Gorillas bash Lions, 49-20

Southern´s defense exchanges words with some Pittsburg State University Gorillas after a play.

Southern´s defense exchanges words with some Pittsburg State University Gorillas after a play.

For the second-straight week, the Missouri Southern football team will face a top-10 nationally-ranked team.

This will also be the 11th year Southern has faced the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats the week after facing the Pittsburg State University Gorillas.

On Sept. 17, PSU defeated the Lions 49-20. The Lions’ record fell to 2-2 and 1-1 in the MIAA with that loss.

“Obviously, playing those teams early in the year back-to-back should help make you stronger in the long run as a football team,” said John Ware, head football coach. “It’s hard to ascertain as a coach after a team has come off a tough loss, but it seems our team has handled it pretty well, and they seem to be bouncing back.”

Jake Long, junior linebacker, said the loss was a tough one.

“This is what college football is all about, playing these big games in front of big crowds,” Long said.

Against the Gorillas, Long earned seven tackles, second only to Jason Phelps, senior linebacker, who had eight.

Ben Augustin, junior cornerback, recorded six tackles.

T.J. Onstott, senior strong safety, and Jordan Chapman, junior free safety, both earned five tackles and both had an interception.

Keith Wyatt, freshman cornerback, also grabbed an interception.

“When we play a good football team like Pittsburg State, or when we play a good football team like Northwest, it’s an opportunity for us to do everything right,” said Scott Hazelton, co-defensive coordinator. “And when we don’t do something right against good team teams, they hurt you.”

Offensively, freshman quarterback Adam Hinspeter completed 20 passes out of 31 for 244 yards and one touchdown.

Sophomore wide receiver Colin Bado caught 11 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. Dustin Bromley, senior wide receiver, caught four passes for 46 yards.

On the ground, junior running back Dartangan Johnson carried the ball 20 times for 73 yards.

Keeth Matheny, offensive coordinator, said the problem against PSU was getting the ball into the end zone.

“We just didn’t cash in like we should have,” Matheny said. “We were productive throwing the ball and just didn’t cash in.”

Johnson will start against NWMSU Saturday, taking the starting position from Wentric Williams, junior running back, but the two will continue to rotate in every few series.

“I think Dartangan will get a little bit more carries this week because he’s just been doing well in practice and also standing out in the games,” Ware said. “I felt like he’s been a little bit more productive at this point.”

Ware said the key to the Bearcats’ defense is their defensive line.

“Your first priority really has to be to protect the passer, and if you can do that all the other things fall into place,” he said. “Obviously, if you can be effective at running the ball against a team like Northwest, it takes some pressure off your quarterback.”

Matheny said a balanced offense is important against NWMSU.

“You’ve got to find a way to both run and throw the ball against them in order to keep them from being able to tee off on your quarterback or load up against your run-game,” he said.

“We’re just glad we have the opportunity to take chances and beat a team of that status and get a big win,” Long said.

The Lions and the Bearcats will face off Saturday in Maryville.