There has been one consistent thing revolving around the Pittsburg State football team’s first four games of the season — they have been close.

There has been one consistent thing revolving around the Pittsburg State football team’s first four games of the season — they have been close.
The Gorillas have won each of their first four games of the season by a total of 25 points and by no more than 7.
That leaves the No. 7-ranked Gorillas wondering just what it would be like to beat a team by more than that margin. That task may not get any easier Saturday when Pitt State plays host to No. 19 Central Missouri.
“It would be very nice (to not have a close game) but, at least we have come back on Sunday and said that we were 4-0,” said junior defensive end Jordan Karr. “If we can say that we are 5-0 this Sunday, that would be great.”
On the other side of the ball, the Mules picked up late touchdowns from junior wide receiver/running back Bobby Guillory in the fourth quarter to hold off a late charge by then-No. 25 Washburn and pick up the 43-34 win.
Central head coach Willie Fritz knows that Saturday has the potential to be another close battle.
“Normally, it is very close and it comes down to the end of the game,” Fritz said. “Pittsburg has a great running attack and can also throw the ball.”
The Mules come into Carnie Smith Stadium boasting the MIAA’s best rushing defense, giving up just 88.8 yards per game. That will be a big test as the Gorillas have the league’s second-best rushing offense, averaging 217.5 yards per game and they are coming off a 351-yard performance last week against Missouri Western.
“They are a very good team, but so are we,” said senior offensive guard Kendall Molz. “We always have to move people off the line to make holes for (Caleb) Farabi or any of our other backs.”
It was Farabi that amassed 300 all-purpose yards in PSU’s 46-40 win at Western last week.
The Pittsburg native rushed for a career-high 226 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns. He also added a pair of receptions for 74 yards and accounted for 54 percent of the Gorillas’ total offense. His average currently ranks fifth in the nation for rushing yards.
“Their offense does a good job throwing different things at you,” Fritz said. “They’ll always have a new wrinkle and you have to do a good job making adjustments on the sidelines.”
Central brings in its own set of weapons.
Guillory, who serves as a utility player splitting time between the backfield and as a wideout, averages 39.5 yards per game on the ground.
“We are going to try to get that ball in his hand seven to 10 times a game,” Fritz said. “There are a lot of different ways to get him the ball.”
However, Glenn Milner, a senior running back, may be the biggest threat to the Gorilla defense.
Milner, from Reston, Wash., has averaged 96.5 yards per game for the Mules.
“He is a stud and we have to have better tackling,” Karr said. “But, they have a lot of weapons, not only on offense but on defense.”
The Gorilla coaching staff has also taken notice of Milner.
“He is a good, big player,” said PSU head coach Chuck Broyles. “They are about as good on offense as they have been in a while.
“They throw a lot more screens than usual,” Broyles said. “But it really doesn’t hurt when you have a running back that can tote the rock.”
For the Gorilla offense, it seems that they have their running game back on track after not surpassing the 200-yard mark until last week at Western.
Senior quarterback Mark Smith has averaged 168.8 yards per game in the air, which is another concern for Fritz and the Central defense that gave up 363 yards of offense in their win last week over Washburn. It leaves the Mules facing a balanced offensive attack from Pitt State.
“We always want to be two-dimensional because if you get too heavy with one or the other you can have problems,” Fritz said. “When you have teams on the back of their heels that is when you will be the most successful.”
But, in the end, it could be another close game for the Gorillas on Saturday. That is something that Broyles would like to see less of.
“I like to look up and see that the other team has to score four times in the last eight minutes to beat you,” Broyles said.
Then he took to a joking tone when discussing the closeness of the first four games of the season.
“We try to please the fans,” Broyles quipped. “When we beat a team by 30 the fans left early and we could not get a concession agreement with Sodexho.”
Kickoff at Carnie Smith Stadium is set for 2 p.m.

Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140