Emporia State

Emporia State celebrates its Farmers Bank & Trust Live United Bowl victory on Saturday.

Emporia State took advantage of five Southeastern Oklahoma turnovers on the way to a 48-27 win in the Farmers Bank & Trust Live United Bowl on Saturday in TexARKana.

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The Savage Storm took the opening kickoff and advanced to the Hornets 28 yard line before Emporia State stopped them thanks to a fourth-down sack by Jordan Williams. The Hornets then marched 59 yards on six plays to take a 7-0 lead with a 33 yard pass from Braden Gleason to Jaylen Varner.

The defense came through again on the next series as Dawson Hammes forced a fumble at midfield and Declan Haub took it to the house to give Emporia State a 14-0 lead with 7:35 left in the quarter.

The Hornets defense stepped up again on the ensuing drive as Rodrick Farmer picked off a pass from Daulton Hatley with 4:49 left in the quarter. Eight plays later Gleason hit Corey Thomas from 12 yards out and Emporia State led 21-0 with 2:44 left in the opening quarter.

The next drive resulted in another turnover for the Storm as Haub strip sacked Hatley and Jordan Williams recovered it at the Southeastern 22 yard line. Three plays later Gleason connected with Varner again, this time from 11 yards out and the Hornets led 28-0 less than a minute into the second quarter.

The Savage Storm finally got on the board on a 1-yard touchdown run by Matt Nunez with 6:35 left in the half. The Hornets got a 33-yard field goal from Caden Dodson with 3:02 left to take a 31-7 lead into the half.

Southeastern Oklahoma was called for unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of the first half, meaning the Savage Storm had to kick off from their own 20 yard line to start the second half. Emporia State took advantage of the short field to go up by 31 points. Gleason hit Tyler Kahmann for a 38 yard touchdown after converting a fourth down on the drive as they led 38-7 with 13:16 left in the third quarter.

Emporia State stopped the Storm after first and goal from the two yard line on the ensuing drive but could only gain two yards after the stop. Ross Brungardt had to punt from his own endzone and it was blocked by Ty Williams and recovered in the endzone by Jaiveon Gardner to make it 38-13 with 5:48 left in the third as Southeastern's two point attempt was no good.

The Hornets immediately answered with a ten play, 59 yard drive capped by a pass from Gleason to Wil Amos in the corner of the endzone with 2:27 left as they took a 45-13 lead into the fourth quarter.

The start of the fourth quarter saw the Storm score on a 32-yard pass from Hatley to Katrell Blakely to pull within 45-19 as they again went for two and failed with 13:37 left in the game. Emporia State again had an answer as they took 6:39 off the clock on a 14 play, 64 yard drive capped by a 36 yard field goal from Dodson with 6:53 left in the game.

Southeastern Oklahoma took advantage of a 40 yard kick return down to the Hornet 35 yard line and scored in three plays. A Caleb High 26-yard touchdown run made it 48-27 with 5:28 left. Emporia State recovered the onside attempt and took 1:22 off the clock before Brungardt had to punt again. He got off a 44 yard punt down to the seven yard line that was returned by Marquis Gray to the 17 yard line. The Storm would drive to the Hornets 19-yard line but Hatley's fourth down scramble came up short with 47 seconds left and Emporia State was able to go to victory formation to seal the win.

Braden Gleason was 22 of 34 for 253 yard and five touchdowns for the Hornets. He connected with seven different receivers with four of them scoring. Jaylen Varner had seven catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Corey Thomas, Tyler Kahmann and Wil Amos all had touchdown receptions as well.

Cade Harelson was named the Most Valuable Player with seven tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery. Montrell Wilson had a team high nine tackles including a 45-yard interception return. Declan Haub was credited with three tackles but forced a fumble and had a 48 yard scoop and score fumble recovery.

With the win Emporia State finishes the season 9-3, the eighth time in school history they have won nine games.

Braden Gleason finishes the season with 33 touchdown passes to tie Brent Wilson (33 in 2013) for second all-time at Emporia State.

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