Column: Don’t let the record fool you

Featured Sports Football Sports

I have been a member of Western for four straight years now, which means the Griffons have played Northwest State six times since my arrival.
In that span, Western has gone 2-4 against the Bearcats, with Northwest winning the last meeting 51-21 in Spratt stadium.
If there was any game I preferred not to miss every year, it was the Northwest game. Even if traveling was needed, attending the game has become a tradition.
This year feels a lot different, however. Northwest is the reigning champion of the MIAA and division two football.
Despite their loss to the Gorillas of Pittsburg State, the Bearcats still seem to be the team to beat this year.
Western’s offensive struggles are apparent this year and are one of the reasons they have a 5-3 record.
Do not count the Griffons out, though, because one thing I have learned over the years in this rivalry is that anything can happen.
Although this team has struggled, there are some things that Western has in their favor this year that will help them in their matchup.
The last time Western beat Northwest, their were a couple of key ingredients that helped them achieve that feat.
First, it started with the running game. Mike Hill and Travis Partridge did not make much of an impact at first, but were key in several plays that game.
Hill was the only 100-yard rusher in the game, but Partridge’s late touchdown proved to be the biggest run play of the entire game.
This time around, Raphael Spencer is the starting running back for the Griffons. Spencer is probably this team’s biggest playmaker, so they will have to get him going early.
The biggest impact of the game was made by the defense two years ago. After giving up two quick scores, the defense settled and took control of the game.
In the second half of the game, the defense only surrendered three points to the Bearcats’ offense.
Surprisingly, this defense reminds me of that defense from two years ago. They had a lot of depth and it included players that had grown together through the years.
The same can be said for this year’s defense. They have a couple of players that started two years ago, but the majority of the defense will play their first game in Maryville this year.
This will be some of their first times playing at Bearcat stadium, but this won’t be the first that the defense has played with each other.
The familiarity should help tremendously and carry the Griffons to another upset.

Comments are closed.