Playoff run ends in Minnesota

| Michael Bauer sports editor | Senior quarterback Anthony Abenoja dropped back on the Gorillas’ first play in overtime and threw to the end zone where freshman running back Michael Rose was standing for a potential game-winning touchdown. Instead, Minnesota State linebacker Tyler Henderson picked off Abenoja’s pass to ice the game and end the Gorillas’ season with a 24-21 overtime loss to the Mavericks in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 29, in Mankato, Minn. “It was two very evenly matched teams,” said Tim Beck, head coach, in his post game interview with KKOW. “They play a very physical style of football. Our guys rose to the occasion…

Routed out

Gorillas share MIAA title | Michael Bauer sports editor | With the conference championship and a spot in the playoffs on the line, the Pittsburg State Gorillas needed a win against the Central Oklahoma Bronchos Saturday, Nov. 15, to close out the regular season in Edmond, Okla. That need was met. The Pitt State football team (10-1) claimed a share of the MIAA conference title by blowing out Central Oklahoma (8-3), 41-14 on Saturday, allowing the team to advance to the NCAA Division II national playoffs. With the win, Pitt State will share the conference title with Northwest Missouri State. Both teams finished with the same record. “We want them to enjoy it,” said Tim…

Senior survival

| Michael Bauer Sports Editor | Just when it appeared that Pitt State would suffer another Senior Day heartbreak, the Gorilla football team pasted together a comeback victory, 38-31, against the Central Missouri Mules at Carnie Smith Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 8. Junior running back Jamal Tyler’s 23-yard touchdown run with 2:04 left in the game broke the late deadlock and the PSU defense held UCM’s high-powered offense to keep Pitt State’s playoff hopes alive, heading into the final week of the regular season. There were four ties and five lead changes total in the Gorillas’ final home game of the season. “For our guys to step up and overcome those deflating plays, it just…

Miners Bowl win

| Michael Bauer Sports Editor | The Pittsburg State Gorilla football team showed the Missouri Southern State Lions just how much last year’s loss felt by blowing out the Lions, 41-10 at Fred G. Hughes Stadium in Joplin, Mo., on Saturday, Nov. 1. The seventh-ranked Gorillas (8-1) scored 41 unanswered points after an early 3-0 deficit to avenge last year’s 35-21 loss to the Lions (4-5) in the Miners Bowl Series. MSSU entered the game with the leading rushing unit in the MIAA and was seventh in the nation in rushing yards, averaging 306 yards per game. But the PSU defense held MSSU to only 81 yards on the ground. “Their fullbacks are great runners,”…

Football faces UNK, first time in nine years

| Michael Bauer sports editor | It’s been nine years since the Pittsburg State Gorillas have faced the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers. The last time the two teams faced, the Gorillas sent the Lopers packing with a 49-20 win in the first-round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Fast forward to 2014 and things have changed a little bit. Nebraska-Kearney has since joined the MIAA conference, switching allegiance in 2012 and has since found life difficult. The Lopers have compiled an 8-21 record since 2012. The Lopers will enter the jungle for this Saturday’s 2 p.m. kickoff with a 2-5 record this year, coming in with a two-game winning streak, striking Northeastern State, 34-7 and Lindenwood 31-13….

Streak broken

Gorillas snap NWMSU’s 21-game winning stretch | Michael Bauer sports editor | By the time Pittsburg State scored its fourth touchdown in the first half, the Gorillas were well on their way to erasing two years of frustration against the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats, on Saturday, Oct. 18, in Maryville, Mo. Two consecutive on-side kick-offs recovered by the Gorillas helped PSU (6-1) to a 28-0 second quarter lead and a final score of 35-17, ending NWMSU’s 21-game winning streak and creating a two-way tie for first place in the MIAA standings. “We are absolutely thrilled,” said Tim Beck, head coach, in his post-game interview with Eddie Lomshek of KKOW. “They’re a great football team. There…

MIAA Division 2 players of the week

Frazell earns accolades for football | Michael Bauer Sports Editor | Senior field-goal kicker Connor Frazell was named the MIAA Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday, Oct. 6. Frazell, from Iola, booted three field goals to help the Gorillas to a 23-13 win over the Missouri Western State Griffons on Saturday, Oct. 4, in St. Joseph, Mo. Frazell kicked field goals of 25, 25 and 34 yards in the game. His first kick gave the Gorillas a 17-10 lead in the second quarter. Frazell was the only player to get on to the scoreboard in the second half from either team with his 25-yard kick in the third quarter and a 34-yarder in…

Back in the game

Offense recovers in 23-13 win | Michael Bauer sports editor | Pitt State’s offense scored two first-quarter touchdowns while the defense held the Missouri Western State Griffons scoreless in the second half in a 23-13 win on Saturday, Oct. 4, in St. Joseph, Mo. Pittsburg State’s offense, which last week was limited to only six points against Fort Hays State, took only six minutes to set things straight with senior quarterback Anthony Abenoja connecting with junior running back Jamal Tyler for a 15-yard touchdown early in the game. Four minutes later, Abenoja scored off a 5-yard run and senior kicker Connor Frazell’s leg did the rest of the work for the Gorillas with three field…

Stunned…

Tigers take Gorillas 7-6 | Michael Bauer sports editor | One touchdown. That was all the Tigers needed to upset the Gorillas 7-6 at Carnie Smith Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 27, in the team’s first victory over Pitt State since 1978. As 11,489 fans witnessed, eighth-ranked PSU was held to its lowest home score in 23 years. Fort Hays State quarterback Traveon Albert heaved a 44-yard pass that was ruled intercepted by Pitt State’s senior cornerback De’Vante Bausby at the PSU 3-yard line and then fumbled into the end zone where FHSU receiver Ed Williams recovered the loose ball for a touchdown on the game’s opening drive. PSU was limited to only two field goals…

Defense records second shutout in 42-0 romp

| Michael Bauer sports editor | The Pittsburg State defense has fared well in its 2014 campaign, adding its second shutout of the season to the record with a 42-0 win over the Washburn Ichabods on Saturday, Sept. 20, in Topeka. In the second quarter, with the Gorillas leading 21-0, the Ichabods had the ball on the Pitt State 1-yard line with four downs to score. All four plays went to waste as Pitt State stuffed Washburn on a goal-line stand and the Ichabods turned the ball over on downs. “The defensive goal-line stand was absolutely phenomenal,” said Tim Beck, head coach, in his post-game interview with KKOW. The first three plays went up the…