Griffons Roar Past Hornets

Arianne Boma

After a rough first, half Traveon James brought the Griffons back into the game with hope.

Once again, it was a huge second half for Missouri Western to pull off a 38–37 win over Emporia State.

Following a slow-moving first half against Emporia State, the freshman came into the third motivated, gaining a touchdown for the Griffons after the 45-yard pass connected from QB Anthony Vespo, pushing the Griffons one step closer to the lead.

The Griffons trudged through the first quarter after Emporia’s 54-yard kick. Billy Ross Jr., running back for the Hornets, returned the punt for a touchdown after the Griffons went three-and-out in the first drive.

Vespo was then able to secure the pass to freshman Brandon Hall with a 42-yard hang time, earning a touchdown for the Griffons.

“We thought that they would bite on the run hard so we just popped it out back behind the safeties for a deep pass,” Hall said.

But it just wasn’t quite enough after closing out the first half 28–7 with the Hornets having the lead.

Missouri Western then came back in the second half ready to dominate after a 82-yard drive helped to march down the field.

Missouri Western was then able to respond with a 48-yard drive through the middle by sophomore Cooper Burton after the connecting pass from Vespo to start the 76-yard drive after the Hornets managed to obtain an interception and field goal with 4:20 in the quarter.

James then managed to bring in a touchdown for the Griffons after a 12-yard pass, earning the Griffons 31–20 after an unsuccessful PAT.

Hall then managed to respond with a 42-yard run by finishing an 80-yard scoring drive, which Vespo was able to connect with Hall, bringing the Griffons 31–28.

Vespo was on a roll after playing his best game of the season so far, throwing 18 out of 28 passes, with a 48-yard completion being his longest. Head coach Matt Williamson agreed.

“I thought Vespo threw some amazing balls, there were like two or three were I was like ‘wow,’” Williamson said.

Hall also spoke of Vespo’s performance during the game.

“He did really well, he stepped up a lot and he’s really been improving every week,” Hall said.

Sophomore Cooper Burton caught a two-point conversion thrown by Vespo bringing the Griffons 31–30.

Freshman Shen Butler Lawson Jr. was able to earn a 1-yard touchdown pass from Vespo, giving the Griffons the first lead of the game 38–31.

Though the Griffons didn’t do very well in the first half, they came back in the second and exploded for the second time in a row. In the second half they gained control after being down by a 21 point lead by the Hornets.

“We got a lot more success in the second half and you could just see in their eyes they were slipping away and we are going to play to win,” Williamson said.

The Griffons are on the road this weekend to Topeka, Kansas, and play against Washburn at 1 p.m.

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Chloe’ Clossum

Chloe’ Clossum

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Freshman, Journalism major at Missouri Western State University.