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Roderique, Gorillas run to 38-14 win over Riverhawks - KOAM TV 7

Roderique, Gorillas run to 38-14 win over Riverhawks

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 Seventh-ranked Pittsburg State University scored on each of its first two offensive plays and jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead over Northeastern State University, before settling for a 38-14 season opening victory Thursday (Sept. 3).
 
Freshman transfer quarterback John Roderique, Jr. scored on a 39-yard touchdown scamper on the first play of the game. Marquise Cushon set up the play with a 47-yard kickoff return into RiverHawk territory.
 
After a quick three-and-out by the Pitt State defense, Cushon popped a 38-yard punt return and an NSU personal foul – one of several in the contest – set up the Gorillas at the NSU 36. Roderique again broke loose on a zone option play to make it a 14-0 game 60 seconds into the contest.
 
Michael Rose added a seven-yard touchdown run for a 21-0 Pitt State advantage with 5:40 to play in the opening period.
 
NSU countered with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Pantastico to running back Joel Rockmore two minutes later.
 
The RiverHawks got the ball back and had a chance to slice further into the Pitt State lead, but the Gorillas' Dino Teague intercepted Pantastico in the end zone to halt the threat.
 
Roderique led the Gorillas 92 yards in seven plays late in the first half, punctuating the drive with a five-yard touchdown run for a 28-7 halftime advantage.
 
Rose, who rushed for a game-high 127 yards, added a second score – on a 23-yard jaunt – late in the third quarter for the Gorillas and Chad Levin booted a 26-yard field goal with 10:39 to play for the game's final points.
 
Roderique rushed for 91 net yards – he was sacked three times in the game. He also completed 10 of 16 passes for 122 yards. Levi Copelin caught four passes for a team-leading 51 yards.
 
Pantastico was 20 of 44 passing for 275 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions for NSU, which dropped its 12th straight game dating back to 2014. Rockmore carried the ball 17 times for 92 yards.
 
Spencer Brown made a team-leading six tackles and the Gorilla defense registered five quarterback sacks in the contest.
 
Pitt State posted its 10th straight season-opening road victory, dating back to the 1997 season as well as its 10th consecutive season-opening win overall (2006-15).
 
The Gorillas will make their home debut next Saturday (Sept. 12) when they host MIAA rival Lindenwood University at 7 p.m. at Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium.

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