TOPEKA, Kan. — Pittsburg State took a 31-28 lead into the fourth quarter before Washburn rallied to outscore the Gorillas 21-7 in the final stanza on the way to a 49-38 win on Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium.
The loss is the fifth straight for the Gorillas, who fall to 5-5 on the season.
Pittsburg State took a 10-0 lead after the first quarter behind a 41-yard field goal by Jared Vincent and a nine-yard run by quarterback Brandon Mlekus, who came up limping after the play and did not return.
The Ichabods and Gorillas traded scores early in the second before a 21-yard rushing score by Washburn’s Jace Williams at the 9:54 mark and a two-yard run by Curtis Whitten with 5:05 on the clock gave WU a 21-17 lead. Pittsburg State answered with a 10-yard run by Tyler Adkins with 2:24 left in the first half to send the Gorillas into the locker room with 24-21 advantage.
Backup quarterback Mak Sexton scored on the ground from five yards out with 10:51 left in the third to build a 31-21 lead for Pittsburg State.
The Ichabods cut the lead back to three following a 15-yard rushing touchdown by Whitten. Washburn took its first lead in the second half when Taylon Peters scored from three yards out with 14:44 to make it 35-31.
Adkins broke free for a 33-yard run with 12:54 left to put the Gorillas back on top 38-35.
Washburn regained the lead back with a 66-yard run by James Letcher Jr. with 7:23 to play to make the score 42-38, and the Ichabods added another score on Whitten’s six-yard run with 1:04 left.
Sexton completed 15-of-32 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown, while Adkins gained 147 yards on the ground and scored twice on 16 carries. Tucker Horak had six carries for 88 yards, and Lorenzo West had six receptions for 163 yards and a touchdown.
Mitch Schurig completed 22-of-32 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns for Washburn (5-5). James Letcher Jr. carried twice for 65 yards and a score and hauled in eight passes for 166 and a touchdown. Peters had 13 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown. Whitten had seven carries for 44 yards and three touchdowns.
Pittsburg State wraps up its season with a 1 p.m. matchup against Missouri Southern on Saturday at Carnie Smith Stadium.