Griffons swat Hornets 57-28

[caption id="attachment_13473" align="alignnone" width="300"] Coach Jerry Partridge gives a couple Griffon football players a pep talk during their game against the Emporia State Hornets. The Griffons triumphed 57-28.[/caption] Griffon Football looked ferocious on Thursday, Oct. 25, serving No. 20 Emporia State its first loss of the season with a 57-28 blowout at Welch Stadium in Emporia, Kan. The Griffons improved to 8-1 while the Hornets dropped to 8-1. The Hornets came into the game with the top ranked offense in the MIAA, but the physical Griffon defense allowed only one first down in the entire first half and no points. "We played Emporia well and obviously we are starting to reach our expectations," defensive end David Bass said.  "It’s ideal and I know it’s not going to happen every week, but we are going to go out and try to make it happen." Kicker Taylor Anderson made a field goal to put the Griffons on top 3-0; then running back Michael Hill went to work. Hill ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter, both from three yards out as the Griffons took at 17-0 lead. "We pretty much came out and wanted to carry over what we had the week before at Pitt," Hill said. "We didn’t run too many different plays, a lot of inside zone and kept shoving it down their throat. I don’t know how many times we passed, but we smashed them in the trenches." Anderson hit another field goal to make the score 20-0 at the start of the second quarter. Quarterback Travis Partridge connected with the elusive Tyron Crockom on a screen pass for a 19-yard touchdown and then ran the ball in from eight yards out to give the Griffons a commanding 26-0 lead at the halftime break. "Tyron is just a good football player," Coach Jerry Partridge said.  "He catches the ball and has ran reverses. The wealth has been spread around pretty evenly  on offense for us." The second half started with another highlight play from the Griffons, this time it was on defense.  Cornerback Michael Jordan intercepted a pass thrown by quarterback Tyler Eckenrode and returned it for a 91-yard touchdown that put the Griffons on top 33-0. "Michael Jordan is going to be one of the very best corners we have ever had here," Partridge said. "He’s solid as it gets with good speed, good agility, good hands, and he’ll tackle you." Hill had 185 yards and two touchdowns after the first half and was able to rest for the second half with the large lead. Reserve backs Dominic Thomas and Raphael Spencer took over rushing the ball and found success, showing the depth that the Griffons are working with at the position. "We’ve done that a lot this year, and the running backs behind me can come in and do the things that I did," Hill said. "It feels good, but also I want to be out there at the same time.  Whenever you are out of the game, you know that your team did their part to get you there." The Griffons rushing attack was responsible for 382 net yards and five touchdowns. Thomas gained 53 yards and scored on an 11-yard touchdown run while Spencer gained 96 yards and scored on a seven yard touchdown run that put the Griffons on top 47-0. Emporia scored 14 points in both the third and fourth quarters as the Griffons reserves got into the game, but it was too late as the Griffons already had an insurmountable lead.  The Griffons forced the Hornets to punt eight times on the day and held Eckenrode to 24-for-48 passing and forced two interceptions. "We’ve got a lot of kids playing time in two games where they shouldn’t have gotten the playing time," Partridge said. "It was good to play a lot of kids and hopefully we are going to be healthy enough now for this pivotal stretch run."  

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