Sept. 29, 2012
No. 11 Bearcats trounce RiverHawks 66-6
By David Boyce
On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Bearcat Stadium, Northwest Missouri State football team matched the weather with a near-perfect performance against Northeastern State.
After giving up a touchdown on the first drive of the game, the Bearcats played flawless in coming away with an impressive 66-6 victory on “Family Weekend” at Northwest.
“I was very proud of our team today,” Northwest coach Adam Dorrel said. “We’ve been talking about trying to put a complete game together. I thought we did that today.”
The Bearcats improved to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the MIAA. The loss dropped Northeastern State to 0-5 overall and in conference.
Northeastern State’s record is a bit deceiving. Three of its first five opponents were ranked in the NCAA Division II top 25. The RiverHawks entered the game scoring 20 points in three contests and 21 in the other.
Initially, it appeared Northeastern State was going to give the Bearcats a tough game. The RiverHawks took the opening kickoff and marched 88 yards in 11 plays and took 6 minutes, 25 seconds to score a touchdown on a 17-yard pass from Johnny Deaton.
The rest of the game belonged to the Bearcats.
It started when Northwest blocked the extra point.
On the next play, Tyler Shaw returned the kickoff 64 yards to the Northeastern 16.
“We talked about being special on special teams,” Dorrel said. “We blocked that PAT and then we turn around and get that kick return. It was huge. It just ignited our sideline.
“Just the energy that came out of that blocked PAT and that kick return was just awesome and it was fun to see the kids flying around.”
The Bearcats needed only three plays and 1:03 to score on a 2-yard run by Jordan Simmons.
Northwest defense, which has played well all season, quickly stuffed the RiverHawks and put the ball back in the Bearcat hands. They knew what to do with it.
In just under 2 minutes, Northwest went 58 yards in five plays and scored on a 25-yard run by Simmons, who received a nice block from quarterback Trevor Adams on the play.
Yes, Adams, who missed the previous two games because of an injury, was willing to put his body on the line to help a teammate score.
Northwest went into the second quarter ahead 14-6. The blowout was just beginning. The Bearcats scored 24 points in the second quarter for a commanding 38-6 halftime lead.
There was no let up at the start of the third quarter. Northwest scored two touchdowns in the first three minutes of the second half for a 52-6 lead.
“I thought offensively we did a really good job,” Adams said. “Being out for two weeks, I was just so excited to be back on the field. I thank God for the humbling experience he put me through. It made me really appreciate what we have here as a family.
“I was super excited to get back out there. I thought our O-line did awesome today. Our backs ran super hard. Holding anybody to six points no matter who you are playing is awesome.”
In all, the Bearcats scored on their first eight possessions. The final statistics were eye popping. Northwest finished 654 total yards, rushing for 352 and passing for 308.
Perhaps the best news was Adams played well after being out for two weeks. He finished the game 19 for 27 for 272 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. For the game, Northwest had no turnovers while forcing four.
“I was very proud of Trevor in what he’s been dealing with the last couple of weeks with the injuries, and the way he came back today says a lot about his character as a student-athlete,” Dorrel said.
The defense was equally impressive, allowing only 271 yards of total offense.
“We had a really good week of preparation,” said Northwest junior defensive end Ricky Bailey. “We’ve been preaching all week to get to the quarterback. After the first series, we did a good job of that.”
It was the perfect game for the Bearcats to springboard into an October in which they will play no games at Bearcat Stadium.
“I thought it was very important to play like this going into the next four weeks on the road,” Dorrel said. “I certainly feel a lot better where we are right now because we played a complete game.”
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