RiverHawks football gets first win in double overtime thriller
TNE Editor

RiverHawks football gets first win in double overtime thriller

Published 10/31/17

Zach Cobler

TNE Writer

The RiverHawks were in all too familiar territory when they were trailing late in the fourth quarter. They were down by seven until Gary McKnight Jr., senior wide receiver from Lawton, scored with 1:36 left in the fourth quarter to tie the game. NSU went on to beat Missouri Southern State in double overtime on a McKnight 23-yard touchdown grab, for the RiverHawks first win of the season.

The RiverHawks were visibly ecstatic as the team rushed the field to celebrate their victory. NSU will hope to gain confidence going forward after a thrilling win.

“The first win feels great,” said Jalen Porter, senior linebacker from Longview, Texas. “We forgot what winning felt like with losing our prior games, and we have that confidence again that we will win going into the next week.”

The RiverHawks have two remaining games this season. The RiverHawks will play Central Missouri (6-3) and Central Oklahoma (5-4) respectively in the upcoming weeks.  The two games remaining mean little to the outcome of the MIAA conference as all three teams have been eliminated from conference championship contention.

Central Missouri will be hoping to play spoilers to the RiverHawks after their first win. This past week the Mules lost a three-game winning streak after being beaten by Central Oklahoma in a high scoring affair. They will look to bounce back against the RiverHawks in the week 10 showdown.

The game against Central Oklahoma will be the biggest game left on the schedule for the RiverHawks because of the rivalry between the two schools. The game will be the annual edition of the President’s Cup the two schools play for. The Bronchos have lost four games this year by a combined 21 points, including two seven-point losses to top 10 teams.

“The game against Central Oklahoma is always a big game because it is a rivalry game,” said Ukoh Essang, sophomore linebacker from Arlington, Texas. “We have not won this game in a few years, so it would be a nice opportunity for us to bring back the President’s Cup.

The RiverHawks will not be overlooking any of their remaining opponents as they are focused on taking it one game at a time for the rest of the season.

“We are taking it one day at a time, one practice at a time and one game at a time” said Josh Lattimer, NSU football defensive coordinator. “We want to win the final three games, but we do not want to look ahead. We are going to go day by day and game by game in these games.”

While NSU has had another down year in football, they do have a couple of bright sides. La’More Wise, senior linebacker from St. Louis, is leading the nation in forced fumbles this season. They also have McKnight who is currently fourth in receiving yards in the nation.

The RiverHawks are a young team moving forward. They have been starting 11 freshmen or sophomores out of the starting 22. At quarterback, NSU is starting true freshman Cade Yeager from Broken Arrow. Yeager has thrown for over 1100 yards and 12 touchdowns in his five starts this season.

The RiverHawks look promising with so much young talent. NSU will only lose five starting seniors at the end of the year. The building blocks look set for the coming years for the team.

“It will definitely help us having played such a young team moving forward,” said Lattimer. “They got experience and will hopefully come back and be ready to play.”

The RiverHawks will travel to Central Missouri to take on the Mules at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, in Warrensburg, Mo.

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