Dec. 4, 2010

Courtesy of NW Missouri St. Athletics

MARYVILLE, Mo.-
Blake Bolles went 20-of-32 for 226 yards and scored four total touchdowns as Northwest Missouri State defeated Central Missouri 37-20 Saturday afternoon at Bearcat Stadium to advance to its sixth-straight NCAA Division II playoffs semifinal appearance.

Willie Horn was the defensive star for the Bearcats as he picked off Mules quarterback Eric Czerniewski twice in the second half and recorded seven tackles. Chad Kilgore led the team with a game-high 15 stops. Northwest improves to 32-9 under head coach Mel Tjeerdsma in the playoffs and 19-3 at home.

Northwest took the opening drive 80 yards on nine plays that ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Bolles to Tyler Shaw. Central Missouri would answer with a seven-yard touchdown catch from Anthony Stewart to tie the game. The Bearcats would score the next two touchdowns, a two-yard run from Jordan Simmons and a six-yard touchdown grab from Josh Baker to take a 21-7 lead.

After another UCM touchdown, Todd Adolf kicked a 26-yard field goal with 43 seconds left in the half to give Northwest a 24-14 halftime advantage. After a scoreless third quarter, Jake Soy scored on a 58-yard touchdown pass after a beautiful run after the catch. The Mules cut the lead to 30-20 with 7:42 remaining after a five-yard TD connection between Czerniewski and Taylor Dyer. But after a failed fourth and 10 attempt by Central on their own 11, Bolles sealed the game with a four-yard scamper to give Northwest the 37-20 advantage.