Blake Bolles passed for five touchdowns, Jake Soy caught four touchdowns and LaRon Council rushed for three scores as third-ranked Northwest Missouri State beat Fort Hays State 66-40 Saturday at Lewis Field.
The win gives the Bearcats their fourth consecutive outright MIAA championship and extends the team’s MIAA unbeaten streak to 36 games. The Bearcats’ 636 yards of total offense are their highest total since 2004.
Bolles threw for 358 yards and is the first Northwest quarterback to throw 31 touchdown passes during the regular season. Soy set an MIAA record by hauling in his 19th touchdown reception of the year. He finished with eight catches for a career-high 156 yards.
Not to be outdone, Council turned in his first collegiate 200-yard effort on the ground. He carried a season-high 29 times for 208 yards and has surpassed 1,000 yards rushing for the second year in a row.
Northwest scored a season-high 45 points in the first half and had a 14-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. Bolles found Soy for a 15-yard strike on the Bearcats’ second play from scrimmage. Myles Burnsides intercepted Tiger quarterback Mike Garrison two plays later and returned it 40 yards for his second collegiate touchdown.
Bolles passed for 282 yards and four scores in the first half alone. Northwest led 45-19 at the break.
Fort Hays State became the first MIAA team to register a third-quarter score against Northwest when Cordarol Scales hauled in a 38-yard touchdown pass from Garrison. Scales had two touchdown catches in the game. Garrison passed for 381 yards and threw four touchdowns against three interceptions.
Northwest pulled its starters with 12 minutes remaining and with a 59-26 lead. Two quick touchdowns by the Tigers made it 59-40. Northwest’s starters returned and led an eight-play, 64-yard drive capped by a 12-yard carry by Council for the game’s final score with less than two minutes remaining.
Chad Kilgore had a career-best 15 tackles to lead Northwest’s defense while Willie Horn added 11. The Bearcats limited the Tigers to nine yards rushing on 10 carries in the second half and had four second-half sacks. Justin Welch had two second-half interceptions.
Story courtesy of Bearcats Athletics.