TEXARKANA, Ark. – The 300th all-time win for Missouri Western football came in the final game of its 50th season. The Griffons (9-3) trounced Henderson State (9-3) in the Agent Barry Live United Bowl to reach nine wins for the first time since 2012 and break a program record with its 11th straight win away from St. Joseph.
Missouri Western controlled the line of scrimmage throughout and turned in one of its best defensive performances of the season. Anthony Williams intercepted the Reddies' second play from scrimmage, setting the tone for the Griffon defense early. Markel Smith gave MWSU a 7-0 lead with 2:38 left in the first quarter after both teams showed some rust early in the game. Missouri Western elected to twice go for it on fourth down inside the Henderson State red zone and failed to convert either time, allowing Henderson State to tie the game with 5:04 left in the first half.
Blake Burau capped an 11-play, 68-yard drive that took 4:23 off the clock with a four-yard touchdown catch from Wyatt Steigerwald. Burau's TD put MWSU up 14-7 with 34 seconds left in the half. MWSU scored on its first four possessions of the second half. The final touchdown was a 16-yard pass to Luke Vang. The Griffons originally lined up to kick a field goal on 4th and two from the Henderson State 16, but kicker Sam Aviles motioned out as a receiver and Steigerwald to his quarterback position before hitting a wide open Vang to put MWSU up 35-14.
- Missouri Western became the first team to ever win the Live United Bowl twice.
- Trey Vaval was named MVP after breaking the Live United Bowl record with 225 return yards. The freshman returned four punts for 143 yards and three kicks for 82. He actually broke the record in the first half and became the second Griffon specialist to win MVP of the game in as many years. Tyler Basch was named MVP as the team's kicker in 2018.
- The Griffons out-gained Henderson State 463-263 even with Vaval's returns often setting the Griffs up with great field position.
- Missouri Western had the ball for more than 39 minutes.
- Henderson State was held to just 73 rushing yards on 24 carries.
- Two Reddie quarterbacks were limited to 10 completions on 37 attempts for 290 yards. The Griffon defense also had three sacks.
- MWSU rushed for 287 yards with Markel Smith (136) and Shamar Griffith (110) both going over 100.
- The Griffons were 11 for 18 on third down.
- Steigerwald threw two touchdown passes in a game for the 10th time in 2019.
- Both touchdown passes were to tight ends, giving the position group 15 on the season.
--- MWSU Athletics ---