Gorillas rebound in a big way

Photo courtesy of PSU Athletics
By: Brian Pommier, Team Kong Contributor
Oct 26, 2013

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A year ago, the Pittsburg State Gorillas lost to Northwest Missouri State at Arrowhead after a heartbreaking second half. The next week, the Missouri Western Griffons came to Carnie Smith Stadium and put a 63-14 beatdown on the reeling Gorillas and effectively ended PSU’s playoff hopes.
A week ago, the Pittsburg State Gorillas lost to Northwest Missouri State at Arrowhead after a heartbreaking second half. The next week, they rebounded for a gutty 34-14 win over the No. 4 Griffons and kept their playoff hopes alive.
For Pittsburg State, the second scenario is much more pleasant.
The Gorillas -- who watched helplessly as their vaunted running game was held to just 27 yards by the Bearcats -- rushed for 275 yards against Western. Sophomore running back Jeff Seybold ran 24 times for 179 yards and three touchdowns.
“It’s great to get our offense rolling,” Seybold said. “It lets everyone know we are back.”
The Gorillas jumped out to a 10-0 lead on a 41-yard field goal by Connor Frazell and then a 23-yard touchdown run by Seybold with 11:27 left in the first half. 
But then Western got on the board when Travis Partridge hit Reggie Jordan for a 67-yard touchdown pass that was just over the hands of PSU’s Keeston Terry.
“It was an outstanding job by our defense,” PSU head coach Tim Beck said. “They got that one long pass play, but Keeston was in very good position. That’s really about all they got.
Pitt State responded with a long drive that gave them a first-and-goal about 18 inches from the goal line. However, the clock only had two seconds left. Beck said it was tempting to try for the touchdown there, but Frazell kicked a 22-yard field goal instead, giving the Gorillas a 13-7 lead going into halftime.
Then came possibly the most important play of the game. Pitt State safety Jason Peete blocked a 52-yard field goal attempt by John Schmiemeier, then scooped the ball and ran it in for a touchdown to give Pitt State a 20-7 lead.
The Gorillas added another touchdown early in the fourth quarter, before Partridge led the Griffons down the field and eventually found Reggie Jordan for a 14-yard touchdown.
But Seybold put the game out of reach on the Gorillas’ first play of the next drive, running for 51 yards. Two plays later, he scampered in from six yards out for the final margin.
The offensive line -- which was much-maligned after last week’s game -- not only opened holes for the backs, but also didn’t allow a sack of Anthony Abenoja a game after giving up five.
“We were able to get something established,” PSU head coach Tim Beck said of the running attack. “That allowed our offensive coaches to keep them a little off balance. The offensive line gave the backs some holes and, boy was it nice to see them wear them down.”
The month of October was by far the most difficult stretch for the Gorillas, starting with FCS-member Abilene Christian at Carnie Smith Stadium, then going to Central Missouri, playing Northwest at Arrowhead and then ending with this game at St. Joseph.
“We’re done with the month of October,” said linebacker Nate Dreiling, who recorded 11 tackles and is now just 14 stops away from setting the PSU career record for tackles. “It was the hardest part of our season, so now we can regroup.”
Pitt will now turn its attention to the Northwest Oklahoma State Rangers, who will come into Carnie Smith Stadium next week at 2 p.m.

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