Huge plays on offense and a lockdown defense allowed the Griffon football team to win big on homecoming against Truman State, 45-7.
“We stepped up when we needed to step up,” coach Jerry Partridge said. “I thought it was just a solid start-to-finish victory.”
Reggie Jordan scored the first two touchdowns for the Griffons. The first one came on a fake punt play that fooled the Truman defense and resulted in Jordan running the ball up the sideline for 64 yards and the score with three minutes left in the first quarter.
“It was very wide open actually,” Jordan said. “I could have jogged into the end zone.”
Early in the second quarter, Jordan caught a four yard pass from Travis Partridge that put the Griffons on top 14-0.
Tarrell Downing scored on an electrifying 80-yard touchdown late in the second quarter. Partridge hit Downing ten yards down the field after scrambling outside the pocket, Downing put a spin move on the defensive back and was off to the races to put the Griffons up 24-0 at the half. Downing had a big day, finishing with 171 receiving yards and a touchdown.
“We have some guys who can catch the short ones, make people miss and turn them into big plays. Tarrell did that,” said coach Partridge. “That’s the type of player I expect Tarrell to be.”
Michael Hill ran for 95 yards, 4.3 yards per carry and a third quarter touchdown that put the Griffon up 31-0. Hill had a 26-yard touchdown called back because of holding early in the first quarter.
Travis Partridge threw for 278 yards on 15-24 passing, three touchdowns and two interceptions on the day. He threw a bomb to Derek Libby for a 60-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put the Griffons up 38-0.
“I see Travis progressing more and more every week,” Downing said. “It’s showing in the stats and in the game.”
The defense shut the Bulldogs out for most of the night before they scored their only touchdown in the fourth quarter. Nic Burrell led the Griffons in tackles with 9, followed by Jeremy Weston and Shane Simpson with 7. Simpson also intercepted a pass late in the first quarter.
“Our defense is good. I really put them up against any defense in the league,” Travis Partridge said. “They pick us up every time we make a mistake. There is really no pressure because we know they are going to get it done.”
Greg Zuerlein hit his only field goal attempt of the day from 29 yards out and made all five of his extra point attempts.
Jerrin Walton scored the final touchdown late in the game on a 29 yard run to make the score 45-7.
The Griffon had 632 yards of total offense on the day.
“I wanted to make sure we closed out the right way. Our defense deserved the seven point total,” coach Partridge said.
The Griffons improve to 6-2 on the season and 5-2 in MIAA conference play.