In a flurry of turnovers, penalties, questionable coaching decisions and all around bad play, the Griffons watched their storybook season turn into a nightmare in their final game.
This slip up by the Griffons not only costs them a home playoff game, but maybe the playoffs all-together. The Mineral Water Bowl may even be in doubt because of the debacle at Truman State 37-28.
â€œThe hardest part of this game is we could have gone deep into the playoffs if we won,â€ Jarrett Morris, a junior cornerback for the Griffons said. â€œOur offense was playing great and our defense had been getting turnovers all season long.â€
The Griffons played a great first half other than the last minute of the second quarter. With a minute left in the half, the Griffons held a 28-14 lead. This was the beginning of the end of any success for the Griffons.
In that minute span before halftime, Truman State scored nine points and took the momentum of the game away from the Griffons who had consistently put together long scoring drives in the first half.
The Griffons started the second half strong, but after a penalty on their first drive, on a fourth down conversion attempt, the Griffons were forced to a field goal try.
Instead of stretching a 28-23 game to 31-23, someone on the coaching staff of made a bad choice that changed the possible outcome of the game. One of the coaches decided to fake the field goal and Dustin Strickler couldnâ€™t make a first down on the play, so the Griffons turned the ball over.
This was the big momentum changer in the game. After the fake field goal, the Griffons had no more scoring attempts until the final drive of the game when an interception was thrown in the end zone to end any chance of a Missouri Western comeback.
After stopping the fake field goal, Truman State marched their offense down the field for a touchdown, which made the game 29-28. Truman went for a two-point conversion to make the lead 31-28.
The game would have been tied if the field goal had been kicked, instead of the score being tied; Truman took the lead and never gave it up.
â€œAll phases of our game broke down,â€ said Allen. â€œIt was a team loss and extremely disappointing. While Truman made adjustments to what we were doing to them, we made stupid mistakes.â€
All of the games Missouri Western has lost this season had come when the Griffon offense could not put up more than 30 points in the game.
It was not all the defenses fault in this game though. They played hard in the second half and kept Truman out of the end zone after turnovers had given the Bulldogs great field position.
The story of the game was the Griffons werenâ€™t able to get the job done on the road, in a game against a team they should beat, to go to the playoffs and have the first home playoff game in school history.
The team is young and there is always next year but this loss was a hard one to take, resulting in higher efficiency.â€