Northwest Missouri State scored touchdowns on eight of nine offensive possessions to beat Fort Hays State 56-7 Saturday in a homecoming contest at Bearcat Stadium.
It’s the seventh straight win for the fifth-ranked Bearcats (7-1, 6-0 MIAA), who’ve won 14 of their last 15 homecoming matchups since 1995.
Northwest quarterback Joel Osborn completed 13-of-17 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns. He was named recipient of the Don Black Award given annually to the most valuable player in the Bearcats’ homecoming contest.
Myles Burnsides, the 2006 Don Black Award Winner, blocked a punt following Fort Hay’s first possession of the game, which set up first-and-goal from the 5-yard line for Northwest. LaRon Council carried twice to give Northwest a 7-0 lead.
The Bearcats scored on all four first-half possessions and took a 28-0 lead into halftime. Fort Hays held possession of the ball for all but six minutes of the first half, but was outgained 200-148.
Osborn played less than three minutes of the second half, but found time to throw his third touchdown. He hit high school teammate Greg Applegate for a 17-yard score on the opening possession of the second half to give the Bearcats a 35-0 lead.
Northwest tacked on two more touchdowns to make it 49-0 before punter Michael Stadler took the field early in the fourth quarter. The Tigers then went 91 yards and scored on a 10-yard strike from quarterback Anthony Smith to A.J. Willis.
Smith, the Tigers’ leading receiver entering Saturday’s game, has started the last three games at quarterback in place of injured starter Mike Garrison. Smith finished 30-of-44 for 261 yards and his first touchdown toss of the season.
The final score came on a 58-yard touchdown run by Sheldon Cook, his third of the season. All eight Northwest scoring drives took less than two minutes, 20 seconds.
The Bearcats scored 56 points in a little more than 13 minutes of possession. Northwest ran 39 plays for 418 yards (10.7 yards per play) compared to 83 plays and 334 yards for Fort Hays State (4.0 yards per play).