Area football scoreboard: Missouri State earns first victory; Pitt State stays unbeaten

The Missouri State football team returned from a week off and claimed a season-first victory on Saturday at Robert W. Plaster Stadium in Springfield.

Bears quarterback Jacob Clark completed 19 of 26 pass attempts for 414 yards and five touchdowns and the Missouri State defense picked off his Utah Tech counterpart, Kobe Tracy, four times amid a 59-14 thumping of the Trailblazers on Family Weekend at MSU.

Terique Owens was the recipient of five of Clark’s throws for 140 yards and two touchdowns, and Bears backs Jayden Becks and Jakairi Moses each ran for touchdowns.

The Bears improved to 1-2 while Utah Tech dropped to 1-3.

In other Saturday games:

Pittsburg State 33, Nebraska-Kearney 14: The third-ranked Gorillas’ fourth win of the season demanded every bit of their focus on Saturday at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg, Kansas. UNK (1-3, 1-3 MIAA) held a halftime lead and was looking for the upset, but the Gorillas hung in with stout defense and a pair of Austin Schmitt field goals. Cleo Chandler Jr.’s 10-yard scamper was the go-ahead in the third quarter. Pitt State (4-0, 4-0) also got TDs via a Chad Dodson Jr.-to-Kam Gillespie scoring pass, Michael Lacey’s pick-six and Ty Pennington’s 23-yard run.

Northwest Missouri State 59, Lincoln 0: Northwest got back on track in a non-league game against Lincoln Saturday afternoon, shutting out the Blue Tigers on Family Weekend at Bearcat Stadium in Maryville. Quarterback Chris Ruhnke passed for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth for the Bearcats (2-2, 1-2 MIAA). Teammate Jay Harris rushed for 105 yards and a TD on 16 carries as five ball-carriers found the end zone for Northwest. Lincoln fell to 0-4.

Emporia State 38, Central Oklahoma 27: In a Family Day afternoon game at Francis G. Welch Stadium in Emporia, Kansas, the Hornets improved to 4-0 with an 11-point victory over UCO. Quarterback Braden Gleason was 19 of 29 for 289 yards and four touchdowns for ESU, with three of those TDs going to Jaylen Varner, who hauled in six of Gleason’s passes for 147 yards. Teammate Billy Ross Jr. rushed for 157 yards and 2 TDs on 16 carries.

Missouri Western 28, Fort Hays State 7: The Griffons ensured the Tigers would make the long trip home without a victory Saturday afternoon. In a Family Day/Military Appreciation Day game at Spratt Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri Western (3-1, 3-1 MIAA) got a pair of short-yardage TDs from Seth Cromwell and led 14-0 at halftime. Second-half scores came via Armani Edden’s TD pass to Caleb Martin and a pick-six by Brayden Wright. FHSU, which got a combined 80 yards from De Soto High product Shane Watts, fell to 2-2 (2-2 MIAA) with the loss.

Davenport 55, William Jewell 27: At Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Cardinals hung in through three quarters but Davenport’s 20-0 final-period barrage would be their undoing. William Jewell QB C.J. Ward passed for three TDs but was sacked five times. Teammate Keaundre McCullough carried the ball 18 times for 107 yards. Jewell fell to 1-2 while Davenport, with four TDs on the ground Saturday, improved to 3-0.

Central Missouri 58, Washburn 28: The Mules were in control from the outset Saturday at Yager Stadium in Topeka. Completing 40 of 48 passes, UCM quarterback Zach Zebrowski threw for five touchdowns against one pick. Teammate Marcellous Hawkins carried the ball just six times but took those touches for 144 big-play yards and two scores as the Mules improved to 3-1 (3-1 MIAA). Washburn QB Sam Van Dyne threw 2 TD passes but also tossed an interception and was sacked twice as the Ichabods fell to 1-3 (1-3).

Missouri Southern 42, Northeastern State 0: The Jaguars pitched a shutout Saturday at Fred G. Hughes Stadium in Joplin. Missouri Southern improved to 3-1 (3-1 MIAA). Luke Sampson passed for a pair of touchdowns and ran for a third, and MSSU also got rushing TDs from Kaleb Kenney and Anthodius Ashley.

MidAmerica Nazarene 27, Clarke 24: The Pioneers rallied after falling behind 21-0 to stun the Pride in a noon showdown at the Olathe District Activity Center. Cameron Finley (toward the end of the first half) and Shawn Cherry (third quarter) scored on short-yardage runs and Adrian Parsons’ 90-yard pass play to Arlandes Mitchell tied the game. Trevor Highley kicked second-half field goals of 37 and 27 yards — the latter with 2 just seconds remaining — as MNU improved to 4-1.

McPherson 42, Avila 21: At McPherson, Kansas, Avila (1-4) fell behind 21-7 by halftime and never recovered. McPherson’s Tristan Szabo threw for five touchdowns against one interception while Brysen Kerby rushed for 102 yards and a TD on 14 carries. Andrew Ealoms rushed for 108 yards on eight carries for the Eagles, who have now lost four straight since beating Bethany in their season opener.

Benedictine 60, Culver-Stockton 7: The Ravens soared through their Family Weekend game on O’Malley Field at Larry Wilcox Stadium, rolling up 550 yards of offense and holding their visitors from Missouri to just 112 Saturday in Atchison, Kansas. Benedictine quarterback Jackson Dooley passed for five touchdowns (17 of 32 for 223 yards). Luke Laskowski also threw for a TD, making it six Benedictine scoring passes Saturday to six different receivers as the Ravens improved to 3-2.

Baker 45, Graceland 42: One week after suffering an ugly 24-0 defeat against Grand View, the Wildcats righted themselves against another opponent from Iowa on Homecoming at Liston Stadium in Baldwin City, Kansas. But it went down to the wire: Baker trailed 42-38 with just over three minutes remaining when quarterback Truman Juelsgaard found Rashaan Graves from 5 yards out to cap a seven-play, 75-yard drive with the go-ahead score. Juelsgaard finished with 4 TD passes and 302 yards through the air as Baker improved to 3-1.

Evangel 27, Ottawa 21: At Nixa High School in Nixa, Missouri, Ottawa gave the unbeaten Valor all they could want before falling short at the end. Ottawa (1-4) actually led through one quarter and at halftime, with Wynton Ruth and Malaki Peko each rushing for touchdowns. Evangel’s Eric Williams did them one better, rumbling for 155 yards and a TD on 26 carries and also catching a 16-yard TD pass. Evangel improved to 5-0.

St. Mary 57, Bethany 18: St. Mary scored 30 points in the opening quarter at Bethany in Lindsborg, Kansas. The Spires improved to 2-3 while the Swedes dropped to 1-4. Eric Covington threw for five TDs for St. Mary. Michael Gazzana caught five passes for 106 yards with 2 TDs.