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Offense struggles in lose in Emporia

Western avoided their third shutout in the Jerry Partridge-era with a 19-yard Tanner Pettet field goal with just 28 seconds left. The Griffons fell 17-3 on Saturday in Emporia to the Hornets.Partridge said he was “disappointed” in the performance of the team.
“We are not performing to the level that I think our program standard is set,” Partridge said.
The offense struggled mightily to move the ball with any consistency.
“That’s 10 points in the last nine quarters and thats not going to cut it,” Partridge said.
Starting at quarterback was Nate Wilson, who entered the season as the third quarterback on the depth chart. Wilson was forced into action with injuries to the Griffons’ top two signal-callers, Skyler Windmiller and T.J. LaFaver.
“Right now, we are kind of in a bad way offensively,” Partridge said. “We’re not playing at the level we have to, offensively, at this point.”
Wilson struggled with a 13-for-33 day and only threw for 142 yards, and Partridge said the third-stringer isn’t to blame for the loss.
“Nate competed,” Partridge said. “The game doesn’t fall on Nate Wilson’s shoulders.”
The junior was put in a bad position though with Raphael Spencer being benched for the first half of the game due, to coach’s decision.
“His suspension had to do with team policy,” Partridge said. “It literally had to do with punctuality. Its something we had to take care of and address.”
The Griffons only managed 113 yards on the ground with backup Josh Caldwell leading the way.
With the offense struggling so mightily, the defense needed a monster performance to keep the Griffons in the game.
The defense limited the Emporia offense to 17 points, which is over 20 points less than they were averaging entering the game.
“The last two weeks we’ve played well enough on defense, but just haven’t done it on offense,” Partridge said.
The defense also finished with four turnovers, including two Jonathan Owens’ interceptions and one from Arbanas Elliot.
“Owens had two really athletic interceptions,” Partridge said.
They were on the field for 84 plays on Saturday and seemed to wear down in the fourth quarter as the game fell out of reach.
Entering the fourth quarter though, Western only trailed 7-0 thanks to the great effort from the defense.
“Our defense was outstanding today,” Partridge said. “Played championship-level defense.”

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