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EMPORIA (KSNT) – After a devastating 35-7 loss against Northwest Missouri State to end the regular season, the Hornets thought their season was over.

“We came in on Sunday and we didn’t know if we were going to be turning in our pads and everything that day,” redshirt junior wide receiver Cole Schumacher said.

Head Coach Garin Higgins had great news to deliver though: The Hornets are going bowling.

“They were excited. They were in shock. They were like ‘Are you serious coach?’ And they were excited, they really were,” Higgins said.

“Complete elation. I mean, you could see it not only for me but for everyone. Guys lit up when they found out about it. I love this team so much, I love the seniors we have,” Schumacher said. “And we get told that we get another game- I mean the room lit up, as it should. It’s incredibly exciting, I know we’re all really thankful for it.”

The opportunity is especially meaningful to the Hornets senior class, who thought they had played their last college football game.

“At Northwest all the seniors were just very emotional, myself included, just knowing it’d probably be my last game. But there’s always hope and you never know what can happen,” senior defensive back Kyle Rinck said. “Just to come back and have another game, it means everything and we’re ready to play.”

Emporia State will play in the Farmers Bank and Trust bowl on Saturday, Dec. 4 in Texarkana, Arkansas. The Hornets will play Southeastern Oklahoma.