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Gorillas lose heartbreaker to Bearcats

The Pittsburg State Football team tackles Northwest Missouri while playing defense in their game on Oct. 9. Image Courtesy of Sarah Wall

The Pittsburg State football team lost to the Bearcats of Northwest Missouri State by a score of 19-20 on Sat. Oct. 9. 

The Bearcats are always a tall task for any team to defeat, and that was proven to be true on Saturday. The Gorillas haven’t defeated the Bearcats since 2017, but they put up as good of a fight as anyone. The winner of this game took sole possession of first place in the MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association). 

If you only look at the statistics, you’d think Pitt State won. The Gorillas outplayed the Bearcats in almost every category, and it still wasn’t enough to defeat NWMSU. 

“It’s definitely a tough pill to swallow,” said senior running back Tyler Adkins. “Big game, playing Northwest, it hurts the heart a little bit, but try not to dwell on it too bad. You just got to learn from it and move forward.”

The Gorillas were the first to score after a 20-yard touchdown pass from Mak Sexton to Kaizer Newell at the 10:08 mark in the first quarter. The touchdown topped off a 10 play, 83 yard drive. 

The Gorillas would go on to make two field goals during the first half as well, one being a 53 yarder from kicker Cross Holmes, and went into halftime with a 13-0 lead to the no. 2 nationally ranked Bearcats. 

The Gorillas weren’t going to back down, and that showed after an interception by Alex Gaskill on the first play of the second half, giving the Gorillas the ball at the NWMSU 35-yard line.

“Couldn’t start any better than that,” said head coach Brian Wright. “Felt good coming out of the locker room, felt like we made some pretty good adjustments. Great play by Alex on that turnover and really set us up for good field position.”

This lead to another field goal by Cross Holmes to give the Gorillas a 16-0 lead.

Everybody knew that the Bearcats weren’t going to give up, and they came storming back. 

The Bearcats would go on to score their first touchdown of the day at the 7:59 mark in the third quarter, but Pitt State came back with another field goal, the score now being 19-7 with just under four minutes to go in the third quarter. 

The Gorillas would go scoreless the rest of the game, and NWMSU would go on to score 13 straight points to take the lead at 19-20. 

The Gorillas had one last opportunity with under a minute left, lining up a 44 yard field goal that would have put the Gorillas up by two, but just barely missed. The Bearcats would go on to let the clock run out, winning by just one point. 

“It’s never going to come down to that one kick or one play,” Wright said. “We had a handful of them in all phases of the game that we need to do better to win that football game.”

The Gorillas will move on and face the Blue Tigers of Lincoln University for Homecoming, on Oct. 16. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office in the Weede, students getting one free ticket with their student ID. 

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