TOPEKA, Kan. — No. 8 Washburn put up 31 points in the second half as the Ichabods rallied to top Missouri Western 41-20 after trailing 13-10 at the halftime.
The win improved the Ichabods to 4-0 for the first time since 1986.
Washburn quarterback Dane Simoneau was 23 of 39 for 360 yards and four touchdowns. He completed passes to nine different receivers, led by Matt Kobbeman’s five catches for 89 yards.
Justin Cooper led the Ichabods on the ground with 102 yards on 23 carries.
Like all the games in the series, the Griffons and the Ichabods played a close first half. Both teams turned the ball over three times with Missouri Western losing two fumbles and throwing one interception while Washburn threw two picks and lost one fumble.
The Ichabods opened up the scoring when Dane Simoneau connected on a 31-yard pass from DeJuan Beard on a fourth-down play with 5:23 to play in the first. Missouri Western responded on the next possession going 45 yards on 11 plays with Greg Zuerlein connecting on a 28-yard field goal cutting the Washburn lead to 7-3 early in the second quarter.
The Ichabods opened its next possession with a 28-yard Justin Cooper run into Griffon territory. Simoneau connected on a 20-yard pass to Matt Kobbeman putting Washburn inside the Griffon 10-yard line. The Griffon defense stiffened holding WU to a 22-yard Jeremy Linn field goal with 8:46 to play in the frame.
Western took control the rest of the half driving 43 yards on five plays with Zuerlein connecting on a 27-yard field goal with 7:27 to play. The Griffons took their first lead of the contest on their very next possession when Travis Partridge connected with Adam Clausen from 11 yards out capping off a 29-yard drive giving Western the 13-10 halftime lead.
The second half belonged to the Ichabods, who outscored the Griffons 31-10 on their way to a 4-0 start and 3-0 start in MIAA action.
The Ichabods took the first possession of the opening half 57 yards on four plays opening up a 17-13 lead after a five-yard run by Sean McPherson. Washburn kept up the pressure when Simoneau hit Tore Hurst for a 16-yard touchdown capping off a 60-yard drive with 2:20 to play in the third.
Washburn opened up a 14-point lead early in the fourth when Linn nailed a 36-yard field goal putting the Ichabods up 27-13.
Western tried to mount a comeback, driving 70 yards on 12 plays with Partridge connecting with Tyron Crockum from seven yards out cutting the lead to 27-20.
The Ichabods responded nicely connecting on a three-yard score from Simoneau to Ronnell Garner and then a 30-yard pass from Simoneau to Hurst claiming the 21-point victory.
Western finished with 276 yards of total offense with 103 coming on the ground and 173 through the air. Michael Hill had 57 yards on 19 rushes while Partridge rushed for 35 yards on 13 carries. Fannin had seven catches for 55 yards as Partridge completed 18-of-31 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Jeremy Weston led the defense with 10 tackles while Nic Burrell finished with nine.
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