The Missouri S&T football team struggled to get its offense going Saturday night, while Missouri Western took advantage of some errors by the Miners along the way to build a big early advantage to down the Miners 63-3 at Spratt Stadium.
The Griffons, ranked sixth in both the AFCA and D2Football.com rankings, turned an S&T interception, fumble and blocked punt in the opening half into 21 points as they built a 35-3 lead by halftime. Western also did a lot of damage to the Miners with their ground game, with 331 of its 462 total yards coming via its running game.
S&T had a good opportunity early in the contest, holding the Griffons to a three-and-out on their opening possession and getting the ball at midfield after a punt.
However, the MIners went three-and-out themselves and then after Western missed a field goal on its next trip, an interception by Marc Harrison gave the Griffons the ball at the S&T 38-yard line.
Two plays later, quarterback Travis Partridge kept the ball on a fake and took it in from 11 yards out to give Western the lead.
Later in the quarter, Raphael Spencer closed a four-play drive with a 30-yard touchdown run, then added a 41-yard scoring run immediately after a fumbled punt gave the ball to the Griffons in Miner territory.
Western added to its lead in the latter stages of the half when the Griffons blocked a punt and Darrian Bass scooped up the loose ball at the six-yard line and took it into the end zone.
The Miners got on the scoreboard following that score when Adam Peden kicked a 33-yard field goal, but Western got back to the end zone in the final minute of the half on a six-yard touchdown pass from Partridge to Daylon Harper.
Partridge threw another scoring pass in the opening minute of the second half, then the Griffons (2-0) got a touchdown pass from reserve quarterback Nate Wilson to Jon Green and two touchdown runs from Tra Brown for the final margin.
The Miners (0-2) finished the night with 213 yards of total offense, as Reed Brown completed 15-of-26 passes for 130 yards. Josh Corbid had a game-high five receptions for S&T for 47 yards, while Nick Taylor caught four passes for 49 yards.
Western had two backs clear the 100-yard mark on the night as Brown ran for 109 yards and Spencer finished with 107. Partridge also ran for 89 yards while completing nine of his 17 throws for 111 yards.
Chris Emesih led the Miner defense with six tackles and had one of S&T's three quarterback sacks on the evening.
Missouri S&T returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Wisconsin-LaCrosse in a 1 p.m. game on Hall of Fame Weekend at Allgood-Bailey Stadium.
Page 2 of 2 - Mo. Western 63, S&T 3
First downs: S&T 11, MW 22
Yards rushing: S&T 51, MW 331
Yards passing: S&T 162, MW 131
Total yards: S&T 213, MW 462
Passing: S&T 19-34, MW 11-20
Int. thrown: S&T 2, MW 0
Fumbles lost: S&T 2, MW 0
Penalties: S&T 9-69, MW 10-109
Punting: S&T 11-31.0, MW 7-44.7
The score by periods:
S&T 0 3 0 0- 3
Mo. Western 14 21 21 7-63
The scoring plays:
Mo. Western: Partridge 11-yard run, Schmiemeier kick (8:14).
Mo. Western: Spencer 30-yard run, Schmiemeier kick (1:30).
Mo. Western: Spencer 41-yard run, Schmiemeier kick (12:36).
Mo. Western: Bass 6-yard punt return, Schmiemeier kick (4:05).
S&T: Peden 33-yard field goal (2:08).
Mo. Western: Harper 6-yard pass from Partridge, Schmiemeier kick (:23).
Mo. Western: Tolliver 34-yard pass from Partridge, Schmiemeier kick (14:00).
Mo. Western: Green 7-yard pass from Wilson, Schmiemeier kick (1:56).
Mo. Western: Brown 59-yard run, Schmiemeier kick (:44).
Mo. Western: Brown 39-yard run, Schmiemeier kick (2:59).
Rushing: S&T - Simpson 1 for minus-7, Brown 7 for 1, Hudson 16 for 23, Dickson 7 for 22, Kennard 5 for 14, Major 2 for 0, TEAM 1 for minus-2. Mo. Western - Crockom 1 for 0, Partridge 12 for 89, R. Spencer 11 for 107, Thomas 3 for 14, Brown 9 for 109, G. Spencer 3 for 14, TEAM 2 for minus-2.
Passing: S&T - Brown 15-26-130-2, Simpson 4-7-32-0, Merz 0-1-0-0. Mo. Western - Partridge 9-17-111-0, Wilson 1-2-7-0, McPhee 1-1-13-0.
Receiving: S&T - Moody 3 for 46, Stovall 2 for 14, Taylor 4 for 29, Corbid 5 for 47, Hudson 1 for 0, Major 1 for 9, Underwood 2 for 14, Giljum 1 for 3. Mo. Western - Crockom 2 for 21, Tolliver 3 for 60, Weaver 2 for 10, Green 1 for 7, Molloy 1 for 13, R. Spencer 1 for 14, Harper 1 for 6.
Interceptions: S&T - none. Mo. Western - Harrison 1 for 25, Jordan 1 for 16.
QB Sacks: S&T - Emesih 1 for 11, Dugard 1 for 6, Tunnell 1 for 7. Mo. Western - Wischmann 1 for 7, Berrie 1 for 7.
Tackle leaders: S&T - Emesih 4 (solo)-2 (assists), Tunnell 3-2, Dugard 3-1, McKay 3-1, Ferguson 3-1. Mo. Western - Berrie 5-4, Oglesby 3-4, Belcher 5-2, Henry 4-2.