Oct. 8, 2012
No. 7 Bearcats turn focus to top ranked Gorillas
By David Boyce
Northwest Missouri State football traveled to Central Oklahoma over the weekend knowing that one of its most anticipated regular season games was just eight days away.
Undoubtedly, some in Bearcat Nation started talking about the Fall Classic XI at Arrowhead against No. 1 and defending national champion Pittsburg State a few weeks ago.
After all, Pittsburg State has won the last two games against Northwest, something the Bearcats want to change quickly.
But Northwest had one more game before it could devote its full focus on the Gorillas.
Even though Central Oklahoma entered the contest with just one victory, the one win came against Washburn when the Ichabods were ranked No. 8 in Division II.
Northwest coach Adam Dorrel said his team watched tape of Washburn against Central Oklahoma and that got his players’ attention.
The Bearcats went out and proved that their blowout victory at home in week five over Northeastern State was not an anomaly.
Northwest might have been even better on the road, beating Central Oklahoma 70-7.
“I was proud of our kids,” Dorrel said. “They came out ready to play. I felt good about it all week.”
The players must have sensed a good game was coming before they stepped on the field at Central Oklahoma.
“Seeing the way they interacted with each other when they got off the bus, I was confident they would do well,” Dorrel said.
Northwest struck in lightning-quick fashion. One minute into the game, quarterback Trevor Adams connected with wide receiver Tyler Shaw for a 61-yard touchdown pass.
Shaw and Adams must have wanted to prove the first scoring strike was not a fluke. One minute later, the two hooked up for another 61-yard touchdown pass play.
The Bearcats simply ran away from Central Oklahoma, leading 21-0 after the first quarter and 35-0 at halftime.
Northwest was in such control that Adams threw only 12 passes the entire game, completing 10 for 258 yards.
“It was one of those things in which during the course of the game you don’t realize what you are doing statistically,” Dorrel said. “We chart some things on how much our playmakers are touching the football.
“From a pure passing number, I didn’t realize we only threw the ball 12 times. I kind of felt bad because John Hinchey had a great week of practice and so did Bryce Young and neither one caught a pass.”
Dorrel attributes the improved offense the last two weeks to getting healthy.
“Some of those games we struggled offensively we were shuffling players in and out because of injuries,” Dorrel said. “I feel like right now we got some consistency going a little bit. We got some trust going between quarterback and receivers and vice versa. The same holds true for the O-Line. I felt our defense and special teams have played well all year.”
Dorrel was pleased the team stayed focused in the second half despite a huge lead. He credits the seniors for getting the team ready and for playing at a high level throughout the game.
“It says a lot about your seniors,” Dorrel said. “I was very proud of our seniors. When you get a team down like we did not only in the first half, but followed it up with a good third and fourth quarter and they were being physical and having fun. I think a lot of that comes from your senior leadership.”
Now, the players, coaches and all of Bearcat Nation can concentrate on the most important game so far this season. Northwest, 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the MIAA, is ranked No. 8 in Division II. Pittsburg State is 5-0 overall and in conference.
Dating back to last year, the Gorillas have won 10 straight games.
“I don’t know if it is right or wrong, but in my young coaching career as a head coach, games like this I approach that we don’t have anything to lose,” Dorrel said. “I told the kids that. We are not favored to win. We are the underdog. I kind of like that.
“We are going to prepare like that. We are going to throw everything we have at them and play hard for 60 minutes. As long as the kids know, we are going to be aggressive as coaches and we want them to be aggressive.
“The only expectation I have of them is to play hard for 60 minutes. If you do that you got a chance.”
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