By BEN JOHNSON
Team Conf. Ovr
W-L W-L PF PA
Emporia St. 7-0 7-0 343 148
Washburn 6-0 7-0 331 80
Mo. Western 6-0 7-0 324 127
NW Mo. St. 6-0 7-0 311 106
Pittsburg St. 5-1 6-1 302 140
Mo. Southern 4-2 5-2 248 169
Central Mo. 2-4 3-4 221 173
Fort Hays St. 2-4 3-4 186 246
Lindenwood 2-4 3-4 158 245
Neb. Kearney 2-4 2-5 140 227
SW Baptist 1-5 1-6 161 330
Lincoln 0-6 1-6 152 310
Central Okla. 0-7 0-7 175 382
Northeastern St. 0-7 0-7 83 284
Eastern New Mexico 35, Northeastern State 14
Washburn 41, Fort Valley State 0
Central Missouri 48, Central Oklahoma 16
Nebraska Kearney 24, Lincoln 14
Fort Hays State 56, Southwest Baptist 14
Northwest Missouri State 24, Pittsburg State 15
Missouri Western 35, Missouri Southern 21
Emporia State 52, Lindenwood 21
Nebraska Kearney at Southwest Baptist, 1 p.m.
Lindenwood at Washburn, 1 p.m.
Northeastern State at Central Missouri, 1:30 p.m.
Pittsburg State at Missouri Western, 1:30 p.m.
Fort Hays State at Lincoln, 2:30 p.m.
Missouri Southern at Northwest Missouri State, 2 p.m.
Bye week: Central Oklahoma, Emporia State
Week 7 recaps
- Eastern New Mexico 35, Northeastern State 14: Outside of a touchdown off an early Eastern New Mexico turnover and a touchdown on a late deep ball, the RiverHawks’ offense was silenced and held to 250 total yards. The Greyhounds had two 100-yard rushers (Jordan Wells with 132 and Christian Long with 102) as they piled up 368 yards on the ground. Eastern New Mexico broke an early 7-7 tie by scoring the next 28 points.
- Washburn 41, Fort Valley State 0: Not even the Ichabods’ offense got up for this one, totaling 314 yards on 72 plays. However, Washburn’s defense forced three turnovers and held Fort Valley State’s offense to 141 yards. Cody Heiman scored two rushing touchdowns for the Ichabods, while Mitch Buhler passed for two scores, one to Matt Kobberman and one to Mark Kolmer. On defense, Washburn linebacker Bryce Atagi logged eight tackles, two and half tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, one interception, two pass break-ups and one sack for 14 yards.
- Central Missouri 48, Central Oklahoma 16: Without running back Josh Birmingham after halftime, Central Oklahoma was powerless to shut down the Mules at Wantland Stadium. Hayden Hawk and LaVance Taylor engineered a ruthless offensive attack for Central Missouri, combining for five touchdowns. Taylor ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Ronrei Lloyd was also instrumental for the Mules, catching eight passes for 172 yards and two scores, including a 72-yard touchdown grab early in the third quarter to put Central Missouri up 34-9.
- Nebraska Kearney 24, Lincoln 14: The Blue Tigers struck first and last but couldn’t produce any points in between as the Lopers won for the second time in their last three games. Kearney’s Tyler McKeone scored the second of his touchdowns early in the third quarter on a 4-yard run to break a 7-7 tie. The Lopers would score two more times in the third quarter to take control. Both teams’ offenses finished with 344 total yards, and Kearney running back Romero Cotton led the way with 107 yards on 27 carries.
- Fort Hays State 56, Southwest Baptist 14: A 7-7 tie early eventually turned into a 42-7 edge for Fort Hays State, which capitalized on five Bearcat turnovers — four which led to touchdowns. The win was the Tigers’ third straight.
- Northwest Missouri State 24, Pittsburg State 15: The Gorillas’ high-powered offense was held in check to the tune of 223 total yards, including two drives that ended with the Bearcats recording safeties. Played in front of 17,369 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Northwest Missouri rallied from deficits of 7-0 and 15-8 and scored the final 16 points of the game. Northwest Missouri State quarterback Brady Bolles scored the game-tying and go-ahead touchdowns at the beginning and end of the third quarter. The Bearcats’ defense logged five sacks and eight tackles for loss while limiting Pittsburg State’s All-American wide receiver John Brown to 41 all-purpose yards.
- Missouri Western 35, Missouri Southern 21: Missouri Southern turned the ball over six times with all four fumbles leading to Griffon touchdowns. Missouri Southern, which outgained the Griffons 389 to 331, led 21-17 in the second quarter on Giresse Forchu’s 3-yard run, but the Griffons scored the final 18 points of the game — all in the second half. The Griffons took the lead for good on Travis Partridge’s 6-yard scoring pass to Stephon Weaver with 3:15 left in the third period.
- Emporia State 52, Lindenwood 21: The Hornets’ offense was in full throttle again, piling up 561 total yards, including 305 through the air. Emporia State quarterback Brent Wilson passed for 295 yards and four touchdowns, with 11 of his passes going to Ray Ray Davis for 130 yards and three touchdowns. The Hornets broke a 7-7 tie early and scored the next 28 points to put the game on ice.
Players of the week
Weekly honors handed out by the league)
- Offense - Hayden Hawk (Central Missouri) - Hawk only misfired on three passes while racking up 331 yards and three touchdowns. Hawk was 23 of 26 through the air, including scoring strikes of 11, 35 and 72 yards.
- Defense - Michael Terry (Fort Hays State) - The junior linebacker had 16 tackles and a 94-yard fumble return that set up a touchdown for the Tigers in the third quarter.
- Special teams - Eli Kuhns (Emporia State) - Seven extra points and one field goal gave the Hornets’ kicker 10 points for the fourth time this season. He has now made 33 straight point-after attempts.
1. Northwest Missouri State: The Bearcats’ defense proved its worth by bottling up Pittsburg State’s potent offensive production on Saturday. Come playoff time, Northwest Missouri State may have some issues to solve on offense, but with a swarming defense, it may not matter.
2. Missouri Western: Perhaps should have beaten Missouri Southern by more, considering the Griffons were handed fumble after fumble. Yet, after losing to the Lions last year, the Griffons will gladly take a win any way they can get it in Joplin.
3. Pittsburg State: A one-loss Gorilla club is still better than unbeaten clubs in Emporia State and Washburn. Also, it’s not like Pittsburg State was blown out by Northwest Missouri State. It was a game all the way to the end. Now comes another test for the Gorillas this week: Missouri Western in St. Joseph.
4. Emporia State: Brent Wilson and Co. get to take the week off before games against Missouri Western, Northwest Missouri State and Washburn arrive. Also, the Hornets get the nod over Washburn because of better quarterback play. Would take Wilson over Mitch Buhler any day. However, the defense could be the Achilles heel of this club.
5. Washburn: The Ichabods lead the conference in scoring defense at 11.4. But, why wouldn’t they? They’ve made a living off the bottom-tier teams in the league, including a non-conference game against Fort Valley State, a 2-5 club from the Southern Intercollegiate Conference.
6. Missouri Southern: Outside of Northwest Missouri State at No. 1, the Lions may be the surest thing in the league. Missouri Southern is good but not great. The Lions are slightly behind the upper-echelon teams while miles ahead of the bottom eight clubs.
7. Central Missouri: The Mules have either won big or barely lost this year. Too bad four of the games have been of the narrow-defeat kind.
8. Fort Hays State: The Tigers are riding high with three straight wins over William Jewell, Lindenwood and Southwest Baptist. Quarterback Treveon Albert — only a sophomore — could have some big years ahead of him. He’s completing 57.8 percent of his passes, but now he needs to cut down on his interceptions.
9. Nebraska Kearney: The Lopers don’t do anything great, but they’re starting to figure out ways to win. That’s the key in this league.
10. Lindenwood: Hopefully the wins over Lincoln and Southwest Baptist were enjoyed early on this season, because the Lions are going to have a hard time winning another game. Washburn, Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State await to close out the season.
11. Lincoln: Turns out, the Grambling team that the Blue Tigers played in Week 2 was in complete disarray. Still, though, in college football you can’t turn down victories. And give Lincoln some credit this season, they’ve been respectable in losses to Lindenwood, Pitt State and Kearney. Same can’t be said for the Missouri Southern and Washburn games.
12. Southwest Baptist: Still trying to figure out how this club beat Missouri Southern. It’d be nice to see who would win between Lincoln and Southwest Baptist, but the two clubs that are roughly 114 miles apart don’t even play each other this season.
13. Central Oklahoma: Well, quarterback Adrian Nelson and running back Josh Birmingham are injured, so it’s now the Marquez Clark show in Edmond. The junior wide receiver does lead the league in all-purpose yards, so that’s good news.
14. Northeastern State: Eastern New Mexico was a beatable opponent for the RiverHawks. Didn’t matter. It was another blowout loss for the birds.
They said it
“They were getting there but they weren’t strong enough because our O-line was kicking their butts,” -- Nebraska Kearney’s Romero Cotton following the Lopers’ win over Lincoln (via the Kearney Hub).
Game of the week
Pittsburg State at Missouri Western
The schedule makers haven’t done Pittsburg State any favors the last two seasons. Putting games against Northwest Missouri State and Missouri Western back to back is less than ideal. Last year, Pittsburg State let a 31-21 loss to Northwest Missouri State linger, resulting in a 63-14 beatdown against the Griffons. That was at Carnie Smith Stadium in southeast Kansas, so this year the Gorillas head north to St. Joseph. The loser of this game can’t feel too great about postseason aspirations, so a lot is on the line.