There were ups and there were downs but, the ups seemed to prevail.

There were ups and there were downs but, the ups seemed to prevail.
The Pittsburg State offense seemed to be clicking on all cylinders in the early stages of the first half as they scored on three of their first four possessions of the half.
That is not to say there weren’t some stumbling along the way.
The No. 7 Gorillas had some tense moments but pulled away with big plays in the second half to beat 16th-ranked Central Oklahoma, 42-13 in both team’s season-opener at Carnie Smith Stadium Saturday night.
The Gorillas mounted an offensive attack that seemed to surprise even Pitt State themselves as they went ahead of UCO 21-10 in the first half behind a pair of touchdown runs from quarterback John McCoy and running back Terrance Isaac and a 63-yard touchdown pass from McCoy to Aaron Sawyer.
“I was surprised with the offense,” said PSU senior free safety Alex Kuhlman. “They were young but, they really came through.”
The tense moments came in the second half as the Bronchos (0-1) got a 33-yard field goal by Brian Didonato to pull to within eight, 21-13.
The Gorillas gave the ball back to UCO after Jared Jerkins fumbled the ensuing kick-off in UCO territory.
That led to a 45-yard field goal attempt that went wide right by Didonato, giving the Pitt State defense one of many big stops in the game.
“We had our opportunities but, we couldn’t finish,” said UCO head coach Tracy Holland.
Sfter punting on their next possession, the Gorillas got the ball back after another defensive stand and proceeded to drive the ball 77 yards before Isaac picked up his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard option pitch from McCoy with 1:02 left in the third.
“We did it to perfection [the option],” Isaac said. “When the coaches saw that it was open, it worked out good.”
UCO threatened again but, it was the defense that worked its magic.
Broncho quarterback Brandon Noohi drove UCO to the Pitt State 22 and went for pay dirt but found David Vaughn who made an interception in the back of the end zone to end the threat.
“I saw the ball and I always learned to go to the ball,” Vaughn said. “I just focused on staying in-bounds.”
The Gorilla offense made the interception pay off as they drove down to the five and, Isaac got his third touchdown of the night on a 5-yard option pitch from McCoy, which put the Gorillas up 35-13.
“This was not a game that we had control of,” said PSU head coach Chuck Broyles. “Their quarterback could get a hot hand.”
Noohi tried as UCO continued to use their no-huddle offense to drive to the Pitt State 33.
But, three consecutive incomplete passes coupled with an intention grounding and false start penalty forced UCO to turn the ball back to PSU on downs.
It didn’t take long for Pitt State to get the final pay-off as backup quarterback Jeff Smith found Sawyer for a 61-yard touchdown strike to give the Gorillas the win.
“Our plays were coming out of play-action and that helped me get a good jump,” Sawyer said.
The Gorillas will host their second nationally-ranked opponent of the season when they host Chadron State (Neb.) at noon next Saturday.
NOTES: The pre-game took on a new feel on Saturday night when the ‘Jungletron’ featured video of 1991 National Championship season as well as other clips of past PSU games ... The Gorillas also honored members of the PSU family that had passed away over the last year, including Al Ortolani, Pete Hamilton, along with Teresa and Taylor Kemp, the wife and daughter of PSU volunteer assistant John Kemp ... After being injured in the first half, running back Isaac ended the game with three touchdowns.