Western’s football season kicks off tonight

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Missouri Western football kicks off their 2011 season tonight, Thursday Sept.1, against Pittsburg State.

Western looks to climb their way back into playoff contention, where they have not found much success. Tonight will be the first time Western begins the season against an MIAA opponent in over 10 years. This has given both teams plenty of motivation to begin the season on a high note.

Tonight’s game will feature the Griffon’s new starting quarterback, Travis Partridge for the first time. Partridge saw action in eight games last season, throwing for 125 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Travis Partridge is the son of Head Coach Jerry Partridge.

At running back will be No. 22 Michael Hill, a 5’11 junior who looks to contribute more this season than he has in the past. The past two years, Hill has split time, but will now be the focus point on the ground for the offense. He  might have to carry the offense, at least for now, while the Griffons adjust to life after star quarterback Drew Newhart graduated.

Another key component will be the Griffons strong defensive line. Starting at defensive end will be preseason All-American David Bass, who registered eight sacks last season.

Pittsburg State will look to run the pistol offense tonight in hopes of confusing the Griffons’ defense, something Western must be able to control to pull out the victory. The Gorillas line up with Zac Dickey at quarterback for another season. Last year, Dickey recorded over 900 rushing yards.

The Griffons defeated the Gorillas last season 42-25. The game is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. tonight at Spratt Stadium.

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