Aug. 29, 2012
Bearcats and Tigers tangle in opener
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Stadium: Bearcat Stadium/Mel Tjeerdsma Field (6,500)
Northwest has won its last 10 games at Bearcat Stadium, the sixth longest streak in Bearcat football history.
Radio: Bearcat Radio Network
John Coffey (play-by-play), Matt Gaarder (color), Matt Brown (sideline);
Heard on on seven stations that covers four states in the Midwest, and on the Internet from the flagship station KXCV.
East Central: RV/NR
Series: No previous meetings
Northwest: Adam Dorrel (Northwest '97) 11-3 (2nd season)
East Central: Tim McCarty (Fort Hays State '87) 42-52 overall (5th season)
Game Quick Links
By David Boyce
Northwest Missouri State football team will play more important games than Thursday’s home-opener against East Central Oklahoma.
But the game against East Central Oklahoma will generate playoff-level excitement. It is the nature of the first game of the season for a perennial playoff power.
For many Bearcat fans, the tailgating that takes place hours before the 7 p.m. kickoff at Bearcat Stadium will mark the official beginning of the Labor Day Weekend.
All the fans in green will be fired up to get their first taste of the 2012 Bearcats.
“I’m very excited to get out there and play for the home crowd,” said Northwest junior quarterback Trevor Adams. “There are going to be a lot of people. I hope we get the confidence up. I think the place is really going to be alive on Thursday night.”
Once again, a lot is expected from Northwest. The Bearcats enter the season ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II.
While they are no longer the favorite to win the MIAA and the national title, they want to be in position to do both.
“We just don’t ever talk about it,” Northwest coach Adam Dorrel said about the preseason poll. “I really discourage our coaches to talk about it. It is preseason, but I think it is great because it gets people talking about football. You want to finish up there and not worry about where you start.”
All the ingredients are there for Northwest to have another fantastic season. The Bearcats return plenty of experience in two key areas.
Adams was thrown into the fire last season because of an injury to Blake Christopher. Adams started eight games and saw action in all 14. He threw for 2,202 and 21 touchdowns.
At the start of last season, the defense was also inexperienced. That changed over the course of the 2011 season. Now they are salty veterans ready to put a lick on any opponent trying to march down the field.
“Last year going into camp, I was nervous,” Adams said. “Having played, you kind of know what to expect.
“Going against our defense, I can tell they are going to be solid this year. It makes us better as an offense to go against our defense.
“They are so fast and talented. For me and the young guys on defense, having that time to play last year has really helped us and will benefit us this season.”
Northwest will need to be ready when it faces East Central Oklahoma. The Tigers are not a nonconference patsy. Last season they went 8-3. They received votes in the preseason poll.
The Bearcats are facing East Central Oklahoma for the first time in school history. Although the two teams traded film of two games from last year, the Bearcats aren’t 100 percent certain the type of offense and defense the Tigers will play.
“If they changed wholesale, just like we could have, it is imperative that your kids will make changes on the sidelines,” Dorrel said. “We will have to make adjustments. We have talked about that in all three phases.
“I want to see our players and coaches make adjustments. I would really like to see us take care of the football. We have really worked on it and stressed it to the kids.
“We’ve stressed with our defense to get that ball loose and get it out and just be physical and have fun.”
The only way to have true fun on a football field is to play together and know no matter what the outcome, you were in the trenches and had your teammates back.
“We are so excited. I feel this team is a special team,” Adams said. “We have been finding our identity as a family. We are ready to go. We have been preparing for this since January.
“For me, personally, I’m so excited because of the team we got. I just know we got a very strong bond between everybody and it is going to take everybody this season.”
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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