Western could not gain ground after falling behind early to the Pittsburg State Gorillas. The early scores by the Gorillas left the Griffons with a 23-13 loss.
The first quarter got off to a shaky start for the Griffons; they turned the ball over quickly to the Gorillas when Isaac Maselera intercepted a pass from Skyler Windmiller.
Pitt State capitalized on their opportunity and scored a touchdown on a 15 yard pass play. Western’s next possession resulted in a punt, which led to a Pitt State drive, ending in a touchdown.
The Griffons would not lie down, as they went on to score 13 points in the first half. A 34 yard field goal by John Schmiemeier and a three yard touchdown pass by Windmiller made it a narrow 14-10 lead for the Gorillas.
Western kept up with Pitt State for the remainder of the first half. At halftime, the score was 17-13 Pitt State.
However, Western could not create any rhythm on offense during the second half. The Gorillas kept rolling and scored two field goals in the second half. The final score of the game was 23-13, in favor of Pitt State.
Although the Griffons scored more on the Gorillas than any other team this year, Western only had a total of 192 yards of offense and did not execute well, according to head coach Jerry Partridge.
“We did not play real well offensively,” Partridge said. “We had a lot of missed assignments as far as pass protection goes and just did not execute.”
With all of the offensive struggles, Windmiller believes that the issues will be resolved before the next game.
“I think that there was a lot of miscommunication type stuff that held us back in the second half, but it is nothing that can not be figured out and fixed this week at practice,” Windmiller said.
The Griffons’ defense also made fundamental errors in the loss. They gave up 354 yards of total offense and allowed the Gorillas to gain 20 first downs.
“We are doing good things, but we did not make the plays that we needed to make on third down conversions and we did fundamental things wrong in the secondary,” Partridge said.
Although Western is now 3-2, Partridge has stressed that now is not the time to give up.
“I try to stress to the team that we have to keep battling and we have to play one game at a time,” Partridge said.
The Griffons are positive that they can compete with any team they are against, according to Windmiller.
“I think that any Saturday anybody can beat anybody and that is what is interesting,” Windmiller said. “You never know what can happen but I do think we are capable of winning a good amount o f games this season.”
Western is back in action against Fort Hays State University on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. The Griffons have defeated the Tigers in their last nine meetings.