The Pittsburg State football team lost their home opener to the University of Nebraska Kearney by a score of 28-17 last Saturday, Sept. 11.
After leading 17-7 going into halftime, the Gorillas were held scoreless the rest of the game while the Lopers of Kearney came out swinging in the second half.
“It was a tale of two halves, and I thought we came out strong at the beginning but didn’t finish in the second half and we have to learn from that and get better,” head coach Brian Wright said.
On offense, the Gorillas felt like they had the advantage early with their inside run game. Execution and having the ability to continue to take control 0f drives is where the Gorillas ran into some issues.
The Lopers took an early lead after a pass to Cody Johnson reached the endzone, but the Gorillas went on a 17-0 run to finish out the half.
A field goal by Jaden Snyder put the first points on the board for the Gorillas, followed by a touchdown by Tyler Adkins and a 17 yard touchdown pass from Mak Sexton to Jalen Martin before halftime.
The Gorilla defense also looked to be very strong early-on, only allowing seven points through the first half, including a scoreless second quarter for the Lopers. That all changed after halftime and the Lopers scored 21 unanswered points to lead them to victory.
Running a very unique offense, the Lopers ran a spread option offense that was tough to stop for the Gorillas. Attempting to replicate an opposing team’s offense is a primary focal point when preparing for games, and that was difficult to do for the Gorillas when preparing for the Lopers.
“To be able to simulate all the looks like the blocking schemes up front, how fast those guys are coming out of the back field on some of those play action passes is tough to do sometimes,” Coach Wright said.
Senior defensive end Kaden Roy felt that even though losing is never easy, the team will take this as a learning experience and move on.
“I think the first thing is moving on,” Roy said. “I mean, the good thing about the MIAA is there’s no bye weeks so we go straight on into the next week so there’s no time to think about it.”
This week’s focal point for the Gorillas will more than likely revolve around making sure to execute at a high level at all times and making sure to keep their feet on the gas for all four quarters.
“Nose back to the grindstone,” Roy said. “We can’t do anything about it now and we got to move on. I think our guys are hungry, especially coming off a game like that.”
The Gorillas will head to Tahlequah, Oklahoma this week to take on the Riverhawks of Northeastern State University. There next home game will be Sept. 25 against Emporia State and will be Pitt State’s family weekend game.