Nov. 18, 2012
Opportunity given as Adema-Schulte embodies role
By David Boyce
On the second offensive play of the game, Northwest Missouri State junior running back James Franklin suffered a hip injury that kept him out the rest of the game.
For most teams it would have been a devastating injury. The Bearcats entered the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs against Harding already missing their star all-purpose back Jordan Simmons because of an arm injury suffered in practice.
In order for Northwest to advance out of Saturday’s game at Bearcat Stadium, the Bearcats needed the defense and new players on offense to step up.
The defense, which has been stellar all season, did its part in Northwest’s 35-0 victory. Junior Brandon Dixon and senior Nate DeJong each had an interception.
On offense, one of the players to play a key role was junior running back Kohlman Adema-Schulte. His offensive numbers were not eye-popping, but he made some key runs.
Perhaps one of the biggest runs of the game came with under 3 minutes left in the first half. Northwest held a somewhat comfortable lead at 14-0. But it doesn’t take a great memory to recall last week when the Bearcats held a 17-0 halftime lead.
There is no need to re-visit last week’s outcome.
Adema-Schulte made sure it wouldn’t happen again. With 2:27 remaining in the second quarter, Adema-Schulte busted through for a 6-yard touchdown run that gave Northwest a 21-0 lead at halftime.
“It felt great,” Adema-Schulte said. “I’ve kind of been that guy who stands from the sidelines and watch. I’m OK with that. It was my turn to step up. On the touchdown I was real excited. I’m just happy.”
Adema-Schulte finished the game with 22 yards in 6 carries. His carries helped to give Creason enough rest to run strong in the second half.
With 4 minutes left in the game, Creason became the first running back to rush over 100 yards in a game against Harding. Creason finished with 113 yards in 18 carries for 6.3 yards per carry.
“I wasn’t worried about the yardage,” Adema-Schulte said. “I’m just glad I could help Billy out a little. He went off today. I’m excited for him.”
The mark of a true championship team is to be able to overcome adversity. Playing without your top two running backs seconds into the playoffs is indeed a dire situation for any football team.
Creason, Adema-Schulte and all the Bearcats who stepped onto the field Saturday proved that Northwest football has never been about one or two players over nearly two decades of championship play.
“It was unfortunate they went down but the next guy was ready to step up,” Adema-Schulte said. “The coaches have confidence in all of us.”
Like so many Bearcats before him, Adema-Schulte capitalized on the opportunity given to him and he did his part to help Northwest advance to the next round.
“They are definitely fantastic players,” Franklin said. “They are definitely fantastic brothers as well. I knew when they came in they were going to do just fine. They came in and carried the load and got the job done. We needed them to.”
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