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Tigers fall to No. 6 Griffons

By The Hays Daily News

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The Fort Hays State University football team produced its highest scoring output of the season and was within one score at halftime of No. 6 ranked Missouri Western State University.

Then the Griffons scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter on their home turf, and went on to claim a 52-21 victory Saturday.

The loss drops the Tigers to 0-4 overall and 0-4 in MIAA play. Missouri Western moved to 4-0, 4-0.

Fort Hays took its opening drive 70 yards for a score and had a 7-0 lead, but the Griffons knotted things up without an offensive snap, returning the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for the score. On the Tigers' opening drive, Edward Smith capped it with a 6-yard TD reception from Treveon Albert.

Missouri Western broke the tie in the second quarter, but just before halftime, the Tigers' Justin McPhail intercepted a Travis Partidge pass, and FHSU responded by scoring with 8 seconds to play before halftime. Albert found Tanner Hageman to cap a 48-yard drive that ate up the final 2:44 of the second half.

Missouri Western, though, went on a run in the third quarter. The Griffons put together a 75-yard drive, then on a punt attempt, Tiger punter Cameron Owens slipped at his own 1-yard line, and Missouri Western needed just one play to take a 35-14 lead. Then on the ensuing kickoff, the Tigers fumbled and Missouri Western capitalized just 19 seconds later to take a 42-14 lead.

Smith tacked on a 2-yard TD run, but the damage was too much to overcome.

Albert finished 23 of 39 passing for 183 yards and two TDs, but also had two interceptions for the Tigers. Partridge finished 13 of 22 for 152 yards with two TDs and the pick.

Andre Smith rushed 16 times for 71 yards, and Albert added 42 yards on 13 carries. He hit Keaton Callins nine times for 85 yards.

Fort Hays is home Saturday for homecoming against William Jewell College at Lewis Field Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.