Don Vieth, Director of Athletic Communications
TAHLEQUAH – Gary McKnight Jr. had a career night with 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns, but Northeastern State dropped a 68-21 contest on Saturday night to Pittsburg State at Doc Wadley Stadium.
McKnight Jr.’s outing was the highest for any NSU receiver since Trey McVay had 425 yards on Oct. 15, 2011 against Harding, and it was the first time since Zac King on Oct. 8, 2016 against Emporia State that a RiverHawks’ player caught two touchdown passes.
Despite the lopsided score, offensive yards were close with the Gorillas only racking up 19 more yards with 409. The difference on Saturday night was 21 points that came off of a fumble, and two blocked punts.
Trailing 34-7 after the half, Dom McKinzy aired out a 58 yard pass to Rashawn Eubanks and they connected on a touchdown with 9:08 on the clock in the third quarter. On the next Pitt State drive, Lane Yoder picked off a pass and gave the RiverHawks the ball back with momentum. With the ball on the PSU 29-yard line, Northeastern State’s drive stalled and they attempted a 26-yard field goal that would have made it a 34-17 game. However, the kick would miss and the Gorillas picked the ball up ensuing possession and used a nine play, 80-yard drive to ice the contest.
The RiverHawks would get a 57-yard reception for the third touchdown of the night on the following drive but Pittsburg State scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to close out the contest.
Eubanks would have 67-yards in the air with Zac King picking three catches for 31-yards. McKinzy would nearly have a career night behind the center with 323 passing yards, narrowly missing his 331-yard afternoon at Missouri Southern last season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Coleby Evans led the RiverHawks with eight tackles, with two for a loss. Devon Siers had five tackles and he also picked off a pass in the first half.
Saturday’s loss sends the RiverHawks to 0-3 overall and Pittsburg State goes to 2-1.
Northeastern State will travel next to Fort Hays State on Saturday, Sept. 23 for a 2 p.m. kickoff.