TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma – The No. 11-ranked Northwest Missouri State Bearcat football team breezed to a 62-17 road victory over the Northeastern State University RiverHawks.
Northwest (8-1 overall) accumulated 568 total yards and 25 first downs. Northeastern State (0-9 overall) was limited to 193 total yards (29 rushing yards) and 10 first downs.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Braden Wright accounted for five touchdowns and 227 yards of total offense. Wright rushed for three scores (6, 6, 48) and tossed two more touchdowns (9, 16) – all in the first half.
The Bearcats scored touchdowns on their first four drives and built a 28-3 lead less than a minute into the second quarter.
Northwest’s scoring onslaught continued in the last 2:45 of the half as the Bearcats scored 17 points on a field goal and two touchdowns to boost the halftime lead to 45-3.
Alec Tatum returned a punt 53 yards with 13:53 left in the third quarter and Northwest held a 52-3 advantage over Northeastern State.
The RiverHawks found the end zone for the first time with 9:17 left in the third quarter when Jay Baker threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Mark Wheeland. The RiverHawks used a short field after an interception to go 32 yards in three plays for the touchdown.
Northwest extended the lead back to 62-10 following a 41-yard touchdown pass from Jadyn Kowalski to LaTroy Harper and a 32-yard field goal from Parker Sampson.
Sampson booted two field goals (50, 32) on the day and kicked off 11 times. Sampson had four touchbacks on kickoffs. The 50-yard field goal was a career-best for Sampson.
The Bearcats had another miscue midway through the fourth when Harper misplayed a punt and the RiverHawks recovered at the 6-yard line. NSU converted the chance into a touchdown on a 6-yard pass from Brice Waggle to Cory Jones with 6:56 left to cap the scoring.
Northwest will return home and take on Fort Hays State next Saturday at 1:35 p.m. at Bearcat Stadium.
NOTES: Anthony Lane and Matt Connelly tied for team-high tackles honors with five each … Austen Eskew registered sacks for the Bearcats … Jacob Giese and Lane each were credited with a fumble recovery … Josh Caldwell rushed for a team-high 96 yards and a touchdown … Caldwell has rushed for 30 career touchdowns as a collegian … Wright passed for 151 yards, while Kowalski threw for 64 yards … Raymond Thomas led the Bearcat receivers with three catches for 61 yards … Shawn Bane Jr. caught his 29th career touchdown reception … Bane nabbed two receptions to move into a tie for No. 7 on Northwest’s all-time receptions list with 196 … Steve Hansely also caught 196 passes for the Bearcats from 1983-1985) … Harper posted 156 all-purpose yards with 71 on kick returns, 54 receiving and 31 on punt returns.