The Missouri Western Griffons improved their record to 2-0 on the young season with a 45-27 road victory against the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.
Laâ€™Darrian Page led the Griffons on offense as he rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown. On the opening drive Page broke a 36-yard run to get the Griffon offense going. Sophomore wide receiver Andrew Mead felt Pageâ€™s run was key play in the game.
â€œLaâ€™Darrian Page had a great run at the beginning of the game which was a great effort by him and our offensive line,â€ Mead said.
The defense stepped up big for the Griffons by forcing six turnovers. A big play for the defense was Ahmad Griffin returning a fumble 59 yards for a touchdown. Defensive coordinator Regi Trotter felt forcing turnovers was a big part of the Griffonsâ€™ success.
â€œAnytime you can get turnovers that helps tremendously,â€ Trotter said. â€œThatâ€™s something we preach on, and work so hard on in practice and itâ€™s really beneficial when it comes out in the game.â€
Besides Page, others on the offense also played well. Freshman quarterback Drew Newhart went 11-22 for 221 yards and threw two touchdown passes. Another player to step up for the Griffons was sophomore wide receiver Cedric Houston who caught four passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Although the Griffons were outgained in total yards for the second straight game 445 yards to 407 yards, that didnâ€™t tell the whole story. The Griffonsâ€™ toughest challenge was stopping Bulldog quarterback Ted Schlafke who compiled 389 yards of total offense. The Griffons, however, did force Schlafke into throwing four costly interceptions.
The Griffons are undefeated heading into the game against rival Northwest Missouri State. Confidence will be high going into the game, but junior defensive back Jarrett Morris knows Northwest is tough.
â€œConfidence is high, but we know we have a lot of work to do,â€ Morris said. â€œNorthwest is always a good team and will plays us tough every down.â€
The Griffons might be catching Northwest at a good time because they lost their first game of the season. Coach Trotter doesnâ€™t see it that way.
â€œThere is no doubt in my mind that their coaching staff will have their players ready to go for this weekend,â€ Trotter said.
The Griffons hope to keep their winning ways alive against Northwest on Saturday.