Curtis Meyer reporter
Pittsburg held on to a large first half lead to get the win against Northwest, with two pivotal stops on 2-point attempts by the defense.
Northwest won the coin toss, deferring to receive the second half kick. On the second play quarterback Chad Dodson found wide receiver Kolbe Katsis for a 45-yard gain, but despite the big play they were unable to come up with any points.
The Pitt State defense came up with a 3 and out, with linebacker Morgan Selemaea pressuring Northwest’s quarterback early in the game.
The Gorilla offense struggled once again on the ensuing drive, unable to convert a third and two. The punt was blocked by Northwestern, only netting 10 yards, and giving the Bearcats excellent field position.
Once again, the defense came up with the stop, when a holding penalty went against Northwest, and they were forced another three and out.
The Gorilla offense found some life on the next drive, with Dodson completing a 17-yard pass to tight end Devon Garrison. This set up the Gorillas at the opposite 49-yard line, with Dodson giving the hand off to running back Caleb Lewis who started to run before turning around and tossing it back to Dodson.
Dodson then launched the ball down the field to wide open wide receiver Bryce Murphy, who ran it in for a touchdown. With the extra point good, the Gorillas led by 7 with the first quarter closing.
The defense forced another punt, this time ending with a sack by defensive end Keiondre Hall, one of 4 for the Gorilla defense throughout the game.
Pitt State’s offense was stifled once again, this time on a failed fourth down conversion with just one yard to go. Northwest was able to capitalize on their momentum, getting close enough to nail a 29-yard kick.
Pittsburg was unable to retake momentum on offense, with Dodson getting sacked. Northwest took the ball back, but the Gorilla defense stopped them yet again, forcing another punt.
This time Pitt State was ready. After Dodson’s first pass to wide receiver Christian Carter went backwards and the second was incomplete, the Gorillas were facing 3rd and 13. Dodson had time in the pocket and fired over the middle to Garrison on a slant route. Shedding the defender, Garrison tiptoed along the sideline to keep in bounds, then outran Northwest safety Shane Fredrickson to reach the end zone.
Northwest’s next drive ended shortly, with three incomplete passes giving the Gorillas the ball back with 1:28 left in the half. The Gorillas proceeded to drive down, scoring with just 13 seconds left on a pass from Dodson to Katsis from 3 yards out.
Pitt State led at halftime 21 to 3, and initially kept the momentum, stopping the Bearcats on fourth and two. Pitt State was forced to punt after a quick three and out.
Northwest finally found some traction, scoring on a 2-yard run by running back Jamar Moya to cut the lead to 10-21. Pitt State and Northwest both were stifled offensively for the rest of the third and into the fourth. Both teams had 7 punts for 275 plus yards.
It wasn’t until 6 minutes into the fourth that the Bearcats were able to find the endzone again, this time with them initially showing punt formation on a fourth and five then switching up the formation spreading out receivers on both sides of the hash.
Northwest attempted to go for 2, but the pass attempt was incomplete, making it 16 to 21. Pittsburg punted on the next drive, but once again the defense came up with the stop, and Pittsburg was able to score a field goal to make it an 8-point game.
With only 2:18 left in the game, Northwest drove down and scored, but the pass to tight end Cole Hembrough was ruled incomplete and with no timeouts left to challenge Northwest’s only hope was on the onside kick.
Pitt State recovered the kick and kneeled to finish the game and remain undefeated against the conference champions of the last three years. Pittsburg will play winless Lincoln University next Saturday at Lincoln, Mo.