HAYS, Kan. – Griffon Football (1-1) bounced back with a 28-17 win at No. 25 Fort Hays State (0-2).
Missouri Western took its first lead early in the second quarter and never looked back on its way to a second consecutive victory over the two-time defending MIAA champs.
The Griffons scored 21 points in the second quarter to take a 21-3 lead into halftime and led 28-9 with 3:22 remaining before the Tigers scored a late TD.
The Griffons held FHSU to 14 yards rushing on 22 carries and didn't give up a touchdown until mid-way through the fourth quarter.
- MWSU took a 7-3 lead with 12:36 left in the second quarter when Wyatt Stiegerwald dropped a perfect pass to Damen Wheeler Jr. for a 37-yard touchdown on third and 10.
- A fumbled punt return by FHSU set the Griffons up for a one-play touchdown drive when Steigerwald dropped one into Kyle Berry that put the Griffs up 14-3 with 8:29 left in the second quarter.
- Shamar Griffith scored on a 12-yard touchdown run with 4:07 left in the first half to cap a dominant second quarter by MWSU.
- Markel Smith scored MWSU's final TD from six yards out on a drive that started by a high snap over Fort Hays State's punter.
- The Griffons didn't committ an offensive turnover and got two takeaways. DJ Stirgus pulled down his first career interception on a leaping grab in the end zone to take away a would-be TD for the Tigers late in the third quarter. The Griffons scored their second TD off a fumbled punt return by FHSU, recovered by Anthony Williams.
- In addition to Stirgus' pick, the Griffs broke up 11 FHSU passes and forced eight Tiger punts
- MWSU converted 44% of its third down attempts and limited FHSU to a 29% conversion rate
- The Griffons scored on all three trips inside the red zone and are now 8-for-8 on the season, all touchdowns.
- Smith rushed for 84 yards and a score
- Steigerwald was 17-of-29 for 197 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions and no sacks
- Devon Holmes caught seven passes for 70 yards
- Evan Chohon led the Griffons with a career-high 10 tackles
- No. 21 Central Missouri (2-0) visits Spratt Stadium, Sept. 21 for a 7 p.m. kickoff
- Central Missouri scored 70 in a win over Northeastern State, Thursday night and came back to defeat Fort Hays, 34-30 in week one.
- Next Saturday's game will be Military Appreciation, SJSD Night and fans will be treated to a postgame fireworks show.