Oct. 5, 2012
Creason bounces back to help spark Bearcats
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
Stadium: Wantland 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.
Central Oklahoma: NR/NR
Series: The all-time series is tied 2-2 and will be the first meeting between the schools as MIAA members. It is also the first meeting since 1992 when UCO took a 27-9 win in Maryville.
Northwest: Adam Dorrel (Northwest '97) 15-4 (2nd season)
Central Oklahoma: Nick Bobeck (Central Oklahoma '02) 1-4 (1st season)
Game Quick Links
By David Boyce
Whenever Northwest Missouri State football team faces a tough, nearly impossible situation, all the players only need to look to No. 22 for inspiration.
Junior Billy Creason has overcome all sorts of leg injuries the previous two seasons to get back on the football field and help the Bearcats.
Expect Creason, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back from Grain Valley, to be used in numerous areas at 1 p.m. Saturday when Northwest, 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the MIAA, plays at Central Oklahoma, which is 1-4.
Creason plays on all the special teams. He will also see action at tailback, fullback and slot to give a rest to starters James Franklin and Jordan Simmons.
“It feels great and to not even think about being injured is nice,” Creason said. “I have no hamstring problems and no broken legs. It is good to get my legs back underneath me.”
The problems started two years ago. Creason earned the starting spot. In the fourth game, he was on the verge of becoming one of the best running backs in the MIAA.
On his first carry against rival Missouri Western, Creason broke off a 22-yard run. Unfortunately, on the play, he suffered a broken leg. His season was over.
Creason was eager to resume playing last year. During training camp, a severe hamstring injury prevented him from doing much all season. He carried the ball just 10 times all season.
“Having to sit out, of course, is going to be frustrating. I had to sit back and watch everybody,” he said.
Creason, though, made sure he was still part of the team.
“I was there to encourage everybody and root my team on,” Creason said. “I was still working hard in the weight room. Every time we lifted in the weight room as a team, I was there screaming and yelling and getting everybody fired up. I did what I could.”
It is that type of will to play that means more to teammates than a spectacular run or a big hit. Only football players know how much it takes to play this game week to week and how difficult it is to overcome injuries and get back on the field.
“He defines what we like to do here at Northwest,” said junior quarterback Trevor Adams. “He is that Bearcat player. The work that he puts in that you guys don’t see is just unbelievable.
“I’m just so happy for him. He is doing an awesome job. He did a great job running the ball today against Northeastern State. I think it gets the whole team going, seeing guys that put that extra work in year-round.
“With him being healthy now and going out there and giving all he has, is just awesome to see.”
It is inspiring.
Words cannot adequately capture the emotions Billy Creason Sr. must have felt when he watched his son run for 70 yards in only seven carries against Northeastern State in the Bearcats’ 66-6 victory on “Family Weekend” at Northwest.
“It is awesome,” Creason Sr. said. “It is good to see him back on the field. It has been a long year. You got to stick with it and keep going.
“I was happy. When he bounced of that one guy, he made a good run. I couldn’t have been happier than that.”
Creason Sr. raised a son who is not going to quit when times are difficult.
“No,” Creason said. “Quitting never crossed my mind. I love the game of football. I am out there for my brothers on the team. I play for them and I play for my coaches. I play for my family. I would never quit on them.”
Northwest coach Adam Dorrel wants those kinds of football players on his team.
“He epitomizes Bearcat football,” Dorrel said. “He is such a great kid. He was a walk-on here. The kids love him. He is tough. He has given a gritty performance all year. I’m just really happy for him.”
The thing that excited Creason last week was the way the offense clicked. All the running backs had holes to run through.
“It starts upfront,” Creason said. “Every time I was up there running the ball, there were huge holes, plenty to pick from. It was nice. It was nice to get out there and start firing as a unit.”
For Creason, it was the perfect day for “Family Weekend.”
“Family means everything,” Creason said. “It is why I play the game, for my family and friends. I just love being out here for my family.”
Creason Sr. summed up the feeling of what thousands of fathers have felt through the years when watching their sons play for Northwest at Bearcat Stadium.
“I can’t describe it. I just love to come here and watch it. I’m a football fan. Bearcats, No. 1 baby,” Creason Sr. said.
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468