Western got back on track with a 30-0 win against the Northeastern State University RiverHawks.
The Griffons entered the game with a 1-1 record after beating the University of Central Missouri 10-9 and losing 17-26 to University of Central Oklahoma. After the loss to UCO, Western wanted to prove that they could start hot and play hard for four quarters.
“After the UCO loss, we told ourselves we wanted to play four full quarters and I think we accomplished that against Northeastern State,” said linebacker Yomi Alli.
On offense, the Griffons compiled 198 yards on the ground and 124 yards in the air for a total of 322 yards and two touchdowns against the RiverHawks defense. Running back Raphael Spencer ran for 105 yards and scored two touchdowns, accounting for most of Western’s rushing yards and both of the offensive touchdowns. Spencer now has 349 yards, giving him the second most yards in the MIAA.
The Griffon defense continued their typical high level of play while dominating the RiverHawk offense.
Western’s defense forced four turnovers, all from interceptions, and held Central Oklahoma to zero points. Defensive back Michael Jordan’s two interceptions tied him for the MIAA lead, with three interceptions on the season. Defensive backs Elroy Douglas and Marc Harrison each recorded one interception, while Harrison’s pick was returned for a 100 yard touchdown.
“That is the way we need to play every game, especially after giving up points like we did against UCO,” said Harrison. “We got some young guys that are definitely good for the future of the program.”
The Griffons’ head coach, Jerry Partridge, was also impressed by how well the defense handled the RiverHawks.
“They were not able to run the ball very effective on us at all,” said Partridge. “Anytime you get a shutout, it is a heck of a deal.”
Western will be preparing to face the Lindenwood Univeristy Lions on national television. This is Lindenwood’s third year as a MIAA member and the first time the Griffons and the Lions have ever played each other. Since 2007 the Griffons have outscored new opponents 169-49 and are 28-26-2 when playing a team for the first time.
The Lions are 1-2 after a 20-7 loss to Fort Hays State. Although Lindenwood possesses a losing record, their offense is ranked No. 8 in the MIAA and their defense is ranked No. 10.
Western will be traveling to St. Charles, Mo., to face Lindenwoood on Thursday, Sept. 25. The Griffons will be broadcasted nationally on the CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m.