It’s a cliche, but it’s more true now than ever.
Missouri Western football is knee-deep in its regular season schedule. Four games in with only two wins, all indications are that the Griffons need to win six out of their next seven games to have a chance at another post-season appearance.
But Western may be on the uprise. With some heads looking down at the quarterback, Travis Partridge led a 12 play, 70-yard drive to signify his presence with the Griffons is needed. Before the drive, Western looked shot. It was down by two touchdowns, and the offense didn’t appear able to amount to a comeback.
Although the Griffons comeback did fall short, that drive alone stood out for many reasons. For one, the job of the quarterback isn’t simple, but one of the main areas a quarterback needs to be successful in is third-down- and fourth-down-conversions.
Partridge nailed a third down, 7-yard strike to TJ Fannin on the Griffon side of the field. Three plays later, on fourth-and-1, Partridge ran for a first.
His most impressive play came when he hit wide receiver Tyron Crockum for a touchdown. Not only did it give Western a serious shot at winning a nationally televised game, on the road against a top-10 opponent, but the ball zipped past the defender’s hand. If the ball was thrown any differently, an interception would have ended the night, and more criticism would come.
One question remains about the offense, and it is not the quarterback. Why is the offensive coordinator still running what seems to be over 90 percent of the plays out of the shotgun? Michael Hill is an old-school type of running back. He is averaging four yards a carry. Is the shotgun really needed? And it’s not like Western’s receivers have outstanding numbers right now.
Fannin leads the team with 13 receptions, and no other receiver has double-digit catches. If the offensive line can help give Partridge more time to throw, perhaps the team can justify its play calls.
Until then, the Griffons should give 100 percent effort Saturday afternoon, when they head to Joplin, Mo. to take on Missouri Southern. Because they know every game is the most important game of the week, and they must take it one game at a time.