LaRon Council rushed for 144 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 7 Northwest Missouri State (5-1, 4-0 MIAA) to a 35-10 win against No. 6 Pittsburg State (5-1, 3-1) in the Fall Classic at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday.
The seventh installment of the Classic drew 21,316 fans – the fourth highest in the series’ history. Northwest has won five of the seven meetings including the last three.
Council, the nation’s leading scorer heading into this week, scored on two 6-yard carries in the first half and on 4- and 25-yard runs in the fourth quarter. Council has scored 17 touchdowns in six games this season.
Kendall Wright was equally as impressive in Northwest’s passing game, catching a career-high 11 passes for 157 yards. Wright moved the chains on three third downs in the second half, two on third-and-long, and totaled 71 yards in the return game.
Joel Osborn completed 21-of-28 passes for 263 yards and a score. His counterpart, Mark Smith, threw for 105 yards and was held to 56 yards on the ground.
Pittsburg State entered the game averaging 208 yards rushing, but totaled 98 against the Bearcats. It’s the third time in four games against Pittsburg State that Northwest has held the Gorillas under 100 yards (won all three).
Caleb Farabi rushed for 156 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s Fall Classic. He carried nine times for 28 yards and no scores Saturday.
Northwest scored the game’s first 21 points before Smith found Harrison Kush for a 6-yard touchdown shortly before halftime. The score ended a string of 127 unanswered points by the Bearcats, which spanned 11 quarters of play.
A 32-yard field goal by Jared Witter cut the lead to 21-10 with less than a minute remaining in the third. Northwest answered with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by Council’s 4-yard run. The Gorillas final three drives were halted by interceptions.
Northwest is the lone unbeaten team in the MIAA four weeks into conference play and with five weeks remaining. The Bearcats travel to Warrensburg, Mo., next week for a first-place battle with Central Missouri (5-1, 3-1).