Sept. 24, 2012
Bearcats return home after gritty road win
By David Boyce
Midway through the third quarter, Northwest Missouri State faced a challenge on the road at Nebraska-Kearney.
The Bearcats saw their lead shrink to 13-7. The other time Northwest was on the road and the momentum shifted, it took a long time for the Bearcats to get it back. It resulted in a loss.
Northwest was determined not to allow it to happen again. The Bearcats didn’t. In less than two minutes, Northwest answered with a 42-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Seals to Tyler Shaw.
About two minutes later, Northwest scored again on a 44-yard field goal by Todd Adolf, giving the Bearcats a 23-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter. It was Adolf’s third field goal of the game.
“I thought it was important,” Northwest football coach Adam Dorrel said Sunday afternoon about the road win. “It is something we talked about as a team. We didn’t handle adversity well on the road last time. Things kind of spun out of control on us and we never changed the momentum.
“I was very pleased with our guys because there was a point in the game from a momentum standpoint we had lost a little bit when they scored coming out of half and we went down and answered. I was proud of our guys the way they answered the bell.”
Dorrel said the defense played well throughout. He was also pleased with the field goal kicking by Adolf. His second quarter field goals of 41 yards and 27 yards gave the Bearcats a 13-0 halftime lead.
“I felt like Todd Adolf grew,” Dorrel said. “Those field goals he made were into the wind. We are not talking 20 mph, but it was 8 mph. The first one he just barely missed left and the rest he made.”
Injuries and sicknesses on the offense have hurt that unit from gaining continuity.
Still, the offense did some positive things against Nebraska-Kearney.
“The best thing we did is we did not turn the ball over,” Dorrel said. “That was the No. 1 thing. Anytime you are playing basically with your No. 2 and No. 3 quarterback and they don’t throw interceptions, you got to feel good about that.
“I feel good about ball security from the receiving position and the running backs running with it.
“Quite honestly, we missed some opportunities down field that we were setting up with play action. We will learn from that and watch film on it. It is a work in progress.”
Dorrel said the offense must handle blitzes better. He expects to see plenty of them this Saturday when the Bearcats play host to Northeastern State in “Family Weekend” at Northwest.
“They are super aggressive on defense,” Dorrel said. “They run corner blitzes. We have to handle the pressure. Watching Nebraska-Kearney blitz on Saturday, I don’t think we did a good job of picking it up and stepping up and throwing.
“We are going to get blitzed on Saturday. We will have to handle the pressure and find a way to combat blitzes from here on out until you hurt people doing it. That will be our big focus this week.”
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