EMPORIA, Kan. — As junior placekicker Parker Sampson’s 53-yard field goal soared through the air and the uprights with 3:46 left in the third quarter, it meant more than just extending Northwest Missouri State football’s lead.

The No. 7 ranked Bearcats (5-0, 5-0 MIAA) were able to fend off a pesky Emporia State (2-3, 2-3 MIAA) team 34-23, in front of 4,098, fans thanks to a second-half surge and Sampson’s leg.

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