lindenwood 17

Missouri Western 54  Northeastern State 10

Pittsburg State 31  Central Missouri 21

Missouri Southern 45  South Dakota Mines 20

Central Arkansas 31  Nebraska Kearney 0

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