Story and photo courtesy of Northwest Missouri State Athletics
KEARNEY, Neb. – A pair of first half turnovers helped set the tone for 12th-ranked Northwest Missouri State to pull away with a 37-13 win over Nebraska-Kearney Saturday at Cope Stadium in MIAA football action.
Northwest improved to 3-1 on the season and 2-1 in league play against one of the league’s newest members. Playing with a depleted lineup that saw even more players go down Saturday as UNK fell to 0-4 overall and 0-4 in its first season in the MIAA.
The Bearcat defense forced three turnovers against a quarterback getting his first collegiate start and making the move from wide receiver, Matt Berry. Running an option attack, the Lopers were held scoreless in the first half despite outgaining the Bearcats in total yards, 152-134.
Northwest jumped on the scoreboard first when senior linebacker Collin DeBuysere stripped UNK running back, Tommy Flanagan and raced 86 yards for the first score of the game. DeBuysere finished with seven tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss.
Both offenses would move the ball consistently in the first half, however neither could do damage as the Bearcats were held to a pair of Todd Adolf field goals. Adolf connected on field goals from 41-yards and 27-yards as Northwest took a 13-0 lead into the locker room.
After holding Northwest to a punt on its first series to start the second half, UNK would drive the ball 75-yards on 12 plays to make it a 13-7 game. The drive took nearly six minutes off the clock and looked like the Lopers would challenge the Bearcats.
However, going with the combination of Tyler Seals and Brady Bolles at quarterback, the Bearcats would score 17-unanswered points to build a 30-7 lead in the second half. Both quarterbacks would throw for over 100 yards in the win and toss one touchdown apiece.
Bolles would also lead the Bearcats in rushing for the second straight game as he carried the ball 14 times for 75 yards. The redshirt freshman also ran for a score late in the fourth quarter.
Offensively, Tyler Shaw finished with a career high 158 yards receiving with two touchdown catches. The first came on a 42-yard pass down the sideline from Seals to answer the Loper’s first score. After scrambling away from pressure, Bolles would also find Shaw deep, as he ran past the Loper secondary for the 78-yard pitch and catch.
Travis Chappelear led Northwest defensively with eight tackles and also blocked an extra point.
The Bearcats return home to face Northeastern State (Okla.) before a road trip during the month of October. The game will also be the MIAA TV Game of the Week with kickoff from Bearcat Stadium set for 2:30 p.m.