The 4th ranked Missouri Western football team fell 31-30 in a heart-breaker against the Missouri Southern Lions on homecoming Saturday. The Griffons turned the ball over on its final two possessions which ultimately gave them their first loss of the season. MWSU falls to 6-1 overall and 5-1 in MIAA play.

The Griffons opened up the scoring in the first quarter when Travis Partridge hit Reggie Jordan from five yards out capping a four play 45 yard drive giving the Griffons the 7-0 lead. In the second quarter the scoring picked up with a combined 27 points scored between the two teams.

The Lions used a 14 play 75 yard drive which was capped off by a Kellen Cox one yard touchdown run. The Lions used a fake punt and a couple Griffon penalties to keep the scoring drive alive. The Griffons responded the next drive with a fake punt of their own. Jordan took the snap and ran 86 yards for his second touchdown of the game giving the Griffons a 14-7 lead with 11:54 to play in the half.

The two teams traded field goals the next two possession giving the Griffons the 17-10 lead after Taylor Anderson nailed a 27 yard field goal with 1:46 to play in the half. Missouri Southern kept calm responding with a touchdown drive ending the half. Ne’ront Threatt scored as time expired from two yards out tying the score at 17 heading to the locker room.

The Griffons had 245 yards of total offense in the half with 165 coming on the ground. Jordan had 86 yards rushing while Partridge had 46 and Michael Hill had 33. Partridge completed 10-of-11 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown while Derek Libby had two receptions for 34 yards. Stephen Juergens led the Griffons with six tackles while David Bass and Raymond Cottman had five tackles.

MSSU had 226 yards with 128 on the ground. Cox had 13 carries for 52 yards with a touchdown. Cox completed 4-of-9 passes for 68 yards with Bryant Venson had three catches for 59 yards. Demond Horsely and Breon Matlock both had three tackles at the half.

In the third quarter the Griffons found themselves in an unfamiliar situation when the Lions drove 74 yards on seven plays capped by a Bryant 38 yard run which gave MSSU the lead 24-17 with 7:14 to play in the third. The Griffons responded on the next drive when Partridge hit Kyle Knox for a 61 yards touchdown setting MWSU on the MSSU one. Partridge took the next snap in tying the score at 24 with 6:02 to play in the third.

The Griffons used a 53 yards and a 29 yard field goal from Anderson giving them a 30-24 lead with 4:34 to play.

With it 2nd and 10 form the Southern 37 yard line the lightening came forcing a rain delay which started at 4:06 pm with 3:56 to play in the game. The game would resume 54 minutes later with the Lions coming out ready to play. They drove down the field scoring with two minutes left on the clock after a JJ Jones one yard plunge giving the Lions the 31-30 lead.

The Griffons took the ball to the Lion 38 yard line but a fumble gave the ball right back to MSSU. The Griffon defense held the Lions on their next three plays giving the Griffons the ball back at its 30 yard line with 40 second to play. The next play would be a turnover which sealed the Lions victory. They improve to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in MIAA play.

Missouri Western finished with 493 yards of offense with 260 coming on the ground. This marked the first game in two years that the Griffons have lost when rushing for over 200 yards. Partridge had 67 yards while Hill finished with 53 yards on 14 carries. Kyle Knox caught five passes for 103 yards while Partridge connected on 20-of-27 passes for 233 yards.

The Lions had 374 yards with 237 on the ground. Venson had 91 yards on five carries while Threatt had 37 yards on seven carries.

Juergens finished with 11 tackles while Bass and Cottman chipped in seven apiece. Aaron Hall led the Lions with eight tackles with six being solo. Demond Horsely had seven tackles all of which were solo.

The Griffons return to action on Saturday, October 20 against #1 Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kan. Kickoff is set for 2:00 pm in Carnie Smith Field.

Story courtesy of Missouri Western Athletics.