MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

September 29, 2013

Dixon-led NSU foiled in upset bid of Emporia State


Phoenix staff report

— EMPORIA, Kan. –  Northeastern State got a huge performance from junior running back Terrance Dixon, but not enough to keep the RiverHawks from a 45-24 loss Saturday afternoon to No. 24 Emporia State at Francis G. Welch Stadium.

Dixon amassed a career-high 220 all-purpose yards, which marked the first time in his career he hit the 200-yard plateau. He finished the day with 132 yards rushing on 27 carries, 97 of it to help give the RiverHawks a 17-14 lead at the half. He also finished with career bests in both receptions (six) and receiving yards (88), which were both season highs for any NSU receiver.

Dixon scored twice in a game for the fourth time in his career, and he also hit 100 yards rushing for the fourth time as a member of the RiverHawks (0-4, 0-4 MIAA).

His 26-yard scamper on NSU’s opening series capped a six-play, 75-yard drive. The excitement would be short-lived, however, as ESU quarterback Brent Wilson hooked up with Austin Willis for 52 yards to knot the score at 7-7 with 3:41 to play in the opening quarter.

Wilson then gave the home team the lead after finding Kavaski Ervin for 13 yards with seconds to play in the frame.

NSU quarterback Thor Long found fullback Nick Whitlow over the middle for a 19-yard strike early in the second to tie the game at 14-14, but Emporia State (4-0, 4-0)  took the lead for good when Wilson hit Ervin for 60 yards just a minute later.

RiverHawks kicker Drew Patton connected on a 44-yard field goal late in the second to give his team a four-point edge at the half.

Eli Kuhns hit a 41-yarder out of the break for Emporia State, and Wilson TD passes to Ray Ray Davis (18 yards) and Willis (39 yards) blew it open.

Antonio Brown added a sixth ESU touchdown midway through the final quarter, and Dixon ended the scoring with a 21-yard TD run late in the contest.

Northeastern State did not turn the ball over for the first time since August 27, 2011 (25 games), and the visitors won the turnover battle for the second-straight season over the Hornets.

Long finished 18 of 30 for a career high 218 yards passing. True freshman receiver Ray Dobbs registered a career-high four catches for 48 yards. The RiverHawks had 10 different players record a catch, which was the first time since Sept. 24, 2011, that at least 10 members of the squad finished with at least one reception.

Safety Victor Johnson and linebacker Eddie General led the defense with nine tackles apiece. Linebacker Donnie Fuston recorded NSU’s first sack of the season, while senior cornerback Vernon Jones picked off Wilson. The interception was the first of the season for the ESU signal caller.

Northeastern State will now entertain No. 3 Northwest Missouri State at 2 p.m. Oct. 5 at Doc Wadley Stadium. The game will be part of NSU’s Homecoming festivities.



EMPORIA 45, NSU 24

NSU     7    10    0    7    —24

Emporia    14    7    10    14    —45

First quarter

NSU - Dixon,Terrance 26 yd run (Patton,Drew kick), 12:25.

ESU - Willis,Austin 52 yd pass from Wilson,Brent (Kuhns,Eli kick), 3:41.

ESU - Ervin,Kavaski 13 yd pass from Wilson,Brent (Kuhns,Eli kick), 0:02.

Second quarter

NSU - Whitlow,Nick 19 yd pass from Long,Thor (Patton,Drew kick),11:47.

ESU - Ervin,Kavaski 60 yd pass from Wilson,Brent (Kuhns,Eli kick), 10:41.

NSU - Patton,Drew 44 yd field goal, 4:14.

Third quarter

ESU - Kuhns,Eli 41 yd field goal, 12:20.

ESU - Davis,Ray Ray 18 yd pass from Wilson,Brent (Kuhns,Eli kick), 4:45.

Fourth quarter

ESU - Willis,Austin 39 yd pass from Wilson,Brent (Kuhns,Eli kick), 14:22.

ESU - Brown,Antonio 3 yd run (Kuhns,Eli kick), 6:26.

NSU - Dixon,Terrance 21 yd run (Patton,Drew kick), 3:24.