(From Northwest Athletics)
MARYVILLE, Missouri – The Northwest Missouri State football team won its season opener for the eight straight season with a 28-6 victory over Missouri Western on Thursday night at Bearcat Stadium.
Bearcat freshman quarterback Braden Wright (Elkhorn, Neb.) accounted for all four of Northwest’s touchdowns in the triumph. Wright passed for 216 yard and three touchdowns on 16-of-24 passing. Wright also rushed for a team-high 63 yards and a touchdown.
Wright connected with junior transfer wideout Jaime Taylor on a 52-yard scoring strike with 1:55 left in the first quarter to give the Bearcats a 7-0 lead. The score capped a seven-play, 73-yard drive with chewed up 3:26 off the clock.
Following a 36-yard field goal from Missouri Western placekicker Tyler Basch, the Griffons pulled to within 7-3 with 12:04 left in the second quarter.
Wright then went deep again on a 60-yard touchdown toss to senior Shawn Bane Jr as the Bearcats went 75 yards in two plays to take a 14-3 lead with 11:34 left in the half.
Senior transfer Josh Caldwell scored his first Bearcat touchdown on a three-yard swing pass from Wright with 1:46 remaining in the half to push the Northwest advantage to 21-3.
Basch drilled a 20-yard field goal with 13:00 left in the fourth quarter to finalize the Griffons scoring in the contests.
Wright capped his debut with a 34-yard scamper with 7:06 remaining in the game to give the Bearcats the 28-6 victory.
Jack Richards tallied a game-high 13 tackles, while Andy Hessler secured 10 tackles and 4.0 tackles-for-loss.
The Bearcats will be back in action next Thursday at 6 p.m. in Topeka, Kansas, taking on the Washburn Ichabods.
NOTES: Northwest has defeated Missouri Western in six straight seasons … Northwest has held Missouri Western without a touchdown in 15 consecutive quarters dating back to the first quarter in the 2015 matchup … Shawn Bane Jr. moved past Dan Anderson on Northwest’s all-time receiving yards list with 2,691 yards … Anderson tallied 2,651 yards from 1982-1985 … Bane moved past Tyler Shaw on the all-time receptions list with 168 … Shaw posted 166 catches from 2009-2012 … Bane recorded his 25th career touchdown reception … the Northwest defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 43 straight games … Northwest has not allowed a rushing touchdown in 14 consecutive games – dating back to Dec. 20, 2016.