Players compete for quarterback position

| Charles A. Ault, sports editor | Three PSU football players are competing to take the place of Anthony Abenoja as starting quarterback. Junior Ramsey Hamilton, sophomore Thomas LePage and freshman John Roderique Jr. are trying to prove their worth to the coaches to earn the position Abenjoa has held for the past five years. The competitors have a lot to live up to. Abenoja, who was named MIAA offensive player of the year in 2014, holds PSU’s top five single-game passing records. Last season he passed for 3,871 and 32 touchdowns and he holds the NCAA DII record for passes without an interception at 314. However, after three years captaining the Gorillas offense, he…

Plans adjusted for new home game

| Marcus Clem guest writer | Pittsburg State has applied several slight changes to sales and scheduling for home football games that are set to begin in September. Most students are unaffected by these changes as they may still attend all home games for free, without a reserved seat. As usual, later arrivals may be restricted to standing room only except in the event of a complete sellout at Carnie Smith Stadium. Most relevant to students is the new sixth home game on Saturday, Oct. 17, vs. Northwest Missouri State. The university added this game following the 2013 final showdown of the Fall Classic series at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The Northwest Bearcats won…

PSU Football announces 2015 signing class

| Michael Bauer Sports Editor | Thirty-one high school seniors and one transfer have signed their letters of intent to join the Pittsburg State football team for the 2015 season. The list of the PSU 2015 recruiting class is as follows: Carter Anchors linebacker, six foot one, 190 pounds from Kansas City, Mo. William Bazzle IV, defensive back, six foot two, 180 pounds from Kansas City, Mo. Edmund Bingaman, defensive lineman, six-foot-four, 215 pounds from Overland Park. Tyler Brave, offensive lineman, six-foot-four, 285 pounds from Lake St. Louis, Mo. Nathaniel Brown, linebacker, five-foot-11, 200 pound from Pittsburg. Jacob Carpenter, linebacker, six-foot-two, 220 pounds from Humboldt. Connor Cherry, defensive lineman, six-foot-four, 245 pounds from Lawton, Okla….

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…