November 15, 2003
Northwest Wins Fall Classic, Stops Pitt St. 20-19
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University's Tony Glover (Jr., St. Louis, Mo.) blocked a potential game-winning field goal with less than one minute to play Saturday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium, lifting the Bearcats to a 20-19 victory over No. 8 Pittsburg State.
With the victory in "The Fall Classic at Arrowhead," Northwest gained a share of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championship. The Bearcats will join four other teams as conference co-champions. It is the first time in the history of the MIAA the league title will be shared by more than three teams.
Northwest grabbed control of the game early, maintaining possession of the ball for more than 12 minutes in the first quarter. The 'Cats got on the scoreboard with 5:12 remaining in the first quarter when Corey Paetznick (Fr., Des Moines, Iowa) connected on a 22-yard field goal.
Northwest took advantage of the Gorillas' only turnover in the contest on the ensuing possession. PSU running back Germaine Race's fumble was recovered by the Bearcats' Tyler Martin (Fr., Bendena, Kan.). The Bearcats then drove 34 yards in eight plays to take a 10-0 lead. Quarterback Josh Lamberson (Soph., Wilber, Neb.) hit wide receiver Adam Otte (Sr., Maryville, Mo.) with a 10-yard scoring strike.
Pittsburg State got on the board with 9:04 remaining in the second quarter. Quarterback Neal Philpot scored on a one-yard keeper. The PAT failed after a bad snap, leaving Northwest with a 10-6 advantage. The Bearcats pushed their advantage to 13-6 with three seconds remaining in the first half when Paetznick hit his second field goal of the game. His 24-yarder sent Northwest to the locker room with a seven-point advantage.
The 'Cats increased their lead to 14 points late in the third quarter. Lamberson capped an eight-play, 85-yard march with a scrambling, 27-yard touchdown pass to Jamaica Rector (Jr., Celeste, Texas). But Pittsburg State wasn't finished.
The Gorillas pulled back within seven points when Philpot scored from three yards out with 14:46 remaining in the game. Nathan Alleman's PAT left Northwest clinging to a 20-13 advantage. Pittsburg State scored again seven minutes later. This time it was Race who reached paydirt from 10 yards out. However, Alleman's PAT was wide right and the Bearcats still led, 20-19.
Northwest reached the Pittsburg State 34-yard line on its next possession. But the Bearcats were forced to punt the ball back to the Gorillas with 3:31 remaining in the contest. Philpot drove the Gorillas into Northwest territory, going 66 yards to the 14-yard line. Three straight incompletions brought up a fourth-and-10, forcing Alleman to attempt the 32-yard field goal, which Glover blocked with 55 seconds remaining. Pitt State, with no time outs remaining, could not stop the clock again. Northwest kneeled on the ball twice and escaped The Fall Classic at Arrowhead with a one-point victory.
Lamberson passed for 320 yards in the contest. He completed 27-of-41 passes with one interception and two touchdowns. Rector hauled in nine balls for 103 yards and a score, while Otte pulled in six aerials for 100 yards and a TD.
Defensively, Northwest was paced by Martin, who recorded nine tackles, including one for a loss. He also recovered a fumble and broke up a pass. Adam Long (Jr., Bennington, Neb.) notched seven tackles, including five solo stops.
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