Bods fight for bid to Mineral Water Bowl game

Nathan Miller

The Bods would love to switch roles with the Missouri Western Griffons Saturday on Senior Day. In fact they know the role very well.

The Griffons are hoping for a win against the Bods that would make their playoff picture look a little bit better, and a possible tie for the MIAA title, if Northwest Missouri were to lose. Just a year ago the Bods were hoping for a win against the Griffons that would lock the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and ensure the conference championship.

“They wanted to go for the playoffs. But we were going for the conference championship, because we knew that we were in no matter what,” said Fletcher Terrell, senior corner. “Hopefully they make it and they can do good things for the conference. But if it comes to them having to go through us to get into the playoffs hopefully we can get the win. That’s just part of the game and I guess time will tell.”

Regulation time did not tell last year’s contest as the Bods fell in overtime 21-28. The Bods wound up being named lone conference champions after Pittsburg State fell that weekend also to Central Missouri 83-21. The Griffons earned a Mineral Water Bowl bid after the victory. The Bods hope this year will be the same story, just different roles.

“Hopefully it works out for both us,” said Craig Schurig, head coach. “I’d like it to be the exact opposite of last year we beat them, we make the Mineral Water Bowl, they make the playoffs. Then if they can do better than we did that would be great, we always root on a conference school. But it is a role reversal a little bit. Hopefully we can do to them what they did to us last year in the last game and give us an opportunity to possibly play on.”

The Griffons went on to beat Concordia-St. Paul 35-23 to become Mineral Water Bowl Champions and finishing the year 9-3. This year the Griffons are 9-1 and 7-1 in the MIAA.

“The win against Washburn was huge last year, it gave us our eighth win. Washburn was a hot team and we gave them their only conference loss,” said Jerry Partridge, Griffons head coach. “I think what catapulted us this year was a great senior class. We had good years in the past getting us closer to where we wanted to be, this year we are right there.”

One Griffon senior the Bods know very well is running back Jeremiah White. White ran the ball 36 times for a 175 yards in last year’s defeat to the Griffons.

“He is a very patient runner and he probably had the most yards after initial contact out of all the runners we faced last year,” said Schurig. “Will have to do a better job of wrapping him up. He’s a big back, has a very strong lower body, he keeps his legs going. We have to do a better job of tackling. But he did last year do the best job of any of the backs against us.”

The Bods defense held the Missouri Southern Lions to 36 yards on 30 carries on the ground in their 14-13 victory, this past Saturday. The win gives the Bods a record of 6-4 ensuring them their third straight winning season, a task that hasn’t been done since 1988.

“Washburn is a team that is really good,” said Partridge. “Their game against Emporia scared me. They really throttled them, quadrupled the number of points Emporia had, and we played Emporia close as far as the scoreboard goes. Washburn is an extremely dangerous team.”

The extremely dangerous team was in a very dangerous situation this past Saturday against the Lions. The Lions were primed to take the lead with very little time left in regulation with a 27-yard field goal attempt. But after a bad snap the Bods took over on downs.

The Bods want a victory Saturday, no matter what happens with the Mineral Water Bowl bid, as they want to send 16 seniors on Senior Day out in the right way.

“Even if we don’t get a bid for the bowl game it’s important for us to finish the season strong,” said Terrell. “I want to finish strong because it’s my last season, and it’s 16 others last season. Our families our going to be there too and the crowd, they pay money for their tickets and you want to put on a good show for them.”