Griffons hit the road to face winless Central Oklahoma
By Albert Shelby
September 30, 2013
Western will continue their southern tour on Oct. 4, when they travel to the University of Central Oklahoma to face off against the Bronchos.
The game will feature a team that is winless and a team that has yet to lose. The Bronchos have dropped four straight, and are looking to bounce back.
Running back Joshua Birmingham, has carried the Bronchos for the first half of the season. He leads the team with 10 touchdowns and has gained 488 total rushing yards.
The Griffons have got off to a fast start on the season, and look to keep the streak rolling. The defense only gave up 21 points last week against an explosive Fort Hays offense, but the roster is filled with prospects.
Head coach, Jerry Partridge, said he has some players playing out of position, but feels comfortable with their play.
“We got John Ogelsby hurt,” coach Partridge said. “He is a very athletic D-end who can make a difference. So we got Darrian Bass, who has been playing linebacker all year. We have to put him at D-end on some plays.”
Austin Baska has been the anchor on the defensive line for the Griffons and has caused havoc in the backfield. Baska has 20 tackles, with three totaling in the loss of 11 yards.
Linebacker Stephen Juergens leads the team in total tackles with 34 so far.
Broncho Adrian Shoecraft was an honorable mention All-MIAA choice a year ago. Shoecraft will hope to stop a very explosive Griffons offense.
Running back Raphael Spencer knows that the offense starts with their dynamic running game.
“It’s all about grinding it out,” Spencer said. “Coach always tells us not to take an opponent lightly. We always have to play hard the next play. That’s what he always wants to instill in us.”
Spencer noted that executing what they practice every day has to come into play when they touch the field Saturday night.
“We just have to execute,” Spencer said. “I believe if we just stick to our game plan, good things will happen. Next game, I plan to see the hole quicker and explode more.”
Tight end Reggie Jordan has become the designated weapon for quarterback Travis Partridge. Jordan feels honored when called on to make big plays for his team.
“I feel pretty special,” Jordan said. “It’s a great feeling to know that the coaches have enough faith in me to make those types of plays.”
Jordan noted that he is sure Central Oklahoma will come in with a hungry attitude, so they will have to strike early.
“Central Oklahoma is another one of those teams that have nothing to lose,” Jordan said. “We definitely cannot sleep on them either. Every week, coach reminds us that this week is a ‘faceless opponent.’ No one should be taken lightly.”