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Willie Matthews runs in 3 TDs to help Central Arkansas pull away from Northwestern State 58-35


CONWAY, Arkansas — Willie Matthews ran for three touchdowns, including a 37-yarder straight through a pack of defenders, to help lead Central Arkansas to a 58-35 win over Northwestern State on Saturday night.

Central Arkansas (5-4, 4-1 Southland Conference) took control in the first quarter with an interception by Bobby Watkins that set up the go-ahead touchdown, punched in from the 4 by Dominique Thomas. The Bears pushed their lead to 58-21 but Northwestern State (4-4, 2-2) scored two touchdowns in the closing minutes of the game.

Matthews finished with 114 yards on 22 carries for Central Arkansas, which won its 12th straight homecoming game. Thomas had 96 yards on 18 carries, including two touchdowns, and Blake Veasley ran in two touchdowns. Ryan Howard was 14 of 16 for 150 yards passing, including TD to Cody Dauksch from the 3.

Zach Adkins threw four touchdowns and ran in another for Northwestern State.

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