By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Missouri Western posted a school record 462 rushing yards, led by a schol record 289 yards rushing by senior running back Titus McCoy, and the Griffons shut out the Lincoln Blue Tigers 41-0 on Saturday at Spratt Stadium in St. Joseph.
It was Senior Day for 11 Missouri Western seniors, and the Griffons ended the season on a high note, dominating a winless Lincoln team from start to finish.
"Wanted to finish this strong and finish this season that didn't turn out the way we wanted it to with our record and everything," Missouri Western football coach Matt Williamson said. "Just to finish the game like that, be able to ring the bell and play at home with these seniors and honor them for all they have done. For all of the hard work, sweat and tears they put into Griffon football. It was...it was great."
McCoy, playing in his final game as a Griffon, set the tone early with a long 57-yard rush to put Missouri Western within striking distance. Two plays later, McCoy scored his first rushing touchdown from eight yards away to put the Griffons up 7-0 with 10:49 left in the first quarter.
A bit later on, Missouri Western strung together an eight-play, 80-yard drive. This one was capped with a 37-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Reagan Jones, giving the Griffons a 14-0 lead with 13:37 left in the second quarter.
Lincoln (0-11) struggled to answer all day offensively, as each of their first five drives ended in punt.
Missouri Western added one more score before the end of the first half. McCoy scored his second touchdown, this one from five yards out, to give the Griffons a 20-0 lead at half.
Missouri Western tacked on another score in their first series of the second half. A nine-play, 73 yard drive ended with yet another McCoy touchdown, this one from 10 yards out, to put the Griffons up 27-0 with 9:07 left in the third quarter.
McCoy added a couple more for good measure in the fourth quarter, one from 10 yards away and another from one yard, to put Western up 41-0 with 3:01 to play.
McCoy finished with 35 carries for a single-game program record 289 yards and a single-game record tying five rushing touchdowns.
"It's just exciting to see," McCoy said after playing his final collegiate game. "Without the O-line, I wouldn't be able to do this. So, it's easy running into second level, but the men up front deserve it all. I just made the cut and today, it worked in my favor. Going out like today just meant a lot to me and I know it's just something I'll cherish forever."
Jones ran the ball 12 times for 116 yards and a score. Defensively, Missouri Western held Lincoln to just 155 total yards, including just four rushing yards on 32 attempts. The Griffons also managed seven total sacks.
"When (Lincoln) was unable to do what they wanted to do, it makes it a heck of a lot easier to put them behind the chains and we were able to control the ball with the running game. So, it was a great team win," said Williamson.
Missouri Western ends the 2022 season with a 5-6 record, the first losing season since 2017, but setting a couple of school records at home on Senior Day was a pretty decent way to close the book.
"They just competed this week," Williamson said. "There was a lot of smiles and hard effort. I knew we were going to play really well. I wasn't shocked at all."
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