Oct. 3, 2009
Northwest Tops Western; Stands Alone in First Place
ST. JOSEPH, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State quarterback Blake Bolles passed for a career-high five touchdowns and running back LaRon Council rushed for 192 yards as the sixth-ranked Bearcats beat 12th-ranked Missouri Western 49-35 before a record crowd of 10,129 at Spratt Stadium Saturday.
The win makes Northwest (5-1, 4-0 MIAA) the lone undefeated team in the MIAA and extends the Bearcats' conference win streak to 32 games. Missouri Western (5-1, 3-1) loses for the first time this season and for the second time in 11 games dating back to last season.
Jake Soy caught nine passes for a career-best 142 yards and scored three touchdowns. He's the fifth player in Northwest history to reach 10 touchdown receptions in one season. Tyler Shaw hauled in Bolles' other two scores on first-half completions of 61 and 24 yards.
Council ran for 142 yards and scored both of his touchdowns in the second half. Missouri Western had minus-two yards rushing in the second half and was out gained 340-79 in the final 30 minutes. The two teams were tied, 21-21, at the break.
Missouri Western had committed five turnovers in its first five games, but committed seven against the Bearcats. The Griffons fumbled four times and quarterback Drew Newhart threw three interceptions. Newhart, the nation's most efficient passer entering Saturday's game, finished 27-of-39 for 265 yards and three touchdowns.
Bolles completed 22-of-32 passes for 297 yards in becoming the fifth Northwest quarterback to pass for five touchdowns in one game. No one has thrown for six.
Soy's 50-yard touchdown catch broke the 21-21 tie five minutes into the third quarter. Terrell Downing fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Joe Bedard recovered at the Griffons' 29-yard line. A 27-yard run by Bolles followed by a 2-yard leap by Council gave Northwest a 35-21 lead.
Justin Welch picked off Newhart late in the third quarter and Northwest capitalized early in the fourth on Soy's third touchdown catch. The Bearcats led 42-21 and maintained a 14-point lead the rest of the way. Northwest scored 21 points off turnovers. It's average drive started at the Griffons' 44-yard line.
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