Half-time update: K-State shuts out South Dakota at the half

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Junior quarterback Joe Hubener pulls back to pass during the game against the University of South Dakota on Sept. 5, 2015. (George Walker | The Collegian)

The first half of K-State season’s opener hit both sides of peculiar.

On the positive end, senior corner back Morgan Burns started the game off with a bang by returning the football 100 yards on the opening kick-off to extend the Wildcat’s nation leading streak of having a kick-off return for a touchdown in 11 straight seasons.

It was the first game opening kick return for a touchdown for K-State since 2006 against Florida A&M.

However the jubilation for K-State didn’t linger as in the next offensive possession, sophomore quarterback Jesse Ertz became injured on a quarterback run play that saw him removed from the game and taken to the locker room in a cart.

With the injury to Ertz, junior back-up Joe Hubener took the reigns and struggled at times, throwing for 63 yards and rushing for 18 but stalling out on two consecutive drives in the red-zone, including a fumble on the one yard line.

However, K-State’s offense seemed to find its way in the 2nd quarter.

Redshirt freshman running back Justin Silmon came in for the largely ineffective junior Charles Jones and lit a spark, driving K-State down the field racking up 38 yards rushing.

Sophomore Glenn Gronkowski rumbled down to the two yard-line before tagging in fellow fullback and freshman Winston Dimel to knock the ball in to give K-State a 17-0 lead.

The Wildcat offense stalled out on the next offense, but once again cashed-in on special teams as senior wide receiver and special teams captain Stanton Weber forced and recovered a fumble on the punt.

Hubener wasted no time getting the ball into the end-zone finding a 24 yard pass to junior wide-out Deante Burton for a touchdown to extend their lead at the half to 24-0.

On South Dakota’s next possession, senior safety Dante Barnett went down with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. He led the Wildcats with five tackles at the half.

Stay tuned to kstatecollegian.com and @sportscollegian on Twitter for more K-State sports coverage for the duration of the game.

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Tim Everson was born in Wichita, KS in 1994. Before fifth grade he moved up to Manhattan for one year before settling in Riley, KS where he graduated from Riley County High School in 2012. Tim has worked for the Collegian since spring of 2014 and took over as Sports Editor during the summer of 2015. Tim loves sports, music, movies and good food when he can get it.