Travis Partridge walked into the press conference and sat in the corner by himself.
He put his head down and let his emotions clear. The sophomore quarterback had just pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Missouri Western football history.
Down at the half, Partridge led a turnover-free game, and pulled his team together when it needed him to; for the first time in his short career, he looked like a leader.
“This means everything,” Partridge said. “There’s a lot of emotion involved, and that’s a team victory if there’s ever one. It’s gigantic.”
Partridge had help from a great defensive game plan, as well as players Jack Long and Ben Jackson, who played one of the better games they’ve played all year. The defense not only prevented Northwest Missouri State from scoring its 56 points-per-game average, but Western cut it in half — 28.
Still, the game changed when the quarterback had the ball down by eight. Partridge stepped back to throw, but slid through the pocket and ran the ball 51-yards down field. On that run, the momentum switched and the fans erupted.
A few plays later, a one-yard run by Michael Hill and a two-point conversion pass from Partridge to Reggie Jordan tied the game. From there, Partridge connected on a two-yard touchdown to Adam Clausen, marking the score 28-21. And from there, Greg Zuerlein nailed a school record 58-yard field goal. Just like that, a 31-28 victory over Northwest gave Partridge and his family one of their biggest victories.
“It feels amazing,” Partridge said. “It’s surreal. I don’t want this feeling to end.”
The day has ended, but the memory will always be in his mind. He watched several quarterbacks go up against the Bearcats, and almost all of them have failed. But his first start, Partridge didn’t fail. He succeeded, and nobody can take that away from him.
“Honestly, I keep stopping and [wondering] is this a dream?” Partridge said. “I’ve had this dream so many times in my life.”