By BEN JOHNSON
Team Conf. Ovr
W-L W-L PF PA
NW Mo. St. 9-0 10-0 454 155
Emporia St. 8-1 8-1 399 226
Pittsburg St. 7-1 9-1 447 160
Washburn 7-2 8-2 427 201
Mo. Western 7-2 8-2 402 227
Mo. Southern 4-3 6-3 310 212
Central Mo. 5-4 6-4 376 214
Fort Hays St. 3-5 5-5 328 346
Neb. Kearney 3-5 3-7 194 331
Lindenwood 2-6 3-6 199 330
Central Okla. 2-7 2-7 262 455
Lincoln 1-8 2-8 271 437
SW Baptist 1-8 1-9 209 427
Northeastern St. 1-8 1-9 154 380
Lincoln 42, Northeastern State 33
S.D. School of Mines 34, Nebraska Kearney 26
Missouri Western 34, Washburn 31
Northwest Missouri State 48, Emporia State 21
Central Oklahoma 38, Southwest Baptist 31
Central Missouri 48, Fort Hays State 34
Pittsburg State 41, Lindenwood 6
Missouri Southern 55, Lindenwood-Belleville 0
Central Oklahoma at Northeastern State, 1 p.m.
Washburn at Emporia State, 1 p.m.
Southwest Baptist at Lincoln, 1 p.m.
Northwest Missouri State at Missouri Western, 1:30 p.m.
Nebraska Kearney at Fort Hays State, 2 p.m.
Missouri Southern at Pittsburg State, 2 p.m.
Week 10 recaps
- Lincoln 42, Northeastern State 33: A back-and-forth contest swung Lincoln’s way for good when NSU failed to score on three straight possessions, which spanned the third and fourth quarters. A missed 52-yard field goal by NSU’s Drew Patton failed to tie the game at 28-all and led to Khiry Draine’s 15-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Morris with 11:02 left in the game, which gave the Blue Tigers a commanding 35-25 advantage. Lincoln’s Morris Henderson ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, and Morris added 102 yards on the ground to along with 212 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
- S.D. School of Mines 34, Nebraska Kearney 26: The game was never as close as the final score indicates. At the 5:39 mark in the third quarter, the Hardrockers claimed a 22-6 lead on Tim Crenshaw’s 32-yard touchdown run, and S.D. School of Mines held on from there. Hardrockers quarterback Ben Broeker passed for 261 yards and four touchdowns.
- Missouri Western 34, Washburn 31: The Griffons led wire to wire while improving to 5-0 on the road this season. Western led 17-7 at halftime and eventually upped its lead to 34-17 on Raphael Spencer’s 47-yard touchdown run with 1:51 left in the game. Washburn scored twice in the final 87 seconds to do some cosmetic work on the final score. The Ichabods were doomed by three turnovers, which turned into 10 points for the Griffons.
- Northwest Missouri State 48, Emporia State 21: The conference-leading Bearcats flexed their muscles throughout, traumatizing Emporia State to an eventual 41-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Hornets led 7-6 on Kavaski Ervin’s 45-yard touchdown pass from Brent Wilson, but Northwest Missouri State would respond by scoring 35 of the next 42 points. Quarterback Trevor Adams passed for 291 yards and five touchdowns while completing 24 of 35 passes for the Bearcats.
- Central Oklahoma 38, Southwest Baptist 31: UCO running back Josh Birmingham torched Southwest Baptist to the tune of 180 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries (Birmingham also had a 99-yard scoring run wiped away by a penalty). Both teams punted six times, despite combining for 829 yards of total offense.
- Central Missouri 48, Fort Hays State 34: The Tigers raced out to a 27-0 lead only to have Central Missouri score 34 of 41 points in the second half. The Mules went ahead for good on Ray Harris’ 1-yard run with 1:17 left in the third quarter. Both quarterbacks in the game passed for more than 300 yards. Fort Hays State’s Treveon Albert had 313 yards and four touchdowns, while UCM’s Hayden Hawk logged 330 yards and four touchdowns on 27 of 35 attempts. The Tigers and Mules combined for 981 yards of offense.
- Pittsburg State 41, Lindenwood 6: The Gorillas scored the first 38 points of the game and never looked back. Jeff Seybold ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns on 17 rushes, as Pittsburg State churned out 444 yards of offense. The Gorilla defense forced three turnovers, which turned into 14 points on the other end.
- Missouri Southern 55, Lindenwood-Belleville 0: The Lions ran for 552 yards on 72 carries and completely overwhelmed Lindenwood-Belleville, which managed only 126 yards on offense. Missouri Southern had the game locked up by halftime with a lead of 34-0.
Players of the week
- Offense - Raphael Spencer (Missouri Western): The sophomore tailback from Kansas City, Mo., logged 193 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries to propel the Griffons past Washburn.
- Defense - Matt Longacre (Northwest Missouri State): The junior defensive end from Omaha, Neb., had six tackles, two and half sacks and four and a half tackles for loss in the Bearcats’ win over Emporia State.
- Special teams - LaVance Taylor (Central Missouri): A 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Taylor was the final score of the game in the Mules’ come-from-behind win over Fort Hays State. Taylor, a junior from Raytown, Mo., had 176 return yards and 296 all-purpose yards.
Around the league
- Region reign: Of the six playoff spots up for grabs in Region Three, the MIAA has three in the top six. Northwest Missouri State is No. 1 and would earn a first-round bye with a win over Missouri Western this week. Pittsburg State and Emporia State are fifth and sixth, respectively. Both need to win this week to solidify their places in the Division II national playoffs.
- Nate the Great: Pittsburg State linebacker Nate Dreiling collected 13 tackles to become the Gorillas’ all-time tackle leader in school history with 475 tackles in 46 games. Dreiling is also second on the all-time MIAA list now, trailing Truman’s Marti Rave by 14 tackles.
- Top 25 dominance: The MIAA has five teams in the nation’s top 25 heading into the final week of the regular season. Northwest Missouri State is No. 2 and Pittsburg State is also in the top 10 at No. 6. Emporia State (16th), Missouri Western (19th) and Washburn (23rd) also hold spots in the top 25.
1. Northwest Missouri State: No one has been able to solve the Bearcats’ menacing defense to this point. NWMSU is easily a national title contender as the playoffs near.
2. Pittsburg State: Barring a disastrous loss at home to Missouri Southern, the Gorillas could pose some problems for opponents in the playoffs, especially now that Seybold and Brown are a dynamic rushing-and-receiving combination.
3. Emporia State: A humbling loss to Northwest Missouri State can do one of two things: demoralize the Hornets’ morale or embolden Emporia State with one victory standing between it and the D-II playoffs.
4. Missouri Western: The win over Washburn keeps postseason possibilities alive.
5. Washburn: The Ichabods, now with two losses, have been reduced to the role of spoiler against Emporia State. The ‘Bods now need some help to see any kind of postseason action.
6. Missouri Southern: What better way to pay tribute to fallen coach Derek Moore — the Lions’ offensive line coach — than to rush for 550-plus yards last week?
7. Central Missouri: The Mules — despite several close losses to start the year — have to feel good about the way they closed out the season.
8. Fort Hays State: The way this year started for the Tigers, a win over Nebraska Kearney and an above-.500 record would feel pretty good heading into the offseason.
9. Nebraska Kearney: Lopers will have a lot of ground to make up in the offseason.
10. Central Oklahoma: The Bronchos can’t seem to stop anyone on defense, but hey, at least their offense seems to be operating at maximum efficiency right now.
11. Lindenwood: A cushy schedule yielded only three wins — only two in conference — for the Lions, who had such high expectations heading into the season.
12. Lincoln: The Blue Tigers will certainly miss Morris Henderson next season.
13. Northeastern State: The RiverHawks were outscored 237-80 on the road this season. Ouch.
14. Southwest Baptist: Willie Tindal seems to be the motor for the Bearcats, and with him out, Southwest Baptist appears to be going nowhere.
They said it
“When something tough like that happens, everybody has to get together and form a team. We just had to come out and do our job and get a win. And that’s what we did.” — Missouri Southern junior offensive lineman Austin Wolfe on the Lions’ win after the death of assistant coach Derek Moore (via Joplin Globe).
Game of the week
Washburn at Emporia State
This one trumps Northwest Missouri-Missouri Western only because there’s more at stake. The Hornets — for the second week in a row — are hosting a massive game. And again, Emporia State’s playoff lives will be on the line as they search for their first playoff appearance since 2003. Washburn’s goal will be to keep its Sunflower State cohort out of playoffs and possibly snatch a bowl game appearance. Prediction: Brent Wilson and Co. find a way to win. Emporia State 33, Washburn 28.