Missouri Western football traveled to Emporia, Kansas to take on the Emporia State Hornets on a cloudy Saturday afternoon, and would fall in a heartbreaking loss 30-27, extending their losing streak to four games.
Head coach Matt Williamson said that he would use the two quarterback system of Syklar Windmiller and Dom Marino that had some effectiveness aginst Washburn0. Despite what he said Monday, Dom Marino was the only quarterback aside from one Corey Bertini throw that took the field. Marino has been playing solid since returning to action a week ago, after being out a couple weeks due to injury. It looks as if he has sole possession of the quarterback position for the rest of the season an for the foreseeable future.
It would be learned later that Windmiller re-injured his collarbone and is out for the season, closing his college football career.
As for the defense, which has been stout all season despite the down season the team has faced, still ranks near the top of the conference in categories such as interceptions, sacks and tackles. With standouts like Jonathan Owens, Cody Lindsay, Tyrell Robison, Brandin Dandridge and Darrian Bass leading the charge for the defense, Western came out physical just as Williamson an his staff have preached all season. Redshirt freshman Sam Webb got the ball rolling for the defense as he got an early interception in the first quarter. This would build early momentum for the Western defense, which only surrendered ten points all first half.
Senior Safety Jonathan Owens preached about getting off to early start, an not putting his offense in an early hole.
“Slow starts on defense have really hurt us, giving up points early in the game an putting pressure on our offense to score isn’t a good recipe,” Owens said. “Our coaches do a great job of making adjustments and putting us in the right spots. We just have to make play.”
Western is on the cusp of posting an exact replication record wise of the 2016 season. With powerhouse Northwest Missouri State coming in town for Western’s season finale, Western look to end on a high note. For seniors like Cody Lindsay, Darrian Bass and Jonathan Owens, this game holds a lot of weight, never minding the fact that they are playing a hungry Bearcats team that is riding a two game losing streak of their own.
Owens is excited to play spoiler to the Bearcats season.
“With this being a rival game and Northwest coming off two straight losses gives us seniors something to play for,” Owens said. “We get to play spoiler and possibly knock Northwest out of the playoffs”.
Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. at Spratt Memorial Stadium this Saturday.