Western Kentucky topples W. Illinois

Northern Iowa won to stay in contention for an at-large playoff berth.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Lerron Moore rushed for 219 yards and tied a school record with four touchdowns as Western Kentucky routed Western Illinois 45-3 Saturday.
Moore scored on a 9-yard run to cap the Hilltoppers' opening drive and later adding an eight-yard TD as Western Kentucky (8-2, 6-1 Gateway Conference) built a 17-3 halftime lead.
Moore, who had 34 carries, added touchdown runs of six and three yards in the second half, tying the school mark set by Eddie Thompson in 1992.
Western Kentucky piled up 473 of its 535 yards of total offense on the ground. Brian Porter and Blake Ladson also had rushing touchdowns.
Western Illinois (4-7, 2-5) had just 178 yards of total offense.
The Hilltoppers clinched second place in the conference with the victory.
N. Iowa 41, Illinois St. 14
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Terrance Freeney scored twice and Patrick Hunter caught a 74-yard touchdown pass in leading Northern Iowa to its fifth straight victory.
Northern Iowa (6-4, 5-2) scored on all four of its first-quarter possessions to open a 24-0 lead and was never threatened. In the Panthers' winning streak, they have outscored their opponents 199-73.
Illinois State (4-6, 2-5) managed only 67 yards rushing and Yance Vaughan was intercepted four times, three by Dre Dokes. He also was sacked four times for 33 yards in losses.
Northern Iowa drove 62 yards in five plays the first time it had the ball to take a 7-0 lead on Freeney's 20-yard touchdown run. Two plays later, Brett Koebcke intercepted Vaughan at the Illinois State 18, setting up Eric Sanders' 4-yard touchdown pass to Freeney.
After Illinois State went three-and-out, Northern Iowa took over on its own 26 and on the first play, Sanders connected with Hunter on a 74-yard TD pass to make it 21-0. Dokes' interception on Illinois State's next possession led to Brian Wingert's 44-yard field goal.
Northern Iowa led 31-0 in the second quarter before Vaughan threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Laurent Robinson. The Redbirds didn't score again until Vaughan hit Pierre Jackson on a 3-yard touchdown pass with just 3 seconds left to play.
Sanders finished 10-of-14 for 165 yards and no interceptions. Vaughan was 17-of-38 for 168 yards.
Northern Iowa finished third in the conference and is in contention for an at-large berth in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. The Panthers play their regular-season finale at Northern Arizona next Saturday.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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