Saturday, November 27, 2004

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(11-27) 17:20 PST PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) --

Chad Miller intercepted the potential game-tying pass in the end zone as Pittsburg State beat Northwest Missouri State 50-36 on Saturday in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals.

Pittsburg State (13-0) led 43-36, but Northwest Missouri (11-2) was driving for the tying score when Miller intercepted a pass from Josh Mathews to Andre Rector with 4:23 left.

The Gorillas had taken the lead on a 23-yard TD run by Germaine Race, who finished with 130 yards rushing. After the interception, Pittsburg State put the game away on a drive capped by a 25-yard scoring run by Neal Philpot, who rushed for a game-high 131 yards and passed for 50.

Northwest Missouri led 23-21 at halftime and opened the scoring in the second half when Mike Tiehen returned a fumble 16 yards for a touchdown.

Pittsburg State blocked the extra point and Eric Wright returned it for a score, and the Gorillas followed with a 1-yard TD run by Joe Taylor and a 10-yard TD pass from Philpot to Mike Warren to lead 36-29.

Mathews passed for 290 yards but was intercepted three times. Pittsburg State lost three fumbles, and the game featured three blocked extra points, one blocked punt and a blocked field goal.

Pittsburg State advanced to the Division II semifinals against North Dakota, which beat Grand Valley State 19-15.