Missouri Western hands Pitt State 4th straight loss

The Griffons beat the Gorillas 35-21 Saturday


The Missouri Western State University football team built a 21-0 first half lead and rode that early momentum to a 35-21 road win over Pittsburg State University Saturday (Nov. 2) at Carnie Smith Stadium.

The Griffons (7-2, 7-2 MIAA) posted their sixth straight win and handed the Gorillas (5-4, 5-4 MIAA) their fourth consecutive defeat after opening the season 5-0.

Brandon Mlekus rushed for a game-high 117 yards and a touchdown for Pitt State, while Mak Sexton completed 21 of 36 passes for 217 yards and a score.

Western marched 69 yards on seven plays on the opening drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead on Cam Grandy’s 11-yard touchdown pass from Wyatt Steigerwald at the 10:51 mark on the first quarter. The Griffons added a three-yard touchdown run from Mark Smith and a four-yard scoring pass from Steigerwald to Blake Burau for their 21-0 halftime margin.

Mlekus capped a five-play, 75-yard drive to open the third quarter with a four-yard scoring run to help Pitt State trim Western’s margin to 21-7, but the Gorillas didn’t score again until the game’s final five minutes.

The Griffons pushed their margin to 35-7 with Shamar Griffith’s 10-yard scoring jaunt and Anthony Vespo’s five-yard TD run in the third quarter.

Tyler Adkins scored on a three-yard run for the Gorillas with 5:06 to play in the game and Sexton tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Lorenzo West with seven seconds remaining in the contest for the game’s final points.

Kaden Roy and Morgan Selemaea made eight tackles apiece to pace the Pitt State defense. Selemaea and KiAnte Hardin each snared interceptions in the game. Hardin added a game-high five pass break-ups.

Pitt State will return to action next Saturday (Nov. 9) when the Gorillas travel to Topeka to face MIAA rival Washburn University at 1 p.m. (CDT).


Click here to sign up for the KOAM News Now Sports newsletter.