ST. JOSEPH – Nebraska Kearney (6-4) jumped on the Missouri Western football team (7-3) early and cruised to a 49-21 win Saturday in the final home game of the 2019 season for the Griffons at Spratt Stadium.
UNK recovered a Trey Vaval fumble on the opening kickoff of the game and took a 6-0 lead six plays later. Vaval gave MWSU its only lead of the game on the ensuing kickoff, taking it 85 yards for a touchdown. The 7-6 lead held for nine minutes before the second of six UNK rushing touchdowns with 3:07 left in the first quarter. The Lopers never trailed again.
The Griffons twice got within two scores. After a 23-yard touchdown pass from Wyatt Steigerwald to Kyle Berry with 6:28 left in the third, the Griffon defense forced a Loper punt. Vaval returned the punt 43 yards to the UNK-43 and a facemask penalty set the Griffs up at the Loper 28-yard line. Missouri Western opened the fourth quarter trying to convert a 4th-and-7 at the UNK, but Steigerwald was sacked. On the first play of UNK’s ensuing drive, Darrius Webb went 71 yards for a touchdown run to put UNK up 42-21.
- UNK attempted just six passes, but rushed 71 times for 528 yards.
- Webb had touchdown runs of 59 and 71 yards.
- The Griffon offense was limited to 300 yards, rushing for 99 and passing for 201.
- Missouri Western blocked to UNK point after attempts to get to six blocked kicks this season.
- UNK possessed the ball for just over 27 minutes, 15 more than the Griffons.
- Missouri Western will wrap the regular season at Lincoln (1-9) next Saturday at noon.
— MWSU Athletics —