Special to The Gazette
The MIAA announced the revised 10 game schedule for football this fall and Emporia State will be opening the season with two of the most played rivalries in NCAA Division-II history. The schedule reduction was implemented by the NCAA as a part of cost-saving measures due to COVID-19.
The MIAA Scheduling Subcommittee recreated the schedule by doing a blind draw. The subcommittee is comprised of an athletic administrator at each member institution. The schedule was approved the Institutional Representative Council (IRC) on June 9 and by the CEO Council, Monday.
The Hornet football season will begin on Sept. 12 with the second most played active rivalry in Division II when Emporia State travels to Topeka for the 117th Turnpike Tussle against Washburn. The Hornets lead the all-time series 57-53-6 and have won six of the last eight between the two, including a 34-31 overtime win in their last trip to Topeka.
A week later Emporia State will make their home debut in the seventh most played rivalry in NCAA Division-II history as Pittsburg State comes to Jones Field at Welch Stadium on Sept. 19. The Hornets are 10-3 in home openers under Garin Higgins.
The Hornets stay at home as they take on Northeastern State on September 26 against Northeastern State. The Hornets have won all eight meetings with the RiverHawks as members of the MIAA, including last year’s 51-14 victory in Welch Stadium.
Emporia State will hit the road for two straight games starting on Oct. 3 when they travel to Edmond, Okla. to take on Central Oklahoma. Emporia State has won seven of the last nine meetings against the Bronchos including last year’s 34-14 win in Welch Stadium.
The Hornets head to Warrensburg, Mo. the next week for a match-up with Central Missouri on Oct. 10. Emporia State won the last meeting in Walton Stadium 41-23 in 2018.
Emporia State returns to Welch Stadium on Oct. 17 to take on Missouri Western. The Hornets have won five of the last seven games over the Griffons.
After meeting in Maryville for five out of six meetings, Northwest Missouri will make their second straight trip to Welch Stadium on Oct. 24. Last year the Hornets led the Bearcats in the second half before a fumble and two short punts led to three NWMSU scoring drives of under 25 yards.
Emporia State will be hitting the road to play Lincoln on Halloween. It will be the fourth time in five meetings since the Blue Tigers brought back football that the two will meet in Jefferson City, Mo.
The final road trip of the season will be on Nov. 7 when Emporia State heads west to take on Fort Hays State. The Hornets and Tigers have split the last four games with the home team winning each time.
The Hornets will warp up the season against Missouri Southern on Nov. 14 in Welch Stadium. The Hornets have won eight straight against the Lions.
Game times and season ticket information will be announced at a later date as Hornet Athletics is currently working in conjunction with the Emporia State Fall Planning Group on how to best accommodate social distancing in all venues for the upcoming sports seasons.
Conference schedules for volleyball and women’s soccer will be released 2p.m. Wednesday, followed by the men’s and women’s basketball schedules 2 p.m. Thursday and baseball, softball, and tennis schedules on Friday, 2 p.m. Friday.