Ichabod comeback falls short against the Emporia State Hornets


Photo Courtesy of Sarah Buchanan

Ichabod’s linebacker Grant Bruner and defensive end Braden Rose lining up pre-snap. The duo would combine for 21 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.

The Ichabods moved to 3-2 on the season as they lost 42-35 to the Emporia State Hornets in the Hall of Fame game. Washburn scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, but the comeback fell short after an unsuccessful onside kick attempt.

“Emporia’s [State] a really good football team; they were connecting, they were hitting on all cylinders and we weren’t keeping pace,” coach Craig Schurig said. “I’m proud of the way we fought back and hopefully that’s a good sign for next week.”

The Ichabods fell behind early to the Hornets in the second quarter when the score grew to 14-0, before a rushing touchdown by Ichabod’s quarterback Kellen Simoncic cut the lead to a single possession. The Ichabods failed to capitalize on the late touchdown to end the second and surrendered back-to-back touchdowns to increase the Hornet’s lead to 28-7. Simoncic would later connect with Peter Afful for a 77-yard touchdown to cut the Hornet’s lead in half 28-14.

The Hornet’s lead would extend to 42-14 entering the fourth quarter before Afful would haul in his second touchdown of the game, cutting the lead to 42-21. Collin Wilson would follow up by scoring a 12-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 42-28 with 3:05 to go in the fourth.

The Ichabods would force a punt and string together a four-play drive, ending with a James Letcher, Jr. touchdown reception that brought the game down to the final onside-kick attempt. This was recovered by the Hornets, ending the game 45-38.

Simoncic put up a total of five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing), 334 passing yards and one interception. Afful finished with five receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns, with one going for 77 yards.

The Washburn defense held the up-tempo Hornets offense to only 14 points in the first half before allowing 31 second half points. Hornet’s quarterback Braden Gleason would finish the game with 300 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. Washburn’s Grant Bruner led the team in tackles with a total of 14, including one tackle for loss.

“Going into the second half, we were confident about what we had going on,” Bruner said. “Overall, we just didn’t tackle well enough on the defensive side of the ball and couldn’t get off any blocks…They came in here and took it to us; it was pretty embarrassing.”

The Ichabods will look to bounce back as they hit the road to face the Fort Hays State Tigers at 7 P.M. Saturday, Oct. 8 on Lewis Field. The Ichabods will return home Oct. 22 to face the University of Central Oklahoma on Homecoming weekend.

Edited by Justin Shepard, Simran Shrestha