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Big XII: K-State seals North title

By Wire services
Published November 23, 2003

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Darren Sproles ran for a school-record 273 yards and two touchdowns, and Kansas State clinched the North title with a 24-14 victory against Missouri on Saturday.

The Wildcats play Oklahoma for the conference title on Dec. 6 in Kansas City, Mo.

Sproles, a junior who has run for 1,713 yards this season, also became Kansas State's all-purpose yards leader and broke the school season rushing record for the second straight year.

His 5- and 7-yard runs gave the Wildcats a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. By halftime, he had 186 yards on 23 carries. Sproles broke the record of 252 yards set by Mike Lawrence against Iowa State in 1996. With two receptions for 12 yards, he outgained Missouri 285-264.

Brad Smith's 2-yard pass to DeQuincy Howard cut Kansas State's lead to 14-7 with 51/2 minutes left in the first half. The touchdown, Missouri's first against the Wildcats since 2000, came one play after Brandon Barnes recovered quarterback Ell Roberson's fumble. It was the Tigers' first score against Kansas State since a field goal in the second quarter of the Wildcats' 24-3 victory in 2001.

Down 21-7 in the third, Zack Abron's 5-yard run gave Missouri a first down on the Wildcats 12. But two plays later, Louis Lavender intercepted Brad Smith in the end zone.

OKLAHOMA 56, TEXAS TECH 25: Jason White threw for 394 yards and four touchdowns and Kejuan Jones scored five touchdowns for the visiting Sooners, who surpassed 50 points for a school-record seventh time this season.

The Red Raiders' B.J. Symons threw five interceptions and finished with a season-low 230 yards.

Tech trailed only 14-10 midway through the second quarter. But Oklahoma scored three touchdowns in less than 21/2 minutes. White threw a 28-yard touchdown to Brandon Jones with 2:45 left. Then Symons was intercepted on consecutive plays deep in his territory. Each was followed by a Kejuan Jones touchdown.

On Tech's first possession of the third, Symons was picked off in the end zone by Derrick Strait, who returned it 97 yards to the Tech 3. A few plays later, Jones rushed for his third touchdown.

OKLAHOMA ST. 38, BAYLOR 21: Vernand Morency ran for 227 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries, his second straight 200-yard game, for the visiting Cowboys, who matched a school record with their ninth regular-season victory.

It was 7-7 until Josh Fields threw touchdowns to Billy Bajema and Rashaun Woods on consecutive drives in the second quarter. Baylor cut it to 24-21 by the end of the third, but Shawn Willis' second 2-yard touchdown run and Morency's 35-yard run sealed it.

KANSAS 36, IOWA ST. 7: Bill Whittemore ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as the host Jayhawks became bowl eligible for the first time since 1995. Whittemore, in his first start since injuring his collarbone Oct.25, had 306 yards of total offense and set a school record with his 16th touchdown pass of the season.

Kansas led only 15-7 entering the fourth. But Rodney Fowler had two interceptions, setting up one touchdown and capping the scoring with a 10-yard return.

[Last modified November 23, 2003, 01:46:45]

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