NATE DREILING, FOUR-TIME ALL-AMERICAN: Only three Pittsburg State players have earned All-America honors during all four years of their career — Dreiling joining defensive tackle Aaron McConnell (2000-03) and punter Brian Moorman (1995-98). Dreiling was named first team by Daktronics. DREILING A FINALIST FOR CLIFF HARRIS AWARD: The Harris Award honors the best small college defensive player and Dreiling was pegged a finalist for the inaugural award in mid-December. It was not Dreiling but another Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association player who received the honor — Lindenwood cornerback Pierre Desir, who played his first two seasons at Washburn before closing out his collegiate career in St. Charles, Mo. DREILING, BROWN NAMED TO EAST-WEST GAME: Dreiling and John Brown became the first Pitt State players selected to the East-West Shrine Game, a collegiate all-star game entering its 89th year of competition. Previous East-West participants include Ollie Matson, Eddie LeBaron, Gerald Ford, Dick Butkus, Gene Washington, Alan Page, Merlin Olsen, Craig Morton, Hugh McElhenny, Gino Marchetti, Mike Garrett, Pat Tillman, Bob Lilly, Mike Haynes, Joe Greene, Raymond Berry, Randy White, Paul Warfield, Gale Sayers, Joe DeLamielleure, Larry Wilson, Forrest Gregg, Doug Williams, Jerry Kramer, Kellen Winslow, Larry Csonka, John Elway, Brett Favre and Tom Brady. The game will be played at 3 p.m. (CST), Saturday, Jan. 18, at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla., with a telecast on the NFL Network. Dreiling finished his career as Pitt State's all-time leading tackler and Brown stands as the school's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, all marks once held by Harlon Hill winner Ronnie West. NATE DREILING, ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN: Dreiling became the 21st Pitt State football player to earn Academic All-America honors, as he posted a 3.36 GPA as a physical education major to earn second team status. "Our coaches really pay close attention to their players at their position," Pitt State head coach Tim Beck said. "We spend a lot of time talking about, 'The No. 1 reason you come to Pittsburg State is to get your degree first.' Football's obviously extremely important here but academically, they have to earn their way out of study hall. It's extremely important to all our coaches for our players to graduate . . . so to see Nate get recognized and there's a lot of other ones that could be recognized as well, it's a great honor and we're very appreciative of what our student-athletes have done." Previous 20: Eric Love (2011, second team), Jay Nunez (2009, first team; 2008, second team), Caleb Farabi (2007 and 2008, first team), Nick Dellasega (2007, first team; 2006, second team), Ryan Meredith (2005 and 2006, first team; 2004, second team), Chris Beyer (2004 and 2005, first team), Aaron Hight (2002, second team), Caleb White (2001, first team; 2002, second team), Chris Gab (2000, first team; 1999, second team), Gary Kral (2000, second team), Brian Moorman (1996-98, first team), Ben Peterson (1998, first team), Jeremy Messerly (1998, second team), Mike Brockel (1991 and 1992, first team; 1990, second team), Kris Mengarelli (1992, second team), Darren Dawson (1991, second team), James Jenkins (1991, second team), Brett Potts (1989, first team; 1988, second team), Mike Meek (1988, second team) and Jay Sperry (1972, first team). 17 ALL-MIAA SELECTIONS, 51 ON HONOR ROLL: Pitt State cleaned up on and off the field when the MIAA released its postseason honors in late November. John Brown was named the MIAA Special Teams Player of the Year for the second year in a row and earned first team honors at return specialist and wide receiver. Four others were named first team: senior linebacker Nate Dreiling, senior offensive lineman Cody Holland, sophomore running back Jeff Seybold and senior defensive lineman Joe Uzzel. Other All-MIAA selections: sophomore defensive lineman Taye Irvin and junior defensive back Keeston Terry (second team), junior cornerback De'Vante Bausby, junior linebacker Tyler Disney, junior placekicker Connor Frazell and junior offensive lineman Tyler Smith (third team), and junior quarterback Anthony Abenoja, junior defensive lineman Avery Adair, senior tight end Conner Combes, junior defensive back Aries Herrion, junior defensive back Jason Peete and junior offensive lineman Ollie Venegas (honorable mention). Among the 51 players named to the Honor Roll, Terry (3.57 GPA, physical education), Adair (3.56 GPA, management) and Combes (3.50 GPA, biology) earned MIAA Scholar-Athlete honors. PITT STATE ENDS SEASON ON A HIGH NOTE: How would the Gorillas respond in the Mineral Water Bowl after not making the playoffs? Well, the Gorillas responded with a 90-28 victory over Southwest Minnesota at Tiger Stadium in Excelsior Springs, Mo. Pitt State obliterated the Mineral Water scoring record by 38 points and broke the record at halftime. "We were all a little concerned about how they would come out," Pitt State head coach Tim Beck said. "And our seniors did a great job of having a team meeting last night and everybody understood how important it was to come out and play hard. It was really evident in how we came out and was really aggressive early on defensively and the blocked punt . . . just did some really nice things early on to let them know that it's going to be a physical game and we're going to get after it." Anthony Abenoja tossed a Mineral Water record five TD passes — all in the first half — to break the mark of four set by Missouri Western's Michael Burton (2005), Washburn's Tyler Schuerman (2004), Hutchinson's P.J. Peters (1995) and Butler County's Brad Woodard (1993). Abenoja won Offensive MVP . . . he also matched his own Pitt State single-game record for TD passes. Abenoja needed one TD pass for the Pitt State single-season record and his five in the Mineral Water established a new touchdown pass standard at 30. "He got off to a tad bit of a slow start in the first couple series," Beck said. "And then, after that, did a nice job throwing the ball on vertical seam routes down the field. Then, along with Jeff (Seybold) getting untracked in the power game and getting things rolling up inside, it really opened some things up and gave us an opportunity to score a lot of points." Southwest Minnesota trailed 52-14 in the second quarter when Defensive MVP Tyler Disney intercepted a Charlie Kern pass and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown, a Mineral Water record for longest interception return. "Tyler's got great speed so we knew that once he got out to the 25 or 30, they'd have a hard time catching him," Beck said. Senior linebacker Nate Dreiling, still dinged up from the Missouri Southern loss, recorded two stops early on and finished his career as the MIAA leader in career tackles with 491. "That's the thing about our senior group," Beck said. "We've got just a class group and Nate breaking the MIAA career tackle record, that's just phenomenal. In today's football, it's a lot different than when everybody lined up in two backs and ran the ball right at you. You really have to make a lot of plays and obviously, he's done that and it's going to be a tough record to ever break." Pitt State broke the Mineral Water record for total offense — 666 yards, the sign of a 90-28 victory — highlighted by Jeff Seybold's 185 yards on 16 carries and John Brown's 152 yards on seven catches. Junior kicker Connor Frazell managed 15 kickoffs, 12 extra points and two field goals (23, 27). Pitt State ended its season on a winning note for the fourth straight year, only the third four-year winning note period in program history along with 1933-36 and 1941-44. "We talked about that," Beck said. "When you're in a game like this, when you're not in the playoffs, you're looking for anything else that you can find to help motivate our young men. Dan Wilkes and I talked about this and looked it up and yeah, it's been that long (1936) since a group of seniors have went through Pittsburg State and won their last game of the year for the last four years. That was another motivating factor for us." Pitt State posted a 10-2 final record. SENIOR DAY DOWNER: Entering the final game of the regular season, No. 6-ranked Pitt State had the fifth seed in the ultra-competitive Super Region 3 and only six teams get in the Division II playoffs from each of the four regions. Missouri Southern came into Carnie Smith Stadium and dominated, handing Pitt State a 35-21 loss. "The coaches and players, it's extremely tough," Pitt State head coach Tim Beck said. "They put a lot into it and we talk about playing with class. You've got to win and lose with class. You've got to give Missouri Southern a lot of credit. They played extremely hard. We had a hard time stopping them, we didn't convert a lot of third downs on offense and didn't have a lot of success on first down." Nate Dreiling left it all on the field with 14 tackles and tied Marti Rave's 489 career tackles during his last home game. Dreiling battled through injuries but did not make any excuses at the press conference. "No, you really can't (describe how it feels)," Dreiling said. "To fight five years with these guys was a pleasure, every one of them. I feel bad I let them down. "It happened the first or second series and I don't know if it was dislocated or whatever, that definitely hurt my game style. I couldn't get off blocks as well . . . I need to make more plays. . . . "I had a rough first half. My knee, a big guy came down on me. I don't know if it popped out of place for a second but it popped a couple times. I couldn't put pressure on it for five minutes or so. It finally just started coming back. I imagine adrenaline helped." Missouri Southern rushed for 372 yards, limited Pitt State to 229 yards of total offense and maintained possession of the football for 37:12. Pitt State scored its 21 points in only 2:33 of possession time. FIRST SHUTOUT SINCE 2007: The Gorillas had approached shutouts before . . . an opponent would score a late touchdown . . . since a 62-0 win over Emporia State in 2007. When the Rangers of Northwestern Oklahoma, a Division II transitional, came into Carnie Smith in early November, the shutout streak was over during a 70-0 win for the Gorillas. That 70-point victory matches the fifth-largest margin in school history, tied with 70-0 over Panhandle State (2005), 77-7 over Truman State (2004) and 76-6 over Wayne State, Neb. (1987). "It's extremely hard to get shutouts, especially in this day in football," Pitt State head coach Tim Beck said. "We've played a lot of people in the second half . . . for us to maintain that and get a shutout was a big deal for our defense. You know, the best thing I felt like, the intensity of our offensive and defensive line was good, which enabled us to get the shutout on defense because we had some defensive linemen who came in and played aggressive in the second half." "It feels really good and it feels even better since everybody got to be part of it and play," senior defensive end Joe Uzzel said. "We talked about it quite a bit this week. We knew that it was something that we hadn't done since 2007 and that was a personal goal that we set ourselves as a defense, and we got it." BOUNCE BACK WIN OVER WESTERN: After losing to Northwest Missouri in the 2012 season, Pitt State lost two of its next three games and the defending national champions lost their way out of the postseason. Pitt State, however, rebounded the next week in 2013 with a 34-14 win over Missouri Western at Spratt Stadium in St. Joseph, Mo. "I thought it was extremely good day," Pitt State head coach Tim Beck told Eddie Lomshek of KKOW. "After the loss last week, we were deflated. I tell you what, our kids did a tremendous job of coming back and practicing hard on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This is a game we had to have and we knew that. Missouri Western's got a really good football team, so it's a good win on the road." Pitt State pounded away on the Western defense with 280 yards on 48 carries (5.8 yards per away) and the Gorillas gobbled up 33 minutes, 8 seconds off the clock. Jeff Seybold ran for 179 yards and three scores on 24 carries. The Gorillas avenged their 63-14 Homecoming loss to Missouri Western. GORILLAS TAKE FIRST LOSS: No. 2 Northwest Missouri and No. 7 Pitt State clashed for possibly the last time at Arrowhead Stadium in the Fall Classic. In the 12th edition, Northwest Missouri forced four turnovers, sacked Anthony Abenoja five times, blocked a punt, created two safeties, dominated time of possession (36 minutes, 3 seconds), made Pitt State one-dimensional offensively and blanked Pitt State after halftime during a 24-15 victory for the Bearcats, eventual national champions. "The bottom line is, our defense bailed us out several times," Pitt State head coach Tim Beck said. "Offensively, we just couldn't get anything going. We didn't get the run game established early on and it forced us to be eventually one-dimensional in the second half, which allowed their defensive linemen to get in a 3-point stance and get up the field and rush us hard and put a lot of pressure on Tony. It really came down for us the first half not getting anything established . . . which left our defense on the field for most of the day." For the second Fall Classic in a row, Northwest Missouri controlled the scoreboard and made more big plays after halftime. "I thought they did a really good job of playing hard for 60 minutes," Northwest head coach Adam Dorrel said. "They kept believing. We talked all week one of our goals was just the will-to-win and to hear the seniors talk about that on the sideline when times were tough. Times were tough especially in the first half and they just kept battling. I can't say enough about our defense. Our defense played phenomenal today, played lights out, kept us in the football game. Turnovers were huge today. It's very rare when you're +3 in the first half with turnovers and we're down." GORILLAS TOPPLE FCS OPPONENT: Pitt State had never hosted a FCS opponent until Oct. 5 when transitional Abilene Christian entered Carnie Smith on Homecoming. Ninety-nine yards, 91 seconds and no timeouts. That's what Abilene Christian faced, trailing 28-20 late in the fourth quarter. The Pitt State defense came through with a big play, as it had most of the day. Deaven Jensen sacked quarterback John David Baker for a 5-yard loss and Avery Adair recovered the fumble at the Abilene Christian 33 with only 12 ticks left. "Our defense played a great game today," junior quarterback Anthony Abenoja said. "They won it for us today." "Defensively, I thought first half was awesome," head coach Tim Beck said. "they did a really nice job. Of course, we gave them one offensively, we threw a pick six but defensively, other than that, we gave up that drive right at the end of the half. To hold them down to one touchdown in the first half, that was a really good effort." A crowd of 10,981 watched Pitt State improve to 3-1 against FCS opponents, although it did create some good humor from Beck after the game about why Pitt State scheduled a FCS opponent for Homecoming. "We're not very smart, to begin with," Beck said. "It wasn't a very good idea. I told their head coach (Ken Collums) that before the game started. But, you know, you already try to sell to your kids one week at a time and we wanted them to step up a little bit in competition. . . . It worked out for us to play a really quality opponent because they've got some speed on their team and to be able to rise up and get a win on Homecoming, it's a big deal for our team." Pitt State moved to 5-0 on the season with the win. GORDON JOINS PITT STATE FAMILY: One of the key additions to the 2013 Gorillas was assistant coach Darrien Gordon, a four-time All-Pro during his decade-long NFL career (1993-2002) as a defensive back and return man. Gordon joined the veteran Pitt State coaching staff through the NFLPA/NCAA Coaching Internship Program. "You have to submit a resume, a cover letter and you also have to get three reference letters," Gordon said. "I was able to reach out to some former coaches and players, guys I played with, and they helped me out in that regard. I submitted my application to the NFL Players Association. They go through a process. It's probably about 40 guys that applied this year and it's about six of us former players that are doing it." Back in August, Gordon talked about his first week in Pittsburg. "It's been great," Gordon said. "The community's welcomed me with open arms. The coaching staff has, as well as the players. It's almost like you couldn't dream it any better, where you get an opportunity to be part of a great program, everyone's so accepting and friendly, and the guys, knowing that I played for a long time in the NFL, they want to hear what I have to say. I want to give them good information and the mistakes I made, I tell them about that too, on and off the field, as well as the things you can do well. Football is just a part of your life, it's not your whole life, but while you're here, you give it everything you have to be the best student and the best football player and the best person you can be." During his collegiate and pro days, Gordon's coaches included Dennis Green, Brian Billick, Willie Shaw, Bill Walsh, Mike Shahanan, Bobby Ross, Jon Gruden, Dan Reeves and Mike Sherman.