Northwest Knocks Off Pittsburg State, 31-7

(From Northwest Athletics)

PITTSBURG, Kansas – The Northwest Missouri State football squad went on the road Saturday and tallied a 31-7 victory over previously undefeated Pittsburg State, 31-7.

The Bearcats scored 21 points in the second quarter to take control of the contest and led 28-0 at the break.

Isaiah Strayhorn rushed for 147 yards and a score, while Braden Wright passed for 211 yards and two touchdowns for the Bearcats. Northwest outgained Pitt State, 452-268.

Strayhorn got the Bearcats on the board in the first quarter on a 1-yard run with 8:35 on the clock. Wright kept the drive alive with a six-yard scamper on 3rd-and-6 at the Pitt State 29-yard line. Parker Sampson tacked on the extra point to give Northwest the 7-0 lead.

Strayhorn ripped of a 67-yard run on Northwest’s next possession that began at its own 3-yard line. But Wright was picked off by Pitt State’s Jaylon Myers at the Gorilla 32-yard line to stamp out the Bearcat drive. Northwest’s special teams came up big with a blocked punt Zach Pierce. However, Northwest could not convert on the scoring chance when Sampson missed a 38-yard field goal wide right.

The second quarter scoring onslaught began with a four-yard scoring strike from Wright to Chase White with 12:57 left in the half. Northwest made it 21-0 when Wright hooked up with freshman LaTroy Harper on a 13-yard touchdown pass with 4:51 left in the second quarter. The key play in the drive came on a 43-yard passing play to senior wideout Shawn Bane Jr. Northwest’s third touchdown of the quarter came on a 23-yard rushing score from sophomore Alec Tatum on a fake field goal attempt with 0:34 left in the half. Tatum, the holder on field goals and extra points, took the snap and ran over the right side to the end zone to give Northwest a 28-0 lead at the break.

The first half saw the Bearcats outgain the Gorillas, 364-102. Northwest had 14 first downs to only five for the Gorillas in the opening 30 minutes. Pitt State was 1-of-8 on third-down conversions in the first half.

Sampson added a 38-yard field goal with 6:56 left in the fourth quarter to extend the Northwest lead to 31-0.

The Gorillas scored their only points of the contest on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Matt Harman to Elijah Harris with 0:48 left in the game.

Northwest improves to 5-1 on the year, while Pitt State falls to 5-1 overall.

The Bearcats will be back in action Saturday for its annual Homecoming game at 2 p.m. Northwest will take on the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers at Bearcat Stadium.

NOTES: Northwest moves into a tie for first place in the MIAA standings … senior wide receiver Shawn Bane became the eighth Bearcat to reach 3,000 career receiving yards … Bane caught four passes for 95 yards … Northwest senior punter Matt Thorman had six punts for a 44.3 average and a long of 57 … he had two punts downed inside the 20-yard line … Anthony Lane led the Bearcats in tackles with eight … J’Ravian Anderson collected a game-high three pass breakups.