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Ichabods outlast Griffons, 47-41, improve to 3-1 on the year

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

The offensive units for Washburn University and Missouri Western combined for 1,116 yards and 88 points Saturday at Yager Stadium.

But the Ichabod defense came up with just enough big plays to help Washburn outlast Western, 47-41.

Mitch SchurigWashburn quarterback Mitch Schurig threw for 388 yards and five TDs in the Ichabods' 47-41 MIAA win over Missouri Western. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Washburn allowed 584 total yards, including 448 passing yards and four touchdowns from Griffons quarterback Anthony Vespo, and the Ichabods trailed three times, but Brooks Peavler and Marquise Manning came up with big second-half interceptions to help turn the tide as WU improved to 3-1 overall and in the MIAA.

"They're a good team and they came out and threw the ball on us a little bit, but luckily our offense put up a lot of points for us and we got the stops when we needed to,'' said Peavler, a former Hayden standout.

With Washburn nursing a 41-34 lead late in the third quarter, Manning picked off Vespo at the Ichabod 17 and the Ichabods capitalized with an eight-play, 83-yard scoring drive, capped by a 5-yard Will Evans touchdown to put Washburn in front 47-34 with 11:21 remaining.

The Griffons responded with a scoring threat of their own, picking up a first down at the Ichabod 12 before Peavler came up with an interception at the Washburn 1-yard-line.

"I have to give all the credit to the D-Line for getting pressure and forcing the quarterback out of the pocket and then I got lucky and was in the right place at the right time,'' Peavler said.

Missouri Western did get in the end zone late to get within the final margin, but Washburn was able to hang on for the bounce-back victory after suffering a tough 28-24 road loss at Nebraska-Kearney last week.

"We gave up some yards and they put up some points on us, but at the end of the day we got the win,'' Peavler said.

Washburn's offense matched Missouri Western big play for big play and then scored 20 straight points in the third and fourth quarters to take the lead for good.

Senior quarterback Mitch Schurig had a huge day for Washburn, completing 24 of 30 pass attempts for 388 yards and five touchdowns.

AffulWashburn receiver Peter Afful takes the ball away from a Missouri Western defender for a touchdown in Saturday's 47-41 win. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

LetcherJames Letcher Jr. caught five passes for 113 yards and a touchdown in Washburn's 47-41 win over Missouri Western Saturday. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Schurig connected with Peter Afful for 30 and 44-yard touchdowns and hit James Letcher Jr. for a 30-yard score, Connor Searcy for a 3-yard TD and Jace Williams for a 33-yard score.

The Ichabods also got rushing TDs from Evans and Zach Willis, who scored from 13 yards out.

"We had a great game plan and we had a great week of practice,'' Schurig said. "The O-line did a great job and we had some key third-down conversions to really get the drives started and then when we got in the red zone we finished the drives, so that was big.''

Letcher caught five passes for 113 yards while both of Afful's catches went for touchdowns. Willis led Washburn's ground game with 63 yards on 10 carries.

Defensively, Peavler, Manning and Peyton Lane were all in on 10 tackles.

Washburn will travel to Emporia next Saturday to take on the rival Hornets in a 1 p.m. contest at Welch Stadium.

WASHBURN 47, MISSOURI WESTERN 41

Missouri Western (2-2, 2-2 ) 7 13 14 7 -- 41

Washburn (3-1, 3-1) 14 6 21 6 -- 47

First quarter

Washburn -- Letcher 30 pass from Schurig (Brehm kick), 12:13.

Missouri Western -- Gray 7 pass from Vespo (Watson kick), 7:31.

Washburn -- Searcy 3 pass from Schurig (Brehm kick), 1:04. 

Second quarter

Missouri Western -- Burton 37 pass from Vespo (Watson kick), 12:56.

Missouri Western -- Lawson 1 run (kick failed), 4:54.

Washburn -- Afful 30 pass from Schurig (kick failed), 2:38.

Third quarter

Missouri Western -- Trotter 36 pass from Burton (Watson kick), 12:42.

Washburn -- Afful 44 pass from Schurig (Brehm kick), 12:03.

Missouri Western -- Burton 6 pass from Vespo (Kopcho kick), 9:16.

Washburn -- Willis 13 run (Brehm kick), 5:35. 

Washburn -- Williams 33 pass from Schurig (Brehm kick), 3:31.

Fourth quarter

Washburn -- Evans 5 run (kick failed), 11:21.

Missouri Western -- James 32 pass from Vespo (Kopcho kick), 1:04.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing -- Missouri Western: Hall 11-25, Lawson Jr. 13-17, Vespo 8-17, Harris 4-16, Cobbins 2-14, Burton 2-11. Washburn: Willis 10-63, Peters 13-43, Evans 4-21, Letcher 1-16, Williams 1-1.

Passing -- Missouri Western: Vespo 31-43-2, 448 yards; Burton 1-1-0, 36. Washburn: Schurig 24-30-0, 388.

Receiving -- Missouri Western: Traveon James 11-188, Gray 6-61, Trotter 5-122, Burton 4-60, Parks 2-23, Harris 2-16, Hall 2-12. Washburn: Letcher Jr. 5-113, Peters 4-24, Williams 3-80, Browning 3-43, Searcy 3-18, Afful 2-74, Willis 2-25, Simmons 2-11, Brown 1-0. 

Punting -- Missouri Western: Rasmussen 1-26.0; Vespo 1-20.0. Washburn: Spiker 4-34.0.

Tackles -- Missouri Western: Cummings 8 solo-1 assist-9 total. Washburn: Brooks Peavler 8-2-10, Manning 7-3-10, Lane 7-3-10.

Attendance -- 6,420.