By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
Bearcats decimate Tigers to advance to second round of playoffs
The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats dominated in all three phases of the game on the road in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, winning in the first round of the playoffs over #3 seed Ouachita Baptist 47-17, handing the Tigers their first loss of the season.
OBU came into the came ranked fourth in the nation in rushing, averaging 305.8 yards per game. The Bearcat defense was stout against the run though, holding the Tigers to just 18 total rushing yards, outrushing them on the day 177-18. The Bearcat offense compiled 499 total yards, while holding OBU to 258 total yards offensively.
It was the Northwest defense that began the scoring in the contest as linebacker Andrew Dumas would get to OBU quarterback Riley Harms, hitting him hard and knocking the ball out, allowing cornerback Trevon Peak to pick up the ball, taking it back 18 yards for a touchdown giving the Bearcats an early 7-0 lead after a Cole Lammel extra point.
The Tigers would respond, kicking a 34 yard field goal of their own to trim the lead to 10-3, but early in the second quarter Northwest would answer with a Lammel field goal from 27 yards out, pushing the lead back to 10-3.
It would be all Northwest until the fourth quarter as running back Jay Harris would rush in twice in the second quarter, his first score coming from two yards out and the second from six yards out, making the Bearcat lead at halftime 23-3, Lammel missing his extra point following the six yard score.'
Northwest would attack through the air in the second half as quarterback Mike Hohensee would find Kashan Griffin from five yards out early in the third quarter, and about halfway through the quarter Hohensee would find Cole Hembrough for a 13 yard score, extending their lead to 37-3 before a Lammel field goal in the dying seconds of the third would extend it even more at 40-3 going into the final frame.
OBU would find the endzone for the first time early in the fourth quarter as Harms would find Tucker Swoboda on a two yard touchdown pass, cutting the lead to 40-10. Both teams would go quiet until the final four minutes of the game.
Northwest would finally answer the Tigers touchdown to open the quarter, as running back Robert Rawie would break off a 37 yard touchdown run, scoring the Bearcats final points of the game. The final score of the game from the Tigers would come with 10 seconds left when Kendel Givens would pound it in from one yard out.
Running back Jamar Moya led all rushers with 72 yards on 12 carries. While he did find the endzone twice, Harris compiled just nine carries for 29 yards. Hohensee was effecient on the day completing 23 of 30 passes for 322 yards and two scores while Griffin led all receivers with five catches for 109 yards and his score.
The Bearcats now advance to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs and will meet up with undefeated and top seed Grand Valley State. Kickoff on Saturday is set for Noon from Allendale, Michigan.
Ravens too much to handle for Moundbuilders in first round
The #6 Benedictine Ravens defended their home field well in the playoffs against #10 Southwestern, pitching a shutout until the fourth quarter, and defeating the Moundbuilders 35-7 at O'Malley Field at Larry Wilcox Stadium in Atchison, Kansas.
The Ravens scored 28 unanswered points en route to the win, and defensively Benedictine held Southwestern to their lowest point total since September 1st, 2016.
Benedictine stalled out on their first drive of the game, but would go on to score on three of their next four possessions. Quarterback Garrett Kettle would use his legs for the first score of the game, rushing in from eight yards out, the only score of the first quarter.
The Ravens would start the second quarter with Kettle finding Freshman tight end Tanner Zimmerman for a 16 yard touchdown pass. Then with 6:04 remaining in the half, freshman running back Dalton Witherspoon would rush in from two yards out, pushing the lead to 21-0 after the extra point from kicker Harry Balke, which is where the score stood at halftime after both teams would not be able to score over the remaining six minutes.
Benedictines only points of the third quarter would come on their first possession of the frame. After the Moundbuilders would fail to convert a fourth down, the Ravens would get the ball with 9:13 left in the third and after a three yard rush from Witherspoon and an incomplete pass from Kettle would call a timeout on 3rd and 7. Out of the timeout, Kettle promptly found Sophomore wide receiver JaShawn Todd for a 57 yard strike, extending the lead once more to 28-0.
The Benedictine defense stood strong with the shutout until Southwestern's second drive of the fourth quarter, a short three play drive that used just 41 seconds of clock as Luke Barnes found Keyshawn Jones for a 32 yard touchdown, finally putting the Moundbuilders on the board with their only points of the game. The Ravens would respond with their final points of the game, another long touchdown as Kettle would get the ball to senior wide receiver Austin Buteaux for a 50 yard touchdown.
Kettle completed 11 of 19 passes on the day, throwing for three scores and 225 yards, also rushing on the day 10 times for 34 yards. Witherspoon led the rushing attack with 15 carries for 63 yards, while both Todd and Buteaux led the receiving attack, each with two catches for 68 yards. Defensively, Senior outside linebacker Zach Gill led the Ravens with 10 tackles. Junior safety Blue Caplinger added 7 while senior defensive lineman Tyler Wilson and junior linebacker Gavin Spangler added 6.
Benedictine will travel for the quarterfinals of the NAIA playoffs on November 29th, traveling to Marion, Indiana to take on #5 Indiana Wesleyan University after IWU beat Avila 14-7 on Saturday.
Season Awards Pile in for Ravens
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The annual All-Heart football team was released on Friday afternoon with 18 players earning 22 honors while two members of the coaching staff were also honored on the 2022 All-Heart South Football Team.
Garrett Kettle was named both the Heart South Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. Head Coach Joel Osborn was named the Heart South Coach of the Year while Defensive Coordinator Kaleb Koch was named the Heart South Assistant Coach of the Year.
Kettle broke Benedictine's single-season record of total offense with his combined yards in the season finale with MNU last week. Heading into Saturday's NAIA Football Championship Series First Round, Kettle has passed for 2,696 yards while rushing for 414 for a total of 3,110 yards. That total is a new single-season record passing the previous record of 3,107 yards set by Shaefer Schuetz in 2018.
Joining Kettle on the first team were Rayshon Mills (RB), Jacob Gathright (WR), Reed Levi (TE), Chim Okorafor (OL), and Jacob Nielson (OL) on offense. Isaac Anderson (DL), Dwayne Lacey (DL), and Javhi Blomquist (DB) were named to the first-team defense. Cullen Bruner (P) and Harry Balke (K) earned a first-team selection on special teams and JaShawn Todd was named as the first-team athlete selection.
Todd was named to the second team as both a receiver and return specialist. Ja'Kobe Hinton (OL), Gavin Spangler (LB), and Jackson Hoskins (DB) were also named to the second team. Austin Buteaux (WR), Tyler Wilson (DL), and Joel Mewis (DB) rounded out the selections as the trio was named honorable mention.
Tigers one win away from being bowl eligible with win over Aggies
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Freezing temperatures couldn’t chill Missouri on Saturday night.
Brady Cook tossed three touchdown passes, Luther Burden and Cody Schrader both scored twice and the Tigers rolled to a 45-14 victory over New Mexico State.
The Aggies (4-6) showed spark on their opening drive with quarterback Diego Pavia completing his first three passes for 30 yards and running back Jamoni Jones chipping in 9 yards on the ground. But the New Mexico State drive stalled at the Missouri 36 as the Tigers’ defense began to impose its will, forcing seven consecutive incompletions before Pavia completed his next pass.
The Tigers’ offense, for a change, clicked from the opening drive. Cook led an 11-play scoring drive capped off with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Burden. The freshman receiver took the tunnel screen from Cook and hurdled a defender in reaching the end zone, putting the Tigers (5-6, 2-5 SEC) on top 7-0.
Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz said he felt Cook delivered two of his best performances of the season in his last two games.
“I thought he made some great decisions,” Drinkwitz said. “We were really aggressive early trying to throw the ball down the field to get a lead.
“I thought he did a great job of not forcing it, taking his check-downs, and then obviously did a good job with his feet, running, whether it was for a zone read or a quarterback draw. It was another good performance, he’s got to continue to build on it.”
Cook and the offense used a more methodical approach on the team’s next possession, embarking on a 17-play, 81-yard drive that ended with Cody Schrader’s 2-yard touchdown run. Schrader, a senior transfer from Division II Truman State, rushed for 70 yards on 18 carries and caught four passes for 47 yards.
Cook connected with tight end Ryan Hoerstkamp for a 32-yard touchdown with 4:28 left in the second quarter and the Tigers led 21-0.
“Things are just starting to click, the offense has started to click and some of those plays are starting to hit,” Cook said. “I think we’ve played pretty consistent the past couple of weeks offensively. Obviously, still stuff to improve on, and we’ll get back to it tomorrow.”
The Aggies scored in the third quarter thanks to a big play from backup freshman quarterback Gavin Frakes. After an injury briefly knocked Pavia out of the game, Frakes found Eric Marsh for 21 yards on fourth-and-2 from the Missouri 40-yard line. Pavia returned to the game and two plays later he tossed a pitch on the option to tailback Star Thomas for a 10-yard touchdown run.
Burden scored his second touchdown late in the third quarter, taking a pop pass on a jet sweep from Cook and weaving 14 yards into the end zone to put the Tigers on top 35-7. Cook contributed three catches for 35 yards and two scores. He also ran three times for 12 yards.
“(Burden’s) got a knack with the ball in his hands to make some plays,” Drinkwitz said. “I don’t think we even blocked them up exactly the way they’re supposed to. When he gets his shoulders going downhill he’s really tough to tackle.”
Receiver Barrett Banister paced the Tigers with seven catches for 91 yards, both career highs for the senior in his sixth season with Missouri. Cook completed 19 of 27 passes for 251 yards with three touchdowns, while leading the Tigers with 71 yards rushing on seven carries.
Bannister has played in 55 games for the Tigers, and Drinkwitz said he’s leaving his mark as an unsung hero.
“Barrett’s been a really unselfish player for us,” Drinkwitz said. “(He) watches other guys go out and get a lot of plays designed for them and he just kind of shows up and makes big catches on third downs and does a lot of things right.”
Missouri’s defense even got involved in the scoring action when sophomore defensive back Daylan Carnell intercepted a pass from Pavia and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 42-7.
A fumble by Tigers freshman running back Tavorus Jones set up a short field for New Mexico State in the fourth, and the Aggies capitalized. Frakes led a 44-yard scoring drive, which he finished off with a 13-yard touchdown run. Frakes completed 2 of 4 passes for 39 yards and also rushed for 22 yards in relief. Pavia was 6-of-17 passing for 76 yards and led his team with 50 yards rushing on nine carries.
The Tigers kept their bowl hopes alive with the victory. There are scenarios in which the Tigers can secure a bowl bid with five wins but a victory over Arkansas in their regular-season finale would ensure a postseason appearance. Kickoff against the Razorbacks is scheduled for 2:30pm on Friday and will be aired on CBS
GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE
Tigers fans perhaps saw a preview of the 2023 season late in the contest with heralded freshman quarterback Sam Horn seeing his first action with the Tigers. Horn’s first pass went for 29 yards to Bannister but a penalty on Missouri wiped out the play. Horn officially finished with no completions on two attempts and a run for 10 yards in his only drive.
Hoerstkamp’s touchdown catch was the first target and reception by the redshirt freshman. Jones had his first collegiate catch for a 32-yard gain. Drinkwitz said he learned a lot about some of his young players getting their first significant action of the season.
“I think it’s a real opportunity for them to develop and see what playing in a college football environment is like and how fast the speed of the game moves and handle their nerves,” Drinkwitz said. “I thought some of those guys handled it really well, I thought some of them didn’t, to be honest.”
#19 Wildcats near Big 12 title game berth with win over West Virginia
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — One of No. 19 Kansas State’s longest road trips of the Big 12 season might as well have been a home game for quarterback Will Howard.
Howard threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, Cincere Mason returned an interception for a TD and the Wildcats moved closer to a berth in the Big 12 championship game by beating West Virginia 48-31 on Saturday.
Playing at West Virginia was as close as Howard will get to his hometown of Downingtown, about 280 miles (451 kilometers) from Morgantown in eastern Pennsylvania. Howard said about 30 relatives and friends cheered him on.
“I was fired up to be able to play for them,” Howard said. "Just to be able to look up and see all of them, it feels good.”
Kansas State (8-3, 6-2 Big 12, No. 15 CFP) can clinch a title game spot alongside No. 4 TCU on Dec. 3 with a win in its regular season finale at home Saturday against Kansas, or with a loss by Texas to Baylor on Friday.
Howard said coach Chris Klieman told the team in the locker room to take some time to soak in the win over the Mountaineers first.
“We're going to enjoy this one today and have fun on the plane ride home," Howard said. "We know it's our process mindset every week: One day at a time. We know we've got a big one next week. But we're going to start worrying about that one tomorrow.”
West Virginia (4-7, 2-6 Big 12) failed to become bowl eligible for the second time under fourth-year coach Neal Brown and for only the fourth time since 2000.
Both team's quarterbacks played well in a battle among backups.
Howard, starting in place of the injured Adrian Martinez, completed 19 of 27 passes for 294 yards.
“Will's a seasoned veteran now,” Klieman said. “I couldn't be more happier for the guy because he's worked his tail off.”
West Virginia's Garrett Greene, who got the nod ahead of JT Daniels, threw three TD passes to Sam James and finished 15 of 27 passes for 204 yards. He was intercepted twice. Greene also scored on a 13-yard run.
“Garrett did some good things,” Brown said. “He ran around and made some good decisions, made some bad decisions. That's going to happen when you're in your first career start.”
Kansas State led 28-19 after the first quarter. Mason’s 37-yard interception return put the Wildcats up 14-0 a little more than 3 minutes into the game. Later in the quarter, West Virginia’s Malachi Ruffin returned an interception 43 yards for a score. But West Virginia couldn't mount a comeback.
By halftime, Kansas State had 312 total yards and led 41-25. It was the highest scoring first half by the Wildcats since scoring 45 against Montana State in 2008, and the most allowed by West Virginia since allowing 56 to Baylor in 2013.
The Wildcats will wrap up their season with the annual Dillons Sunflower Showdown against Kansas at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7pm and the game will be aired on Fox
Kansas State could move up a spot or two in the AP Top 25 poll.
Jayhawks struggle to contain Bijan Robinson in loss against Texas
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Texas standout Bijan Robinson ran through, over and around Kansas for a career-high 243 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday, helping the Longhorns earn a measure of revenge with a frigid 55-14 victory.
Now, Robinson and his buddies are suddenly the Jayhawks' biggest fans.
The Longhorns, who lost a 57-56 overtime thriller to Kansas a year ago in Austin, need to knock off Baylor next week while getting some help from the team they just trounced. The Jayhawks must beat Kansas State in their rivalry game for Texas to play fourth-ranked TCU for the Big 12 championship in Arlington.
“We've got a bunch of fighters. We have a great deal of resiliency. These guys have showed an unbelievable amount of perseverance, and I told them that in the locker room,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I was proud of them. I was very proud of them for the maturity they showed in this game.”
Quinn Ewers added 107 yards passing and a touchdown, and Jonathon Brooks ran for 108 yards and two scores, as Texas (7-4, 5-3 Big 12) bounced back from a dismal game against the Horned Frogs in which it didn't score an offensive touchdown.
It scored on nine straight possessions after an opening punt Saturday and finished with 427 yards rushing.
“When you play a team that's as athletic as Texas, and you can see some of that when you stop your feet and lunge, and the missed tackles — it was not a good day there at all," Kansas coach Lance Leipold said, “and disappointing.”
Jalon Daniels, starting for the first time since a shoulder injury six weeks ago, threw for 230 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Jayhawks (6-5, 3-5 Big 12). Devin Neal was held to 51 yards rushing on 13 carries.
“This offense had been averaging 36 or 37 points a game,” Sarkisian said. “To hold them to 14 points, to hold them to just about 100 yards rushing, that's a heck of a performance against a difficult offense to defend.”
Robinson, who was held to 29 yards rushing by the Horned Frogs, eclipsed that total midway through the first quarter Saturday, then kept on going. He bulldozed into the end zone from 2-yards out to give the Longhorns the lead, then ripped off two long runs on their next possession to extend the advantage to 14-0.
“Before the game I was freezing. I was like, ‘This is not something you should play in,’" Robinson said. “But I knew I had to do whatever I could to help the team win. We had to run the ball throughout the game and that's what we did.”
Robinson nearly had a third first-half TD run, but it was called back by a penalty and Texas had to kick a field goal.
“He's a freak of nature. That's as simple as I can put it,” Ewers said. “I've never seen a guy like him before at the college level. He can really do it all.”
The Jayhawks were hoping to get a boost from the return of Daniels, who had them off to a 5-0 start before his injury on Oct. 8. But they went 3-and-out on their first two drives, failed on fourth-and-2 on the next one, then had a TD wiped out by a penalty and watched Jacob Borcila miss the ensuing field-goal try.
Ewers added a touchdown pass to Keilan Robinson later in the second quarter. And after Daniels was picked off by Jaylan Ford, the Longhorns turned again to Robinson, who appeared to have scurried 25 yards for a touchdown but was ruled out at the 1-yard line with 1 second left in the half — then leapt over the pile on the next play anyway.
Robinson had 172 yards and three touchdowns as Texas took a 31-0 lead to the locker room.
The junior tailback scored from 32 yards out on the first possession of the second half for his first career four-touchdown day, and Sarkisian soon gave Robinson the rest of the night off.
But despite playing just 2 1/2 quarters, his big game against the Jayhawks sent him climbing through the school record book. Robinson tied Chris Gilbert for fifth in career rushing with 3,231 yards, and Robinson’s 39 career scores is tied with Jamaal Charles and Roy Williams for fourth in school history.
Wisconsin's Mertz sneaks in for late touchdown to top Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Wisconsin team that has endured the midseason firing of its head coach and the death of a former teammate let its emotions spill out as groups of players gathered near midfield at Memorial Stadium to celebrate and pose for pictures with the Freedom Trophy.
Graham Mertz, a product from Overland Park, Kansas, scored on a 2-yard quarterback sneak with 35 seconds left to complete a comeback from an 11-point deficit entering the fourth quarter, and the Badgers beat Nebraska 15-14 Saturday for their ninth straight win in the series.
“It’s everything that this team has overcome off the field, that was what came up on the field today,” Mertz said. “There’s so many emotions and feelings that guys have had to deal with this year. There’s so many different things that have happened to us this year that could easily have buried us and made us just fold. It’s really cool to see how guys come together and want to succeed together.”
Wisconsin (6-5, 4-4 Big Ten) arrived in Lincoln with heavy hearts and left eligible for a bowl for a 21st straight year.
The Badgers had to cope with the death of former teammate Devin Chandler, who was one of three Virginia football players killed in a shooting last Sunday in Charlottesville. Interim coach Jim Leonhard had said late in the week that he sensed players who were friends with Chandler could be distracted.
“It was such a rough week, and early on the game mirrored that,” said Leonhard, 4-2 since taking over for the fired Paul Chryst. “It was ugly for a long time, and the guys just continued to battle and find ways to make plays.”
The Badgers were held to three points through three quarters and lost their top defensive player, Nick Herbig, to a targeting penalty and its top offensive player, Braelon Allen, to a leg injury on their second-to-last possession.
Mertz’s 10-yard TD pass to Skyler Bell cut Nebraska's lead to 14-9. Mertz was off target with his 2-point pass, leaving the Badgers down five with 10 minutes left.
Wisconsin started its final drive from midfield with 3:11 left. Mertz passed to Isaac Guerendo for 27 yards to set up the winning touchdown.
“I've got to do a better job of closing people out,” Nebraska interim coach Mickey Joseph said. “I take my hat off to these kids. Just a good character group, a group that's not going to quit. We're going to come back next week and we're going to play hard again and look for a different result. Just didn't happen today. This one hurts.”
Casey Thompson, who missed the previous two games with an elbow nerve injury, threw two touchdown passes to Trey Palmer and finished 12 of 20 for 106 yards for Nebraska (3-8, 2-6 Big Ten).
Chez Mellusi led the Badgers with 98 yards on 21 carries. Mertz was 8 of 18 for 83 yards on a day when the feels-like temperature was 16 degrees with a gusty north wind.
Herbig was ejected for targeting when he hit a sliding Thompson in the head. By rule, Herbig must miss the first half of next week's rivalry game against Minnesota.
Allen, already playing with a banged-up shoulder, had 92 yards on 18 carries before he hopped off the field with an apparent leg injury late in the game.
“There was a lot going on this week,” Allen said, “and that was a great way to turn the rough side of the week into something positive and get a big win and keep the trophy at home.”
The Huskers will wrap up the season attempting to snap a five game losing streak on the road in Iowa City, Iowa against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday. Kickoff is set for 3pm and will be aired on the Big Ten Network.