Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney football team looks to end another long streak when it hosts the 18th-ranked Pittsburg State Gorillas Saturday night at Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field. The Family Night contest, hosted by the University of Nebraska Federal Credit Union, kicks off at 7 p.m. with Fan Fest festivities beginning at 5 p.m. Action (pregame, game and post game) can be heard live on The River (93.1 FM).
Last week at Emporia State, UNK (2-1) used a strong first half and two late drives to hold off the Hornets by a 31-21 score. It marked the Lopers first win in Francis G. Welch Stadium in 36 years. Once again 1983 – the year of Cabbage Patch Dolls, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Staying Alive and Mr. Roboto — looms large. Pitt has won 11 in a row over the Lopers including a 2005 first-round playoff win at Foster Field. UNK hasn’t beaten the Gorillas since posting a 27-13 “W” on the road back in 1983. The 22nd all-time battle between Pitt and the Lopers may not take too long as both love to run the football. UNK, using its pistol-option, ranks third nationally in rushing yards per game at 300.7. Two spots ahead of the Blue & Gold is Eastern New Mexico (398.3), head coach Josh Lynn’s alma mater and previous employer.
Pitt, using the old school veer, is second in the MIAA and 28th in Division II at 215.0 rushing yards per game. Tenth-year head coach Tim Beck, who led the Gorillas to the 2011 National Title, then brings in a different quarterback to run a more common spread attack. This unique system has Pitt churning out 47 points and 398 yards per game. 36000The Gorillas began the year with a wild 37-35 victory at Central Oklahoma. Ahead 34-7 at one point, Pitt started fumbling the football and UCO came all the way back to lead 35-34 on the strength of a “scoop & score.” However, Pitt regained its composure, marched down the field and walked off the Bronchos with a 20-field goal as time expired. The Gorillas then used a big fourth quarter to down Emporia State, 47-23, before blasting Northeastern State, 58-3, last Saturday at home. The Gorillas started 2018 with a 5-0 mark and finished up at 8-3.