PITTSBURG, KS. (KSNT)- Emporia State football had an ugly first half against No. 3 Pittsburg State on Saturday.

The Hornets scored on their opening drive but then PSU answered with a 27-0 run before halftime. The 24-point deficit at the break grew to 27 when the Gorillas hit a field goal on the opening drive of the second half.

ESU trailed 30-3 going into the fourth quarter but refused to quit.

The Hornets got stops on defense and touchdowns on offense in the fourth… a stellar recipe. Braden Gleason threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, two of them to Tyler Kahmann. The Hornets converted on a two-point conversion after the third touchdown to make it a one-score game.

Pitt State recovered the ESU onside kick, but the game was still not over. ESU got a stop on third and one in the Gorillas final drive. PSU, sitting just outside of field goal range, elected to go for it on fourth and two and picked up the yards.

The No. 3 ranked team in the country then took a knee to wind down the remainder of the clock.

“We fought. We had our opportunity, we really did,” ESU head football coach said after the game. “…There’s still a lot of things in front of us this season is not over.”

Pittsburg State won 33-25. Emporia State falls to 4-2 with the loss and will return home for a meeting with Washburn on Saturday, Oct. 14.