By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
IT was another career milestone on the football field for Michael Bullard as his Peru State Bobcats strengthened their position for the NAIA postseason.
Bullard caught his third interception of the season and added five tackles and one pass defended in the Bobcats' 47-42 win over the Culver-Stockton Wildcats at NX Level Field in Canton, Missouri, Saturday afternoon.
The Bobcats secondary forced six turnovers as they improved to 7-3 on the season and third place in the North division of the American Heart Conference.
The Wildcats clung to a 35-34 lead late in the third quarter and were driving down the field when Bullard's interception on a second down play brought the drive to a halt and shifted momentum.
The Bobcats followed with the go ahead score on the very next play as soon as their offence touched the field. There was nearly 1,100 yards as the teams combined for 1,093 total yards.
Culver-Stockton finished with 31 first downs compared to 22 for Peru State. The Wildcats finished with 594 total yards with all but 49 yards of this coming through the air as Culver-Stockton had 545 passing yards. Peru State was balanced in their efforts with 260 yards on the ground and 239 yards in the air for 499 total yards.
There were not very many penalties as the Wildcats had five for 40 yards and Peru State had six for 58.
A difference in the game was the turnover margin as the Bobcats picked off five Wildcat passes while losing two fumbles.
Bullard got the start at strong safety and in his junior season, has set all new career marks across the board in nearly every statistical category. Through nine games he has 57 tackles, three interceptions and one defensive touchdown, the first of his collegiate career.
Their three-game win streak ranks third in the 12 team conference behind Grand Views eight game streak and five in a row from Evangel.
Peru State will celebrate senior day when they face No.11 Benedictine College Ravens in the regular season finale and a pivotal matchup to determine second place in the division.
Benedictine is now 8-2 overall and 3-1 in the Heart North.