Missouri Western football downed Central Oklahoma in a thriller Saturday night by a score of 41-37 at Craig Field at Spratt Memorial Stadium.
This week the Griffon football team looked to avenge the heartbreaking loss that they suffered last week in Warrensburg, as they took on Central Oklahoma in a battle of 1-2 records.
However, it seemed like the Western offense put last weekend’s nightmare behind them as they got off to a quick start striking first, with a 25 yard pass to tight end, Austin Burau, from starting quarterback and also the birthday man Dom Marino.
“It was really fun to watch the first series,” head coach Matt Williamson said.
Despite the quick start by the Griffons, they never really could seem to pull away from the Bronchos, and in fact found themselves down by eight in the third quarter. However just like last week against Central Missouri after being down, the griffons showed tremendous resiliency Saturday night.
“I think its a credit to our coaches,” Williamson said.
“You have to keep pushing them an driving them, making them believe that they are going to win, because if they don’t think there going to win then we’re never going to have a chance. I’m very transparent about everything,” Williamson said.
Ultimately the echos of resiliency by the coaching staff did not fall on deaf ears, as Griffon senior Dijuan Ussery showed a great deal of it as he scooped up a Griffon fumble and ran all the way to the endzone for a 45 yard Griffon touchdown.
Narrowing the Central Oklahoma lead down to two points began an exciting fourth quarter.
With a steady diet of star running back Josh Caldwell, who had his second best performance of the season, the Griffons marched down the field. This drive would result in a 25 yard over the shoulder touchdown pass by Marino to Ussery for his second touchdown on the night.
However the Western defense repeated its miscues from the previous week into Saturday’s game, as linebacker Darrian Bass was ejected from the game after receiving his second targeting penalty. The lose of their leading tackler seemed to put a dent in the Western defense as they then went on to surrender a touchdown giving up the lead with five minutes remaining in the game.
Williamson had very little to say about the ejection.
“Just something you have to learn from,” Williamson said.
The Griffons responded back with a strike of there own, but immediately surrendered a 83 yard passing touchdown, relinquishing the lead once again with only two minutes left in the game
“We should’ve been in cover two on that play,” Williamson said.
Birthday man Marino ran onto the field for arguably the most crucial drive of his young Griffon career.
Marino must of wished for this drive when he blew out his candles before the game, because he found a wide open Elijah Cunningham down the middle of the field for game winning touchdown.
Willamson was asked about his quarterback play and the play calling down the stretch of the game.
“He seemed confident in the pocket, we opened up the play calling passing wise and I think that helped Marino,” Williamson said. “It was a really exhilarating game”
The Griffon football team improves to a 2-2 record an go on the road next week to face Northeastern State.