PSU set for another sellout against Bearcats

By: Brian Pommier, Team Kong Contributor
Sep 20, 2013

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Remember when a person could just walk up to the ticket window at Carnie Smith Stadium, buy a ticket and walk to the stands?


Those days appear to be over.


The Pittsburg State Gorillas -- the No. 14-ranked team in NCAA Division II -- will be playing in front of a sellout crowd Saturday night at 7 p.m. when they take on the winless Southwest Baptist Bearcats.


This marks the sixth sellout crowd in the last two seasons.


The Gorillas raved about the crowd two weeks ago after they destroyed the Northeastern State RiverHawks in the season-opener -- again, in front of a sold-out crowd.


“Finally, we got a home-opener,” said PSU linebacker Nate Dreiling, who is 69 tackles shy of setting PSU’s all-time record. “I’ve been here four years and we hadn’t had one yet. The atmosphere was just electric, and we couldn’t have asked for anything better.”


Pitt State enters the game after two fairly drama-free victories -- 45-6 over the RiverHawks and 65-24 over Central Oklahoma a week ago. The Bearcats, on the other hand, dropped their season-opener against Truman, 40-37, before losing by eight against Lindenwood in Bolivar, Mo.


Even more, the Gorillas haven’t lost to Southwest Baptist since the two schools began playing in 1989.

So should fans be concerned about Pitt State possibly looking past the Bearcats?


Not if you look at the stats.


Southwest Baptist features the top passing attack in the MIAA, with quarterback Willie Tindal averaging a league-high 350 yards a game. Tindal’s favorite target is junior Derwyn Lauderdale, who has caught 19 balls for 338 yards and three of Tindal’s five touchdowns.


“He’s extremely athletic,” said linebacker Joe Windscheffel of Tindal. “We have to keep eyes on him the whole time and not lose him. He’ll tuck it and run at any time and he throws real well, too. It’s going to be a challenge.”


The SBU offense will be a good test for the Gorillas, who boast the second-best passing defense in the conference, allowing only an average of 160 yards through the air.


And the Bearcats may be able to move the ball in the passing game, but SBU is averaging just 98 yards on the ground.


Pittsburg State has the best running game in the conference, averaging 357 yards a game, with running back Jeff Seybold putting together a couple of breakout games and averaging 95.5 yards per contest.


And the Gorillas aren’t bad at the forward pass, either. Quarterback Anthony Abenoja has found a stable of able receivers -- most notably, John Brown -- and is PSU is averaging 233 yards in the passing game.


Brown already is PSU’s all-time leader in receptions with 134 and lacks 207 receiving yards to pass Ronnie West atop that category.


Saturday’s game is officially a sell-out. There won’t be any walk-up ticket sales, but the will-call ticket booths will be manned for those fans who purchased advance tickets and for players’ families.


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