Oct. 24, 2009 – In a game that saw five lead changes, nearly 600 total yards of rushing and back-up quarterbacks for each team contributing, the Emporia State Hornets defeated the Truman Bulldogs 30-24 in overtime at Stokes Stadium on Saturday.
Kevin Smart’s five yard touchdown run in overtime gave the Hornets their first road victory since 2006 and broke Emporia’s seven game loosing streak.
Smart finished with 206 yards rushing on 30 carries as both teams relied on the ground game after injuries sidelined both starting quarterbacks.
Vanness Emokpae led the Bulldogs with 117 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Dustin Andrews got the Hornets on the scoreboard first after Emporia recovered a Bulldog fumble in their own endzone.Andrews converted a 22 yard field goal to cap off an 11-play 75 yard drive to open the scoring.
Albert Coker gave Truman the lead with his first punt return for a touchdown this season as he went in from 48-yards out.
Late in the second quarter, the Bulldogs turned the ball over with 17 seconds left in the half as Matt Rosenhamer picked off Phillip Davis and returned the ball to the Bulldog 25.
Two plays later, Andre SloanEl found Danny McEvoy for an 18-yard touchdown pass for the 9-7 lead.
It was short lived as Ryan Ploesser blocked the extra point attempt and Terrence Byrd returned it for the defensive two-point conversion to tie the score at nine.
SloanEl hooked up with Dominic Mirocke for a 41-yard touchdown pass early in the third but Andrews, who is also the point guard on the Hornet basketball team, hit the upright on the point-after attempt.
On the ensuing drive, the Bulldogs were facing a fourth and six from the Emporia 22 when Davis’ pass fell incomplete to Phil Kenney.However, Emporia was flagged for offsides giving Truman another shot but Davis was also injured on the no play.
Emokpae came in to run the wildcat formation on fourth and one and ran 17 yards to the endzone to give the Bulldogs a 16-15 lead.
The Hornets got great field position on a kickoff out of bounds and Smart took the ball on the first play and ran 53 yards down to the Truman seven.Smart would take it the next two times to give Emporia the lead back 21-16 after the two-point try failed.
Using a combination of Emokpae and Caleb Roberts, Truman regained the lead with 6:02 to play.Emokpae got the ball down to the ESU six and on third and goal got a pass interference call to give Truman a new set of downs at the two.
Emokpae scored from two yards out and again on the two-point try to give the Bulldogs a 24-21 lead.
Sheldon Smith became Emporia’s third quarterback of the game when he took over with 4:06 to play at the Hornet 25 yardline.
Smart gained seven on a key third and five then Smith reeled off runs of 22, 10 and 15 to take the ball down to the Truman 16 yardline.Smith then completed his only pass attempt to Adam Schiltz for 12 yards down to the four.
The Bulldog defense forced Emporia to try the tying field goal as Michael Elliott, Ja’Cobe Britt and Richie Schumacher made tackles behind the line of scrimmage to bring Andrews with 21 seconds left.
Andrews made the 26 yard field goal to tie the game at 24.
Truman got the ball first in overtime and Roberts’ pass was picked off on third down by Chris Woods.
Emporia took possession and Smith moved the chains with a 10-yard run on third and nine.Smart would take the ball the next three times before finding the enzone for the victory.
The Hornets move to 2-7 on the season and 1-6 in the MIAA while the Bulldogs fall to 1-8 overall and 0-7 in the conference.
Game Notes: Emokpae became the first Bulldog since Michael Patnode in 2005 to have consecutive 100-yard rushing games…Davis was 7-of-17 for 68 yards before leaving the game in the third quarter, he was making his first start since Sept. 19…Truman rushed for a season-high 223 yards on 49 attempts…Charlie Brunette had three catches for 49 yards to lead the Bulldog receivers…Eric Phillips averaged 43.0 yards in his four punts with a long of 54…Coker’s 48-yard punt return was the second of his career and first since he did it against Missouri Southern in 2007…Truman had a season-high six turnovers and were a -5 in the turnover margin…Michael Elliott led the defense with 15 tackles while Eric Sternberg added two more sacks to his MIAA leading total of 9.5…the two teams combined for 598 yards rushing on 109 attempts…Truman was 3-of-4 in fourth down conversions.