Ichabods Fall In Season Opener

The Washburn Ichabod football played No. 4-ranked Pittsburg State Gorillas to a touchdown after 30 minutes, but the Gorillas scored on three-straight drives adding a defensive score as Washburn fell 34-7 in the season opener on Thursday. The Ichabods will return to Yager Stadium to open the home slate against Missouri Southern on Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.

The Ichabods (0-1, 0-1 MIAA) trailed at the half 6-0 after the Gorillas (1-0, 1-0 MIAA) connected on a 45-yard field goal to end the second quarter. In the opening half, the Ichabods were outgained 223 to 91 in the first 30 minutes including a 142 to 29 advantage by the Gorillas in the second quarter.  In the first half, the teams forced turnovers on downs on four of the nine combined drives.

The Ichabods took the second half kickoff, but an interception on the third play of the drive inside their own 20 returned to the ball back to the Gorillas and four plays later pushed their lead to 13-0 on a 1-yard run with 12:09 to play in the third quarter.

Washburn would then go on a 14-play, 80-yard drive taking 7:05 off the clock cutting the Gorilla lead to 13-7 with 4:51 to play in the third quarter. The drive was capped on a 1-yard pass from Kellen Simoncic to D.J. Bell for the first Ichabod points of the season. The Ichabods converted a fourth down play on the drive on a 15-yard pass completion from Simoncic to Tyce Brown.

Pittsburg State upped its lead to 20-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter and a two-point conversion was picked off in the endzone by Jordan Finnesy. The drive was a 12-play, 66-yard drive taking 4:55 off the clock.

Washburn picked up a first down on its ensuing drive, but back to back holding calls stalled the drive and the Ichabods were forced to punt as the Gorillas regained possession. The Gorillas would then go on a 12-play, 69-yard drive to take a 27-7 lead after the two-point conversion with 6:44 to go in the game.

On the Ichabods’ next drive, a fumble on the second play of the drive, a fumble by Washburn was picked up by Pitt State and returned 18 yards for a score stretching their lead to 34-7 with 6:17 to play for the final score of the game.

Washburn was outgained 365 to 217 in the game including 220 to 55 on the ground.

Tyce Brown had six catches for 66 yards and Bell finished with six catches for 20 yards and a score in his first collegiate action. Taylon Peters had 20 rushes for 56 yards and Simoncic finished 23 of 40 for 162 yards and a score.

Defensively Finnesy led the Ichabods with nine tackles including six solo stops. Byron Alexander and Patrick Altenor each had six tackles. Phoenix Smith had both of the Ichabod sacks for 16 yards.

• True freshmen Jacquez White and D.J. Bell started the game for the Ichabods.
• The Ichabods had their four-game winning streak snapped in the Jungle in the loss. The Ichabods previous loss came in 2011 NCAA second round playoff game.
• Washburn had their six-game season-opening winning streak snapped in the loss.