Northwest Missouri State scored touchdowns on nine of 11 possessions and piled up 570 yards of offense in a 63-28 win against Southwest Baptist (0-2) in the Battle of the Bearcats Saturday at Bearcat Stadium.
Northwest (No. 12 AFCA) has won 14 in a row against SBU and leads the all-time series 18-3.
LaRon Council rushed for 117 yards and three scores to pace the Bearcats’ ground attack, which accounted for 316 yards and six scores. It was the second collegiate 100-yard rushing performance for Council and his first dating back to 2006.
Sheldon Cook gained 81 yards on 10 carries and scored a pair of Northwest touchdowns. Clint Moore carried six times for 53 yards.
The Bearcats scored on their first four possessions and led 28-7 after the first play of the second quarter. Joel Osborn quarterbacked Northwest’s first three possessions, but Blake Bolles’ 13-yard touchdown pass to Brian Shannon capped the fourth.
Southwest Baptist cut the lead to 14 on a two-yard touchdown pass from Steve Gachette to Brian Robinson with seven minutes left in the half. Gachette was 25-of-39 for 236 yards and three scores to lead the purple Bearcats.
The lead remained 14 until the final minute of the half. Osborn finished a 12-play, 67-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to high school teammate Greg Applegate. It’s the second time the Harlan High School graduates have teamed for touchdowns at Northwest.
The green Bearcats led 35-14 and found the end zone on all five second-half possessions. Nick Rhodes caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Bolles, Cook stopped on a dime and broke to the outside for a dazzling 24-yard touchdown run and Council plunged in from 2-yards out to make it 56-21 early in the fourth quarter.
Northwest’s final touchdown came on offensive lineman Ryan Lessman’s fumble recovery in the end zone. Moore was hit and fumbled at the 3, but the ball bounced right to Lessman, who walked in for the score.
Neither team committed a turnover, but Northwest had five sacks of Gachette. Tyler Roach had two to lead the pack. Willie Horn had a team-high six tackles and a sack.
Osborn, Bolles and Blake Christopher combined for 254 yards through the air and three touchdowns. Osborn was 17-of-25 for 183 yards.
Up Next: Northwest (1-1) hosts Missouri Western (1-1) in the MIAA opener for both teams next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Bearcat Stadium in Maryville.
Story courtesy Northwest Missour State athletic department.