Gorillas Cap Season With 90-28 Mineral Water Bowl Victory
Box Score | Season Statistics
EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. Quarterback Tony Abenoja passed for five touchdowns and rushed for another as No. 17 Pittsburg State University rolled to a 90-28 victory over Southwest Minnesota State University in the Mineral Water Bowl Saturday (Dec. 7).
The Gorillas finished the season with a 10-2 record as Pitt State recorded the program's 20th 10-win season, including 18 times since 1985. The Mustangs, who had a four-game winning streak to end the regular season, finished their year 7-5.
Abenoja completed 17 of 24 passes for 323 yards and he rushed for 51 yards in the contest. He matched his PSU single-game record of five touchdown passes in the contest and Abenoja established a new PSU single season touchdowns record with 30. Abenoja's 2954 single season passing yards rank second all-time in school history.
Defensive end Joe Uzzel returned a fumble eight yards for a touchdown to give Pitt State a 7-0 lead 35 seconds into the game.
The Gorillas led just 17-14 with 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but Pitt State rattled off 42 unanswered points to take a 59-14 lead following Tyler Disney's 99-yard interception return for a touchdown with 3:06 to play in the second quarter.
Wide receiver John Brown caught seven passes for a game-high 152 yards and two touchdowns. Brown finished the season with 61 catches for 1198 yards and 14 touchdowns. His career totals stand at 185 catches for 3380 yards and 32 touchdowns. He climbed to fifth all-time in MIAA history in career receiving yards.
Running back Jeff Seybold, Jr. also rushed the ball 16 times for 185 yards and a score, while backup quarterback Ramsey Hamilton rushed for 44 yards and a pair of scores. Seybold finished the season with 201 carries for 1434 yards and 22 touchdowns, averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 119.5 yards per game.
Linebacker Nate Dreiling made two tackles before exiting the game in the first quarter. Dreiling finished his decorated career with 491 tackles to set the MIAA all-time record for stops.
Abenoja was named the Offensive MVP of the contest, while Disney earned Defensive MVP honors. Disney made a team-leading 12 stops to finish the season with 101 tackles.
Kicker Connor Frazell booted field goals of 23 and 27 yards and converted all 12 of his PAT tries to finish the game with 18 points. Frazell finished the season 13 of 15 on field goal tries and 70 of 71 on PATs, scoring 109 points on the year.
For SMSU, Harlon Hill Trophy finalist Tyler Tonderum carried the ball 26 times for 166 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Charlie Kern completed 13 of 41 passes for 161 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Dashawn Cooper made a game-high 14 tackles. He also forced a fumble which he recovered and returned 71 yards to set up a one-yard run by Kern for a touchdown.
Kern also tossed a 74-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Dean, who had two catches for 79 yards in the contest.
The Gorillas improved to 3-0 in Mineral Water Bowl apearances and set six Mineral Water Bowl records in the contest: most points (90); most touchdowns (12); most combined points (118); most yards, total offense (666); most passing touchdowns (5, Tony Abenoja), longest interception return (99 yds, Tyler Disney).