PSU romps Lincoln 59-7 on Homecoming

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Oct. 17—Gorilla faithful couldn't ask for much more on Homecoming.

The Pittsburg State football team opened the game with 24 unanswered points and steamrolled Lincoln 59-7 on a warm October Saturday afternoon at Carnie Smith Stadium.

"It was a good day for the Gorillas," PSU head football coach Brian Wright said on a postgame radio broadcast. "We came out focused. Our attention to detail was good. We executed well for the most part. We got a little sloppy at the end of the first half, but I'm proud of how we came out in the second half and finished them off."

The Gorillas bounced back in a big way after nearly knocking off No. 2 Northwest Missouri last week. In fact, Washburn upset Northwest 17-16 on Saturday, handing the Bearcats their first loss of the season.

With 5-2 records, PSU and the Ichabods sit tied for third place in the MIAA standings. The Gorillas will host Washburn on Nov. 6.

As for the team's romping over Lincoln, PSU quarterback Mak Sexton got it done with both his legs and his arm to spark the Gorillas in the first quarter.

The redshirt sophomore got PSU on the board with a 27-yard touchdown run at the 10:27 mark. Then less than three minutes later, Sexton fired a 29-yard touchdown strike to Bryce Murphy to stretch the Gorillas lead to 14-0.

And then came the fireworks.

Sexton connected deep with Pittsburg High School product Elijah Harris for a 74-yard touchdown pass as PSU's lead ballooned to 21-0 before the end of the first stanza. The Gorillas' kicker Cross Holmes capped PSU's scorching start with a 21-yard field goal at the 14:10 mark in the second quarter.

The Blue Tigers didn't score their first touchdown until the 7:40 mark in the second quarter when Hosea Franklin punched in a two-yard run to cap an 11-play, 75 yard drive to cut PSU's lead to 24-7.

But the Gorillas were off to the races from there. PSU closed out the game with 35 unanswered points to build a 52-point advantage.

Sexton existed the game following three series of action for the Gorillas. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 151 yards. Backup quarterbacks Matt Harman and Chad Dodson Jr. went a combined 9 of 12 in passing for 93 yards.

Dodson tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Harris, who finished with three catches for 96 yards. The quarterback then added a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kaizer Newell.

Running backs Noah Hernandez and Adam Albertini added second half scoring runs.

Hernandez plowed into the end zone from five yards out on the final play of the third quarter, while Albertini capped the day's scoring with a 52-yard burst with 2:40 to play in the game.

And Harman also chipped in with a one-yard touchdown plunge.

"Those (backups) work so hard," Wright said. "They have the respect of this football team because of who they are and how they work. Everybody on the football team respects them. It's great to see our team connected like that and happy for others' success. It was a lot of fun."

The Gorillas limited Lincoln to 229 total yards in the game, including just 92 passing yards.

Former Webb City standout Kaden Roy made a team-high seven tackles, while Galena product P.J. Sarwinski registered five stops with a quarterback sack and three tackles for loss. Cornerback Jordan Hendy and safety Brandon Mlekus (Frontenac) each snared interceptions.

Adam Smith also blocked a punt for the Gorillas.

PSU travels to play at Missouri Western at 4 p.m. next Saturday.

"All we can do is just focus on ourselves and work to get better each week," Wright said. "We're working to go 1-0 each week. We have put ourselves in this situation with two losses, but all we can do now is go 1-0 each week and set ourselves up with nine wins, see where that takes us."

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