Sept. 28, 2012
Through the uprights with Todd Adolf
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m.
Stadium: Bearcat Stadium
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.
Northeastern State: NR/NR
Series: Northwest leads all-time 2-0 and will be the first meeting between the schools as MIAA members. It is also the first meeting since 1940.
Northwest: Adam Dorrel (Northwest '97) 14-4 (2nd season)
Central Missouri: Kenny Evans (Northeastern State '82) 16-33 (5th season)
Game Quick Links
By David Boyce
Nearly two years later, Northwest Missouri State senior place kicker Todd Adolf is reminded of perhaps these most dramatic regular-season field goal in Bearcat history.
For any football fan sitting in Walton Stadium in Warrensburg, Mo. on Nov. 6, 2010, the image is vivid. As the clock ticked down to 0:00, Adolf, then a mere a sophomore, raced onto the field and nailed a 45-yard field goal to lift Northwest to a 17-16 victory over Central Missouri.
“I get reminded about once a week,” Adolf said. “Coach Adam Dorrel calls me the Mules slayer. It is a good memory.”
Adolf, though, isn’t living in the past, believing that kick was the pinnacle of his college kicking career.
He studies the art of kicking.
“I get a lot of things on Facebook from a guy who writes articles on kicking,” Adolf said. “I read kicking blogs on what the pros do in the offseason. I talk to Kyle Goodburn, our punter. His dad kicked in the pros. He is always giving us tips on what we can do to improve. He has been a big help to us.”
The process is working for Adolf. He heads into Saturday’s game at home against Northeastern State as one of the hottest kickers in the MIAA. His three field goals last week in the Bearcats’ 37-13 victory at Nebraska-Kearney earned him MIAA Special Teams player of the week.
The three field goals came after he missed his first one.
“To be a kicker, especially in a top league, you have to have a very short memory,” Adolf said. “If you miss, you have to go out and make the next one. If you make one, you have to go out and make the next one. You can’t dwell on your misses otherwise it will affect the rest of the game.”
His first two field goals last week gave Northwest a 13-0 halftime lead.
“Anytime you can add another possession and make it two possession game instead of one, it helps the defense and helps the offense out a little bit,” he said.
Dorrel said Adolf has been helping out the Northwest football program more than most people think.
“He has been very important,” Dorrel added. “He is one of those kids who probably in the Bearcat nation, doesn’t get enough credit for our success.
“The long snapper, the kicker and the punter are guys you usually don’t talk about unless they do something bad. Todd has done a phenomenal job. I have all kinds of confidence in him.”
One reason for Dorrel’s strong belief in Adolf is his practice habit. It would be easy for kickers and punters to goof off in practice. They are usually away from the rest of the team.
“I know how important the program is here and the tradition,” Adolf said. “You are in the spotlight. If you are doing something you are not supposed to do, you will be noticed. I’m always trying to work to get better.”
Dorrel appreciates Adolf’s dedication.
“At our level in football, we are not fortunate enough to have a kicker’s coach,” Dorrel said. “We work with Todd the best we can. Todd does a good job of getting instructions on his own.”
Dorrel also likes the way Adolf works with the two freshmen kickers. He sees Adolf as the kicking coach.
Adolf says he is only following in the footsteps of the kicker before him.
“I know when I was a freshman Michael Stadler pointed me in the right direction and helped me out any way he could,” Adolf said. “It is my duty as a senior to help the freshmen get better because they are the future of this program.”
Besides putting points on the board, Adolf is helping Northwest win the field position battle with the way he kicks off.
Because of a new rule in college football, kickoffs were moved up 5 yards. Dorrel asked Adolf to pop the ball high in the air and have it come down near the goal line, forcing the returner to run the ball instead of taking a knee in the end zone.
“That’s actually what I did in high school,” Adolf said. “In high school, I used to pop it up. I got here, they had me kicking it deep. Now it is kind of a combination of the two. I’m kicking it to the goal line and trying to get it as high as I can and try to get them down inside of the 20. I try to make it a long field and help our defense.”
Whether it is a kickoff, making a field goal or even an extra point, Adolf is helping Northwest.
“You try to make every kick, especially when you get back to 40-plus,” Adolf said. “It is always good to see the ball go through the uprights, even if it is an extra point. It is good to know you did something right.”
Obviously, Adolf wants another successful game Saturday on “Family Weekend” at Northwest. It’s also the last home game for the Bearcats until Nov. 3 Homecoming game against Emporia State.
Family means a lot to Adolf. He had many family members at his game two years ago when Northwest beat Central Missouri, including his grandfather, who admitted to shedding a tear as the football sailed through the goalpost.
“My family has been a huge, huge supporter of me, not only the good times, but the bad times, also,” Adolf said. “I’m thankful that I will have my family here for family weekend.”
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