The last time Missouri Western saw zero on the scoreboard after a game, it wasn’t as impelling. It was the one’s that received the wrong side of a shutout.
But on Saturday, Western defeated Langston University 47-0 at Spratt Stadium, a game which sets up a tough matchup on Thursday at Washburn, who, as of Saturday, is ranked No. 13 according to the America Football Coaches Association.
“We played well,” coach Jerry Partridge said. “I felt pretty good about it. A couple plays bothered me.”
Western started out slow, as they went into half up 19-0. In the third quarter is where the game turned in the Griffon’s favor.
“We’ve really played well in the second half all year.”
Travis Partridge went 7-for-19 for 105 yards and one touchdown in the first half. His shaky performance changed in the second half, as he led the team on three scoring drives in a row. The Griffons first play from scrimmage in the second half — a 53-yard strike to Tarrell Downing — was a touchdown. From there, Western pounded its way to another touchdown behind junior running back Michael Hill.
The Griffons scored for the third time in the third quarter when Partridge ran a quarterback sneak up the middle for a 1-yard-touchdown as Western [2-1] went up 40-0 over Langston.
“There was no difference in our attitude from the first to the second half; we just executed,” said Partridge, who was making just his third career start. “After getting three under my belt, the game is starting to slow down. It’s fun.”
Partridge was a perfect 5-for-5 in the second half.
The starters were taken out after the last touchdown, as Western has to have a sufficient amount of rest before it’s next game. On Thursday, on national television in Topeka, Kan., Washburn awaits.
“[Washburn] is real important. We have to send a message to this team and the other teams in the MIAA,” David Bass said. He registered another pair of sacks to go along with his four-sack performance last week when Western upset No. 12 Central Missouri 23-6. The defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown since the second-to-last play in the opening week against Pittsburg State.
Western’s offense didn’t perform well in the first half, though they had a 19-0 lead. Four times Western had the Lions inside the 20-yard-line, but could only come away with 12 points [four field goals].
“We didn’t run the ball well down there,” Jerry Partridge said. “We didn’t cash in; we left some points out there.”
Special teams played a valuable role for Western as well. Yomi Alli and Isaac Collins both blocked punts in the first half to set up great field position for Western. Collins also had his second career interception early in the fourth quarter. The senior said it was exciting to be able to contribute, on both defense and special teams.
“We knew that they were a little bit weaker on the edges,” Collins said. “So we had a couple twist that were going on, to confuse them a little bit on who they were suppose to block.”
Western’s special teams also faked a punt and a field goal because they felt Langston [2-1] wouldn’t look for it. The fake punt saw Reggie Jordan take the snap to the left side and dust out a 57-yard run. He had two receptions for 56 yards to go with his long run.
Hill had 20 carriers for 92 yards and a touchdown. Backup quarterback Jerrin Walton saw a lot of playing time late in the game. He complete two passes but ran seven times. This marked the first shutout for the Griffons in nine seasons.
Western will play it’s third MIAA game Thursday at 7 p.m at Washburn. It will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Other scores in the MIAA from the weekend’s contest: Central squeaked out a seven point win over Emporia State, 45-38. Northwest Missouri State again pounded its opponent and improved to 3-0 as they defeated Lincoln [Mo.] 73-7. Washburn, just like the other two games, went on the road and won 30-14 against Missouri Southern State. Washburn is now 3-0 on the year. Southwest Baptist and Pittsburg made it five out of six for the road teams this week in the division as Baptist won 30-28 over Fort Hays State and the Gorillas surprisingly had trouble from Truman State. They won 27-26 to stay undefeated. All three were MIAA games.
All Photos By: Jason Brown