Oct. 30, 2010
Bolles combines for four TDs in win against FHSU
By David Boyce
The way senior quarterback Blake Bolles played in his final Homecoming game for Northwest Missouri State he might one day have an award named after him.
Bolles earned the Don Black Homecoming Most Valuable Player Award Saturday afternoon after he passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more in a 45-27 victory over Fort Hays State in front of 8,797 fans at Bearcat Stadium.
"Sounds like he had a pretty good game," said Northwest coach Mel Tjeerdsma, the master of the understatement. "I thought he threw the ball well."
It's the second year in a row Bolles was voted the winner of the Don Black Award. He deserved it. Bolles passed for 361 yards and two touchdowns and he rushed for two important touchdowns in the third quarter to seal the victory.
"It's humbling," Bolles said of winning the award. "We had so many guys play great today, Josh Baker, Jake Soy and guys on the defense like Willie Horn. You got to give a lot of credit to those guys. To get it over them is very humbling."
Afterwards, Bolles was signing autographs for several young fans.
"It's fun," Bolles said. "These fans are what makes Northwest, Northwest. It's good to have everybody come out to the game. I'm always happy and humbled to sign autographs for kids."
The win lifted No. 4 Northwest to 7-1 overall and 7-0 in the MIAA. Fort Hays dropped to 3-6 and 1-6.
"I'm proud of the way our offense came out in this game and it felt like we were really clicking," said Baker, who finished with 131 yards receiving and one touchdown. "We want to use this momentum going into the UCM game. We feel like it is going to be a good game."
Given Fort Hays State entered on a five-game losing streak, the game was surprisingly close at halftime. Northwest held only a 24-15 lead.
A close game at halftime is something Northwest is getting used to. The Bearcats know exactly what to do when they come out of the locker room.
For the third week in a row, the Bearcats took the opening kickoff in the third quarter and marched down the field for a touchdown.
Bolles capped an 11 play, 56-yard drive with a 1-yard, quarterback dive up the middle that put Northwest up 31-15. The drive ate up 4 minutes, 12 seconds.
"It's something we talk about at halftime," Bolles said. "We feel like it is the biggest drive of the game. We've been fortunate enough to get the ball at the start of the second half. We want to take it right down and score."
Nearly seven minutes later, Bolles put the finishing touch on a 9-play, 54-yard drive with a 5-yard run. It gave Northwest a 38-15 lead with 3:50 left.
It was now time to start thinking about the MIAA showdown next Saturday in Warrensburg, Mo. Northwest will take on Central Missouri, the only other unbeaten team in MIAA play.
"It's the biggest game of the year so far," Northwest senior linebacker Bill Baudler said. "We need to come ready to play. If we make the same mistakes we did today, we might be in trouble. They have a great offense."
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