Nov 07, 2021 4:16 PM

Missouri Western rushes for 343 yards, dominates Central Missouri late

Posted Nov 07, 2021 4:16 PM
Missouri Western football's 2021 senior class. Back row, from left to right, Evan Chohon, Sam Webb, Chris Blakeney, Jack Rasmussen, Kyle Berry. Front row from left to right, Devan Burrell, Terrance March and Travon Harris. Photo courtesy of Arianne Boma.
Missouri Western football's 2021 senior class. Back row, from left to right, Evan Chohon, Sam Webb, Chris Blakeney, Jack Rasmussen, Kyle Berry. Front row from left to right, Devan Burrell, Terrance March and Travon Harris. Photo courtesy of Arianne Boma.

By TOMMY REZAC

St. Joseph Post

The Missouri Western football team honored their eight senior with a pair of new program records in a 58-29 rout of Central Missouri on Saturday at Spratt Stadium.

The Griffons piled up 687 yards of total offense on Saturday afternoon with all eight touchdowns coming on the ground - both new MWSU records. Missouri Western finished with 343 rushing yards after piling up 412 yards on the ground against Missouri Southern the week prior.

"You have a quarterback who can run and you have 4-5 running backs that can score any time that they touch the ball," Missouri Western head coach Matt Williamson said. "Our offensive line was just blocking, our tight ends and receivers were getting after it."

Freshman back Jonas Bennett made the most of his seven carries, scoring his first two career collegiate touchdowns along with a career-best 64 yards. Shen Butler-Lawson, Jr. and Brandon Hall each chipped in two rushing scores, while quarterback Reagan Jones and running back Brison Cobbins each got one.

"It's great to be on the field," said Bennett, who redshirted at Missouri Western in 2019. "I haven't played in three years, because of COVID and surgeries and stuff. I mean, it's just great to be back on the field."

Senior linebacker Evan Chohon led Missouri Western on the defensive side, racking up 15 total tackles and claiming one of the Griffons' seven sacks on the afternoon. Sophomore defensive end Dakari Streeter had a career-high three sacks himself.

Through the first nine games, Western had mustered only six sacks - the second fewest of any team in the MIAA.

"I don't know, we just couldn't get a sack," Williamson said. "We just had to beg for one, and then all of a sudden, just to come out today, we were getting pressure and just letting them rip in the second half."

Missouri Western (5-5) scored on each of its first three drives, taking a 21-7 second quarter lead. However, the Mules (3-7) were able to answer, and the teams went into halftime tied 21-21.

After opening the second half with a 56-yard pass from Jones to a wide-open Hall, the Griffon drive stalled at the UCM 8-yard line, forcing Thomas Kopcho into a 25-yard field goal.

The Griffon defense stepped up on the next drive, as Streeter wrapped up UCM quarterback Logan Twehous for a three-yard sack, forcing the Mules to punt.

Seven plays later, Missouri Western tacked on another touchdown as Hall finished off the drive with a seven-yard rush.

Central Missouri pulled to within 31-28 at the end of the third quarter, but the Griffons drove nine plays for a touchdown to open the fourth quarter, which would open a 28-0 Missouri Western run to end the game.

The Griffon defense clamped down, forcing Central Missouri into three consecutive three-and-outs. Freshman defensive lineman Nicholas Durant picked off Twehous late in the fourth, tipping the ball to himself at the 23-yard line. Cobbins romped in for a touchdown on the next play.

Hall led the Griffons with 124 rushing yards on 13 carries. Jones had another solid day in his second career start, completing 17-of-24 passes for 326 yards., while rushing for 55 yards on 12 carries. Freshman tight end Tycen Gray had three catches for a career-high 77 yards.

"Altogether, a good win, man," Williamson said, relieved to get a win for his seniors' final career home game. "For them to walk off of this field, knowing the last time they played on it (was a win), was huge for me."

The win over UCM is Western's first over the Mules since 2014. Western ended their home schedule in 2021 with a 4-2 record. The Griffons have also won three of their last four games to get back to a .500 record for the first time since September.

Missouri Western closes out the 2021 season next Saturday at Lincoln University in Jefferson City. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. Coverage starts at 10 a.m. on KFEQ Radio (680, 95.3 FM).

You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.