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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

October 12, 2004

Luis Berlanga Nabs MIAA Special Teams Award

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- In garnering his second weekly award of 2004, senior placekicker Luis Berlanga (Monterrey, Mex.) received the Wilson® / Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Special Teams Player of the Week, announced today by the conference offices. Berlanga won the first MIAA Special Teams award of the season, Aug. 31. He also was recognized today on two national special teams lists: Football Gazette's National Player of the Week and the Pizza Hut Special Teams Player of the Week (Honorable Mention).

"The big thing is he is so consistent in his kicking," said head coach Mel Tjeerdsma. "He hasn't missed a PAT this season and his kickoffs on Saturday were exceptional. I think four of his 10 kickoffs on Saturday were touchbacks and that really helped our kickoff coverage."

Berlanga went seven-for-seven on PAT attempts and hit field goals of 36 and 37 yards in the 55-19 Northwest win at Missouri Southern last Saturday. The senior from Monterrey, Mexico has connected on 51-of-51 PAT's this season - the MIAA and Northwest record for consecutive PAT's is 56 done by David Purnell in 1999. In the nation, Berlanga is 10th in scoring with 10.7 points per game and 14th in field goals per game (1.1).

In his 'Cat debut against Minnesota State, Moorhead (Aug. 28) Berlanga booted 11 PATs to set a then-MIAA record for most in a single game (this stat is not recorded at Northwest) and tied a then-league mark with 11 attempts. For that performance, he was with the MIAA and

Included on the weekly MIAA list is QB Neal Philpot (Offense) from Pittsburg State and LB Mario Gant (Defense) from Missouri-Rolla. Philpot became the MIAA's career quarterbacks rushing leader in regular season games (3,382 yards) and set a school record for single-game total offense (401 yards). Gant recorded 18 tackles, including two tackles for a loss, in the Miners upset of No. 23 Central Missouri State to snap a 58-game MIAA losing streak.

Northwest Missouri State MIAA Weekly Honors

• Luis Berlanga - Special Teams, Oct. 12
• Jamaica Rector - Offense, Oct. 5
• Joel Mathews - Special Teams, Sept. 14
• Xavier Omon - Co-Offense, Sept. 14
• Troy Tysdahl - Defense, Sept. 7
• Luis Berlanga - Special Teams, Aug. 31

Northwest Missouri State Football Gazette's National Player of the Week
• Luis Berlanga - Special Teams, Oct. 12

Northwest Missouri State / Pizza Hut National Player of the Week
• Luis Berlanga - Special Teams, Aug. 31 (Honorable Mention)
• Luis Berlanga - Special Teams, Oct. 12 (Honorable Mention)

•• Northwest Drops to #2 in Southwest Region; Stay at #4 in Coaches National Poll
In the Oct. 11 edition of the Southwest Region polls, the Bearcats dropped one spot to second. Texas A&M Kingsville, who was third nationally and defeated No. 6 Central Oklahoma last Saturday, holds the No. 1 spot, while MIAA-member Pittsburg State is No. 3. The top six of 12 teams in the region advance to NCAA post-season play with the first two seeds having a first-round bye.

The 'Cats stayed at No. 4 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) poll and moved one spot to No. 4 in the (media) poll for the week of Oct. 12. Starting the season No. 19 in the AFCA and No. 18 in the media poll, the Bearcats have their highest ranking since they were fourth in the 2003 preseason poll. Northwest joins Pittsburg State as members of the MIAA in both national polls.

The Bearcats host Missouri Western, Oct. 16 at 1:00 p.m. from Bearcat Stadium in the final regular season home contest. The Griffons were the last team to defeat Northwest, Oct. 25, 2003 - a string of 10 games. The game marks Northwest's Senior Day with 19 players being honored in a pre-game

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468