The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats beat Grand Valley State 42-17 victory in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division II playoffs. Northwest (10-2 overall) rushed for 356 yards and the Bearcat defense held the Lakers to 128 yards passing. GVSU came into the game averaging nearly 270 yards per game through the air. The Lakers finished the season at 10-2 overall.

The tandem of Bearcat running backs Isaiah Strayhorn and Josh Caldwell led the way for Northwest. Strayhorn rushed for 171 yards, including an 84-yard score at the end of the third quarter that stifled any momentum the Lakers had for a comeback. Caldwell tallied 147 rushing yards and a pair of 28-yard touchdown scampers. Strayhorn also posted an additional rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Northwest will play at Ferris State next Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Ferris State knocked off Harding, 21-19.