Pitt State breaks Bronchos

Carla Wehmeyer/Pittsburg State University
By: Brian Pommier, Team Kong Contributor
Sep 14, 2013

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EDMOND, Okla. -- The Pittsburg State Gorillas continued their march through the state of Oklahoma with a 65-24 blasting of the Central Oklahoma Bronchos.


In a word, this was a methodical game for the No. 16 Gorillas, who put up 599 yards of total offense -- 361 yards rushing and 238 through the air -- and kept UCO running back Josh Birmingham in check long enough to build an insurmountable 34-3 halftime lead before cruising to a 2-0 record.


PSU quarterback Anthony Abenoja had a solid night, throwing for 211 yards on 19-of-24 passing and adding another 55 yards rushing. Abenoja threw for three touchdowns and ran for another.


Running back Jeff Seybold added 59 yards on 15 carries, and Bre Holman ran for 66 yards in relief. In fact, four Gorillas ran for more than 50 yards in amassing the 361 rushing yards.


Not only that, but eight Pitt State receivers caught passes Saturday night. John Brown, Seybold and Levi Kuntzsch all caught four passes each, and Gavin Lutman added three more for 50 yards.


PSU head coach Tim Beck said that diversity is what is making the Gorillas’ offense tough to stop.


“Eventually we wore them out a little by mixing things up and keeping them off balance,” Beck said. “We might not have gotten John (Brown) as many touches as we need to, but that’s OK. When you score that many points, you’re doing something right.”


The Gorillas scored first on a 15-yard run by Abenoja that capped a 5-play, 70-yard drive, then scored again late in the first quarter on a 1-yard run by Seybold.


Abenoja then hit Conner Combes for a 17-yard touchdown pass early in the second and also threw a scoring pass to Brown from 14 yards out. Seybold added another short TD plunge as the Gorillas took their commanding 34-3 lead into the locker room.


Heading into halftime, the Pitt State defense had held Birmingham -- an All-MIAA running back for the Bronchos a year ago -- to less than 45 yards rushing. But in the second half, he broke loose. Birmingham scored on a 73-yard run on UCO’s first play from scrimmage in the second half, then scored later in the game on a 16-yard run. On the night, Birmingham rushed for 152 yards and caught five balls for 40 yards.


“Defensively, it leaves a sour taste after that long run in the second half,” Beck said. “Honestly, I was really concerned about that running back. We did a good job of getting a lot of people to him to corral him in the first half. He’s a scary player, and he showed us what he can do in the second half.”


The Gorillas will now need to turn their attention to the Southwest Baptist Bearcats, who lost 35-27 at Lindenwood. PSU will host the Bearcats at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Carnie Smith Stadium.


“I told the team tonight,” Beck said. “We need to put this in perspective. We have to bear down and take it one day at a time this week. We didn’t have a tremendous practice Tuesday or Wednesday. It was hot out and everyone was kinda blah.


“We need a good week of practice.”


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