WICHITA FALLS, Texas – No. 10 Northwest Missouri State pulled out arguably one of the most thrilling playoff wins in its history, needing overtime to knock off No. 2 Midwestern State 38-31 in NCAA Division II second-round action.
Blustery conditions caused a limited passing attack from both teams who were top-rated offensive squads in Division II. The Bearcats improved to 11-2 as they advanced to the NCAA national quarterfinals.
Trevor Adams found Kyle Kilgore in the corner of the end zone from 13-yards out to strike first in overtime. It was the third touchdown of the day for the duo and eighth of the season for Kilgore.
The Northwest defense locked in the entire second half as much as it had all year. After a tackle for a loss by Josh Lorenson, the Mustangs kept the chains moving on a 4th-and-1. However, the Bearcats forced another fourth down as Brandon Kelsey’s pass to David Little skipped across the turf, giving Northwest their second consecutive come-from-behind win.
The Bearcats briefly led as they started with the strong winds at their back, taking a 10-7 lead. Matching scores with Northwest, the Mustangs started rolling with their top-ranked offense that entered the game averaging 548 yards per game.
Midwestern State (11-1) scored three times in the second quarter to run out to a 28-10 lead. MSU only needed five passing attempts on the three drives getting scores from Keidrick Jackson and Lester Bush. Jackson broke free on a 4th-and-2 to scramble 32-yards giving the Mustangs the momentum.
Jackson finished with 184 yards on 29 carries for the Mustangs.
Northwest got into the end zone to close out the first half when James Franklin found pay dirt from 6 yards out. The Bearcats rode Franklin all afternoon as he added a second touchdown jaunt with 4:56 left in the game to pull Northwest even at 31-31.
In addition to Franklin’s two scores, he finished with 146 yards rushing on 26 carries marking his third consecutive game rushing above the century mark.
Led by DJ Gnader the Bearcats only allowed 81 yards rushing by the Mustangs in the second half. Gnader finished with a game-high 15 tackles and another important tackle for a loss on the Mustangs’ final drive of regulation.
The Mustangs missed a 27-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in regulation after the Adams opened fourth quarter scoring with a 6-yard toss to Trevor Adams. Despite the strong winds Adams finished with 131 yards on 15 of 25 passing and three touchdown passes.
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