Fifth-ranked Abilene Christian scored 16 points off Northwest turnovers and held on late for a 19-14 win against second-ranked Northwest Missouri State Thursday at Shotwell Stadium in the season opener for both teams.

Fifth-ranked Abilene Christian scored 16 points off Northwest turnovers and held on late for a 19-14 win against second-ranked Northwest Missouri State Thursday at Shotwell Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
It’s the third season-opening loss in a row for the Bearcats, who’ve rebounded to win the next 12 and 13 consecutive games in the 2007 and 2008 seasons, respectively. Abilene Christian beat Northwest 44-27 in Maryville at the start of last season. Blake Bolles passed for 173 yards and a score and LaRon Council carried 20 times for a game-high 69 yards for the Bearcats.

Central Missouri 39, Southwest Baptist 28
WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Central Missouri opened the 2009 season with a 39-28 victory over Southwest Baptist on Thursday night at Walton Stadium-Kennedy Field. The Mules jumped out with two early scores, and then battled back from an 28-20 deficit with 19 unanswered points to finish the game and pick up their 18th consecutive win over SBU.
Eric Czerniewski threw for four touchdowns and ran for another, while Anthony Stewart scored the first and last touchdowns for the Mules. DeMarco Cosby added a pair of touchdown receptions as that trio was responsible for most of the Mules 473 yards in total offense. Cody Scribner led the Mules defense with 10 tackles.

Emporia State 48, Southwestern Oklahoma State 17
EMPORIA —  Emporia State’s LaDarrian Page gained 153 yards on 16 carries with three touchdowns while Adrian Abner added 109 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown as the Hornets defeated Southwestern Oklahoma State 48-17 on Thursday night at Jones Field at Welch Stadium. It was the seventh time in 19 years two Hornets have gained 100 yards in the same game as ESU rushed for 399 yards on the night.
Emporia State’s 399 yards rushing is the most by the Hornets since gaining 446 against Truman on Oct. 28, 2000.

Missouri Western 49, Northern State 14
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The Missouri Western football team exploded for 49 first half points as they routed the Northern State University Wolves in their 2009 season opener by a score of 49-14. Western scored on its first four possessions of the contest as they racked up 438 yards of total offense in the game.
Redshirt junior quarterback Drew Newhart threw five touchdowns to five different receivers as he finished the contest connecting on 10-of-14 passes for 134 yards. Newhart’s five touchdown passes ties the Missouri Western single game record. With the victory the Griffons won their season opener for the sixth straight season.

Nebraska-Omaha 48, East Central 0
OMAHA, Neb. — Greg Wunderlich threw for three touchdowns, and Duane Bowen ran for two more as the Nebraska-Omaha football team opened the 2009 season with a 48-0 win over East Central University on Thursday night at Caniglia Field. The Mavericks allowed the Tigers just 63 yards of total offense and four first downs.
Wunderlich finished the night with 12 completions on 15 attempts for 183 yards. He also had a 10-yard run. Bowen led all UNO rushers with 90 yards. Mike Higgins led all Maverick receivers with 70 yards.