Northwest Missouri is the top-ranked team in NCAA Division II, and the Bearcats played like it on Saturday.
The defending national champion Bearcats romped to an easy 44-13 victory over Emporia State in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs in Maryville, Mo.
It was Northwest Missouri’s 27th straight victory. The Bearcats will play Harding, 13-0, next Saturday at Bearcat Stadium.
The Bearcats, 12-0, scored 17 points in the first quarter. Quarterback Kyle Zimmerman, who went to Blue Valley High School, connected with Shane Williams on a 6-yard touchdown pass early in the first period. Zimmerman ran it in from the 1 for another score just 2 minutes later.
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Zimmerman, who passed for 186 yards, added another rushing touchdown in the second quarter. Northwest Missouri led 31-13 at halftime.
The Bearcats forced three turnovers and held Emporia State to just 297 yards of offense. Collins Bevins had 3 1/2 sacks for Northwest Missouri.
It was a big day for the Bishop family. Jordan Bishop caught a 52-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter for Northwest Missouri, and his twin brother, linebacker Jarrod Bishop, returned an interception 65 yards for the Bearcats’ final touchdown.
Braxton Marstall threw two touchdown passes for Emporia State.
Baker beats Lindsey Wilson
No. 2 Baker advanced to the NAIA semifinals for the first time since 1993 with a 42-27 win over No. 8 Lindsey Wilson on Saturday in Baldwin City, Kan.
The Wildcats will face No. 9 Eastern Oregon next Saturday at Baker’s Liston Stadium.
Baker scored twice in the game’s first 3 minutes. Blue Valley High grad Logan Brettell hit Ladai Shawn Boose for a 19-yard touchdown on the Wildcats’ opening drive. Baker’s Darrain Winston forced a fumble on the Blue Raiders’ first play from scrimmage, and Cornell Brown ran for a touchdown.
Brettell passed for 254 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 43 yards.
Baker forced six turnovers, turning four interceptions and two fumbles into 21 points.
Josh Kock had four sacks and tied a Baker record for sacks in a game.