West Texas A&M Beats Central 49-42 in Playoffs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Texas A&M Beats Central 49-42 in Playoffs

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CANYON, Texas  -- Central Washington University senior quarterback Mike Reilly (Kalispell, Mont./Flathead HS) threw for a career-high 420 yards and junior wide receiver Johnny Spevak (Edgewood/Puyallup HS) caught four touchdowns but the Wildcats fell short of a comeback, 49-42, over West Texas A&M University in NCAA Division II First Round playoff action Saturday afternoon at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium in Canyon, Texas.

Central Washington, seeded fifth in the Super Regional Four, suffered its first loss to a Division II opponent this season and finished with a 10-2 overall record having been eliminated from the postseason tournament. Fourth-seeded West Texas A&M improved to 11-1 this season and will travel to Abilene, Texas next Saturday to take on Abilene Christian University in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

The Wildcats, down by as much as 21 points in the second half, came within seven after the fourth Reilly-to-Spevak touchdown connection at the 7:34 mark of the fourth quarter to make the score 49-42.

On the ensuing WTAMU possession, the Buffaloes marched down the field on a 12-play, 51-yard drive that ended on a missed 32-yard field goal by James Chandler that would have put West Texas A&M up by ten with 1:50 remaining.

Central Washington regained control of the football on its own 20 yard line and Reilly engineered a 10-play, 58-yard drive only to be stopped inside the WTAMU 22-yard line after a fourth-down incompletion to freshman wide receiver Justin Helwege (Sammamish/Eastlake HS) ended the Wildcats' chance to knot the game at 49 and force the overtime session.

Reilly, who played in his final collegiate football game Saturday, threw for 420 yards on 30-of-61 passing with five touchdowns and one interception. Four of the scores landed in the hands of Spevak, who caught nine balls for 129 yards. Senior tight end Jared Bronson (Kent/Thomas Jefferson HS) led Central Washington's receiving core with a career-high 169 yards on just eight catches.

Sophomore linebacker Adam Bighill (Montesano) led the Wildcat defense with 12 tackles including one-and-a-half for a loss and an interception that led to the Central Washington touchdown to make the score 49-42. Senior J.R. Jamerson (Pasco) and juniors Buddy Wood (Chattaroy/Riverside HS) and Jerome Williams (Seattle/Ballard HS) all made ten 10 stops for Central Washington.

West Texas A&M's quarterback Keith Null passed for 463 yards on 35-of-49 passing with three touchdowns and one interception. Charly Martin, who led the nation in reception yards coming into the game, caught eight passes for a team-high 172 yards one touchdown. Seth Hayden also had eight catches but for 160 yards and two TD's. Running back Keithon Flemming rushed for 99 yards on 21 carries with four touchdowns.

Central Washington, who won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship earlier this season, completed its second consecutive 10-win season, marking the seventh time in school history to do so. The Wildcats are now 12-11-1 in postseason history.

NOTES: Mike Reilly throws for career-high 420 yards, marking his first collegiate 400-yard game. He also broke Jon Kitna's career school record for passing yards, finishing his career with 12,448 yards ... Johnny Spevak's four receiving touchdowns were the most in a single game since Kenny Russaw scored four touchdowns in a game against Southern Oregon on Nov. 2, 1996 ... Spevak broke Russaw's single-season receiving yards record, ending with 1,442 yards this season, as well as tying the school-record for most touchdown receptions in a season (20) ... Garrett Rolsma made all 63 of his extra point attempts this season, extending his streak to a school-record 66 straight made.