Don Weast, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
MARYVILLE, Mo. – In a battle of top five teams the No. 4-ranked Emporia State football team fell 34-0 at No. 1 Northwest Missouri on Thursday night in Maryville, Mo. It is the first time the Hornets have been shutout in 72 games.
Both team’s defenses controlled the first quarter with Northwest Missouri taking a 3-0 lead Brett Garner 20 yard field goal with 2:02 left in the period. On the ensuing drive Emporia State drove down to the Bearcat 26 yard line and were preparing to tie the game when Austin Morton’s 43 yard field goal was blocked by Samuel Roberts and returned 69 yards by Anthony Lane to give NWMSU a 10-0 lead.
The Bearcats looked ready to score again with just over eight minutes remaining when AJ West blocked a Garner field goal attempt from 27 yards out. Northwest came back and took a 13-0 lead on Garner’s 21 yard field goal with 3:37 left.
Emporia State had a chance at the end of the half to get on the board as they drove down to the Northwest 20 yard line. With four seconds left the Hornets lined up for a 37 yard field goal, but ran a fake field goal instead. Marstall found Trenton Ball but he was tackles at the 15 yard line as time expired.
The Bearcats took control of the game in the third quarter as they took the second half kick off and drove 83 yards in eight plays to take a 20-0 lead on a six yard touchdown run by Cameron Wilcox. After a first down on the next series Emporia State was forced to punt and the Bearcats took the next drive 71 yards on five plays to go up 27-0. Jordan Grove scored the touchdown on a two yard run after taking a pass from Zach Martin 42 yards on the play before.
The final score came on a 54 yard pass from Martin to Shawn Bane with 10:30 left in the game for the final 34-0 score. Emporia State had one more chance to score with 4:39 left but Morton’s 42 yard field goal was wide right.
Marstall finished the game 13 of 28 for 135 yards and added 26 rushing yards. He connected with eight different receivers. Landon Nault was the leading rusher for the Hornets with 38 yards on 11 carries. Defensively Gabe Cleveland had a career high 19 tackles for the Hornets.
Emporia State will make their 2017 home debut on Thursday, September 7 when they play host to Neb.-Kearney. Kick-off from Jones Field at Welch Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.