Fort Hays State plays its first road contest of the 2018 season on Thursday night (Sept. 6) at Missouri Western in St. Joseph. Game time is set for 7 pm at Spratt Memorial Stadium. The Tigers enter the game 1-0 and ranked No. 5 in the latest AFCA Top 25 Poll, while the Griffons enter at 0-1 overall.
This is the second straight year FHSU and MWSU meet in St. Joseph. The Tigers defeated the Griffons 38-10 last year in Week 8 of the 2017 season. The Tigers hold a two-game win streak against the Griffons.
The Tigers are coming off a season-opening 20-16 win over then No. 18 ranked Central Missouri in Hays. It was the fourth straight season-opening win for the Tigers.
This will be the first home game of the season for Missouri Western. The Griffons have won six straight home openers going back to the 2012 season. The last home opener loss for Missouri Western was against Pittsburg State in 2011. The Gorillas went on to win the national title that season. Oddly enough, the last two times the Griffons have lost a home opener it has been to the eventual national champion that season. They fell to Minnesota-Duluth in 2008.
Head coach Chris Brown reached the 50-win plateau at Fort Hays State with the win in Week 1 over Central Missouri. Brown now has an overall record of 50-31 (.617). Brown is closing in on Bob Cortese for the all-time coaching wins record at FHSU, who produced 55 wins from 1990-97.
After one week of play, quarterback Jacob Mezera is tied for the MIAA lead in passing yards with Missouri Western's Dom Marino. Both have 226 passing yards after one week of play.
Layne Bieberle leads the MIAA in receiving yards with 112. He went past the 1,000-yard receiving mark in his career in the win over Central Missouri. He now has 1,102 career receiving yards.
Dante Brown leads the MIAA in punting average at 47.6 yards per attempt. He tied the school record for longest punt, booming an 84 yarder in the season opener. He made both of his field goal attempts in the game and earned MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week for his efforts in the Tiger win.