(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Ranked 4th in the country on homecoming weekend, Missouri Western managed to survive multiple 15-yard penalties, a stifled running game and a 54 minute lightning delay. But a late Missouri Southern (5-2, 4-2 MIAA) touchdown drive and two late turnovers ultimately doomed the Griffons (6-1, 5-1 MIAA) in a 31-30 loss Saturday.
The Lions game clinching drive was delayed for nearly an hour when the rain picked up and lightning flashed for the first time during the contest sending both teams to the locker rooms.
When Missouri Southern came out of the break, they capped of a 75-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by J.J. Jones giving the Lions a one point lead.
Missouri Western had 1:54 left in the game to win it.
Quarterback Travis Partridge completed four passes in a row to get to the Missouri Southern 41-yard line, but two plays later, the Griffs fumbled on an option-read play between Partridge and Michael Hill.
Southern recovered it, but were forced to punt after a stand by Western's defense.
But on the first play of the ensuing drive, Partridge threw his only interception of the game sealing Western's fate.
Partridge finished the day 20-27 passing for 233 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Before Saturday, Michael Hill's lowest rushing output of the season was 160 yards against Nebraska-Kearney. Missouri Southern was able to hold him to just 53 rushing yards.
Hill missed much of the second half with an obstruction in his eye. He was also at the center of a first half scrum between the two teams.
With the Griffons deep into Lion territory, Hill, after getting tackled on a run play, was stepped on by Missouri Southern defenders. This caught Partridge's eye, and he ran into the pile to defend his teammate. The officials flagged the quarterback, moving the offense back 15-yards forcing them to settle for a field goal.
Tight end Reggie Jordan had his second two touchdown game of the season, except not in a traditional fashion.
Jordan scored the first Griffon touchdown on a five yard first quarter reception. Then, when the game was tied 7-7, on 4th and 2 from the Western 14-yardline, Jerry Partridge called for the fake punt. He cruised 86 yards for the touchdown to put Missouri Western ahead.
Missouri Western returns to MIAA play next week with a road game against the Pittsburg State Gorillas.