By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
Bearcats defense stands up late to hold onto win over Emporia State
#10 Northwest Missouri State University was outscored 14-7 in the second half, but a late defensive stop helped the Bearcats hold on to a 27-21 win over #22 Emporia State.
The Bearcat defense stifled the normally potent passing attack of the Hornets. Emporia State came into the contest averaging just over 300 yards passing per game. Northwest held that attack to 198 yards on the day.
The Bearcat rushing attack was once again the catalyst for the offense as they rushed 49 times for 182 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman Jay Harris rushed for two scores to go with his team leading 19 carries and 94 yards while quarterback Braden Wright rushed for the other score.
The scoring would get started for the day halfway through the first quarter by Harris. The freshman back would cap off a nine play drive that went 77 yards and used just over four minutes of clock, by rushing into the endzone from 19 yards out. The Bearcats though would miss the extra point.
Harris's second score of the day would come early in the second quarter as the Bearcats would again drive down the field, this time over seven plays and just under three minutes of clock, rushing in from five yards and giving Northwest a 12-0 lead. Cole Lammel would convert the extra point this time, extending the lead to 13-0.
Emporia State's only score of the first half would come on the defensive side of the ball as quarterback Mike Hohensee would fumble, one of three on the day, and the Hornets would recover and take it back 17 yards to score, trimming the lead down to 13-7 after the extra point.
Northwest would answer though with their only passing touchdown of the game late in the quarter as Hohensee would end an 11 play, 88 yard drive with a 10 yard pass to Ryan DeWhirst, pushing the lead to 20-7 after the Lammel extra point.
The Bearcats would hold that lead going into the locker room at halftime but an early touchdown in the second half by the Hornets, a one yard run by Braden Gleason, would chip the lead away to a one possession game. But Northwest would answer, as Braden Wright would rush in for his score from six yards out, after an 11 play drive, to make the lead 27-14.
Emporia State would score again in the fourth quarter as a 12 play drive led to another Gleason touchdown run, this time from three yards out, again making the score close at 27-21 with 7:07 left in the game. But following that score the Northwest defense would stand strong, making two big stops over the final minutes.
The Bearcats would stop the Hornets on a 4th and 3 with 4:05 left in the game. After another Northwest three and out, Emporia State would drive all the way down to the two yard line before linebacker Andrew Dumas would sack Gleason to force a 3rd and 17, and on the ensuing fourth down defensive back Cahleel Smith would secure the win with an interception with 48 seconds remaining.
Northwest finishes the regular season 9-2 with the win, and will now wait to figure out their playoff fate. The 2022 NCAA Division II playoff selection show will be this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Missouri Western cruises to victory against Lincoln on Senior Day
Missouri Western set several rushing records in a shutout win over Lincoln to close out the 2022 season. Read our full recap here.
Ravens win outright Heart South title for third time
The #6 Benedictine Ravens scored 16 unanswered points in the third quarter to pull away from MidAmerica Nazarene, winning 43-21 and securing an outright title in the Heart South, after going 5-0 in Heart South play.
It's the third conference title for the Ravens since the Heart conference went to a divisional format, also winning the South in 2017 and 2018. Overall, it is the 10th Heart title for Benedictine.
While the Ravens did get the ball to start the game, they gave the ball back to MidAmerica Nazarene after a quick turnover on downs. The Pioneers would cash in on the opportunity, scoring the first points of the game on a six play, 78 yard drive that ended with Blake Atkins throwing a 49 yard touchdown to Caleb Tanis.
The Ravens would answer though with two rushing touchdowns in the first to take the lead on back to back drives, a one yard rushing touchdown by Rayshon Mills and a nine yard rush from quarterback Garrett Kettle with 90 seconds left in the quarter.
MidAmerica Nazarene would answer though to start the second quarter, tying the game back up as Atkins would again find Tanis, this time from one yard out, knotting the game back up at 14. Benedictine though would not be deterred.
The Ravens would again score two touchdowns, this time not on back to back drives, but both coming through the air. Kettle would answer the Pioneers score finding Reed Levi for a 15 yard touchdown, the Ravens lead would only be 20-14 after a missed extra point, and then, after throwing an interception on the Ravens next drive, Kettle would find Ethan Peratt from nine yards out, pushing the lead to 27-14.
After halftime was when the Ravens would pull away, scoring 16 unanswered points, which started on defense as Benedictine would tackle Cameron Finley in the endzone for a safety pushing the lead to 29-14. On the ensuing drive Kettle would throw a two yard touchdown pass to Austin Buteaux to end a three play drive, which started with a 49 yard pass from Kettle to Buteaux, the score now at 36-14.
Three drives later the Ravens would score their final points of the quarter, following an interception by Jackson Hoskins, Dalton Witherspoon would rush for 12 yards before Kettle would complete a 29 yard pass to JaShawn Todd with 10:34 left in the third, making the score 43-14.
The game would be relatively quiet until just inside 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, when Adrian Parsons rushed in from 12 yards out with 9:53 left in the game, marking the final points of the game for both teams.
Kettle finished with 239 yards passing on 16 completions and threw four touchdowns. Buteaux led receivers with 48 yards on just two catches while Levi added 45 yards on two catches. Witherspoon led all rushers with 15 carries for 108 yards. Defensively the Ravens had four takeaways and held the Pioneers to just 67 rushing yards on 32 carries.
Benedictine finishes the regular season with a record of 10-1, to go with their 5-0 conference record in the Heart South. The NAIA will announce their 16-team Football Championship Series field at 6 p.m. tonight on the NAIA's official YouTube Channel.
Will Howard subs back in, leads #23 Kansas State to rout over Baylor
WACO, Texas (AP) — No. 23 Kansas State lost control of its path to the Big 12 championship game last week when quarterback Will Howard was watching from the sideline.
The super sub helped the Wildcats get it back, with a little help from undefeated conference leader TCU.
Howard threw for three touchdowns after Adrian Martinez exited with another injury, and the Wildcats buoyed their Big 12 title hopes with a 31-3 rout of Baylor on Saturday night.
The defending conference champion Bears (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) will need help to get back to the championship game after a three-game winning streak had put them back in contention.
The Wildcats (7-3, 5-2 Big 12) are now alone in second place behind the fourth-ranked Horned Frogs, who sent No. 18 Texas into a tie with Baylor behind Kansas State with a 17-10 victory in Austin.
Kansas State dropped into the second-place tie last week with a 34-27 loss to Texas, when Martinez returned from a knee injury and threw for 326 yards, but had two key turnovers.
Howard came on after Martinez appeared to injure his lower body getting a first down on a quarterback sneak in the first quarter. The school offered no specifics on the injury.
Howard has thrown seven TD passes without an interception in seven-plus quarters filling in for Martinez, who was on the sideline with his helmet on after getting checked by the medical staff.
Coach Chris Klieman said Martinez was available to return, but the staff figured he would be limited by the injury.
“I looked at Will, and I said, ‘Will, you got it,’” Klieman said. “He played really well, and we blocked exceptionally well for him. And man, we made some plays.”
The Wildcats are still interested in redshirting Howard, a junior who has spent most of the season behind the senior transfer from Nebraska.
The intrigue only grows with Kansas State now in position to play for the championship Dec. 3 at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
“It's a conversation that we had this week, and we told him we're going to have one every week,” Klieman said. “Will's in a good place right now. Adrian's in a good place right now.”
Blake Shapen threw two interceptions in the Bears' worst offensive showing in a Big 12 game this season as a four-game winning streak in the series ended.
“Obviously everybody knows what was on the line tonight, probably too much,” Baylor linebacker Dillon Doyle said. “You just box it and move on. It's really hard to do, but it's the same thing with life.”
Deuce Vaughn had a 20-yard touchdown catch and 106 yards rushing, making him the third Kansas State running back with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons (1,081 yards this season).
Howard was 19 of 27 for 196 yards, and Sinnott had another TD from 19 yards while finishing with seven catches for 89 yards.
The Wildcats will travel to Morgantown, West Virginia Saturday to take on the Mountaineers. Kickoff time is still to be determined.
Red Raiders rushing attack too much for Jayhawks in loss
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Tyler Shough threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score and Texas Tech outlasted Kansas 43-28 on Saturday night.
Shough rushed for a 9-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to give Texas Tech (5-5, 3-4 Big 12 ) a 33-21 lead. It was the first score by either team in the second half.
Tahj Brooks sealed the victory with a 5-yard touchdown run with 3:33 remaining in the game. Four different Red Raiders scored four rushing touchdowns in the win.
Shough was 16-for-25 passing for 246 yards and a touchdown in his first start since the opening week of the season. Texas Tech totaled 506 yards of offense with 260 of them on the ground.
The Red Raiders used a brief two-quarterback system with Shough and Donovan Smith. Smith rushed for a 6-yard touchdown on the opening drive where Shough was responsible for 57 of the 75 yards on the drive.
SaRodorick Thompson Jr. rushed for 68 yards with a 36-yard touchdown for the Red Raiders. Mason Tharp caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Shough to give the Red Raiders a 24-7 lead midway through the first half.
The Jayhawks managed to claw back to trail 27-21 at halftime on Jason Bean's 16-yard touchdown run and his 3-yard scoring toss to Devin Neel. Quentin Skinner and Bean connected for a 20-yard touchdown to pull the Jayhawks within 33-28 with eight minutes remaining in the game, but the Red Raiders used a Trey Wolff field goal from and a strip sack that led to the final touchdown to hold on for the win.
Bean was 17-for-28 passing for 270 yards. He threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score in his fourth start of the season after taking over for the injured Jalon Daniels. Jared Casey and Luke Grimm were the benefactors of two Bean passing scores in the first half.
Neel rushed for 190 yards just a week after rushing for 224 yards against Oklahoma State. Kansas accumulated 525 yards and 293 came through the passing game.
The Jayhawks now sit at 6-4 overall on the season (3-4 Big 12) and will next up return to Lawrence, Kansas for Senior Day when they host the #18 Texas Longhorns. Kickoff time is still to be determined.
Tigers struggle to contain former coordinator Heupel, Volunteers
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — If style points are important to No. 5 Tennessee, the Volunteers scored 66 of them Saturday.
Hendon Hooker threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a score to lead the Volunteers (9-1, 5-1 SEC, No. 5 College Football Playoff) to a 66-24 victory over Missouri (4-6, 2-5 SEC).
Tennessee bounced back from its first loss of the season to Georgia last week by setting a school record with 724 total offensive yards, eclipsing 718 against Troy in 2012.
Was that a statement to the College Football Playoff Committee?
“The statement is that we're a good football team playing good football,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said.
The Volunteers did have trouble containing a Missouri attack that has struggled this season. The Tigers rushed for 172 yards, more than any other team against Tennessee this year.
Missouri quarterback Brady Cook did the most damage, running for 106 yards and throwing for 217.
The Tigers even cut the Vols' lead to 28-24 early in the third quarter before Tennessee took off.
“Kind of the wheels fell off,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said of the Vols' 38 unanswered points.
Heupel said his team doesn't panic: “We just settled in and played better football.”
Tennessee's Jalin Hyatt caught seven passes for 146 yards and a touchdown and Bru McCoy caught nine passes for 111 yards.
“Tennessee is really good and Hendon Hooker and those guys play really well,” Drinkwitz said. “But we weren't ourselves.”
Hooker threw for 229 yards in the first half (17 of 24) as Tennessee led 28-17 at intermission. Cook had 94 yards passing and 86 rushing for Missouri. His late 40-yard scramble set up a Harrison Mevis field goal as time expired.
Next up Missouri will get a breather from their SEC schedule as they return to Columbia to host New Mexico State. Kickoff is set for 6:30 pm and the game will be aired on ESPNU.
Huskers struggle to contain Heisman hopeful Blake Corum in loss
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Blake Corum made plays without the ball in his hands, drawing a safety on a fake to set up one of J.J. McCarthy's touchdown passes and paving the way to help him run for a score.
Corum also ran for 162 yards and scored a touchdown of his own, helping No. 3 Michigan stay undefeated with a 34-3 win over Nebraska on Saturday.
Instead of constantly handing the ball off to Corum near the end zone as the Wolverines have many times, they used him as a decoy to set up McCarthy's 9-yard touchdown pass to Ronnie Bell and as a lead blocker for the quarterback on a designed run for another score.
“That was something different, right?" coach Jim Harbaugh asked.
The Wolverines (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten, No. 3 CFP) have won their first 10 games for the first time since 2006, when they closed the regular season as the second-ranked team with a loss to rival and top-ranked Ohio State.
In two weeks, Michigan will play the Buckeyes on the road with the Big Ten East Division title and likely spot in the College Football Playoff at stake.
“It’s a joyful, happy ride that we’re on," Harbaugh said. “It’s a mssion, but it’s a happy mission. It’s not one that has any anxiety or anger or any kind of fear."
Michigan was in control from the start against the Cornhuskers (3-7, 2-5) and opened with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that Corum capped with a 2-yard run for his 18th touchdown.
Nebraska started quarterback Chubba Purdy in place of Casey Thompson, who missed a second straight game with an elbow injury, and he left the game in the second quarter after appearing to injure his right ankle.
Logan Smothers filled in and after fumbling a snap, the Cornhuskers settled for a field goal and 14-3 score.
“He's been banged up (for) two weeks, but he’s a tough kid and he’s going to play," interim coach Mickey Joseph said.
Purdy was 6 of 12 for 56 yards and ran for a team-high 39 yards. Smothers was 4 of 8 for 15 yards for the Cornuskers, who finished with just 146 yards of offense.
“We tried to go more to the run game with Logan and tried to show some more option," Joseph said. “But we were trying to make sure that he didn’t take any direct hits."
Nebraska offensive coordinator Mark Whipple was carted off the field at halftime and taken for X-rays after Michigan receiver A.J. Henning ran into him behind the sideline in the second quarter.
Also in the first half, Cornhuskers running back Alante Brown tried to hurdle Mike Sainristil and the cornerback hit his trail leg, sending him higher into the air where defensive back D.J. Turner hit him.
“That wasn’t a smart hurdle by him," Corum said. “Mikey was not going low. He could’ve snapped his neck."
The Huskers will look to snap a four game losing streak as they return to Lincoln, Nebraska for their final home game of the season against Wisconsin. Kickoff time is still to be determined.