October 30, 2004
Northwest Football Wins 13th Straight, 34-22 Against Southwest BaptistBOLIVAR, Mo. -- Winning its 13th straight game, No. 3 Northwest Missouri State defeated Southwest Baptist 34-22 this afternoon at Plaster Stadium, setting up a showdown of undefeated teams next weekend. The Bearcats will face No. 1 Pittsburg State at the Fall Classic at Arrowhead III next Saturday with a 2:00 p.m. kickoff. Both teams enter with a 10-0 mark after the Gorillas knocked off Central Missouri State, 47-27 this afternoon.
Northwest, who has jumped out to its seventh 10-0 start or better in school history and the third in the last five seasons, improves to 10-0 overall and 8-0 in the MIAA. Southwest Baptist drops to 2-8 on the year and 1-7 in league action.
Running back Xavier Omon, who became the first freshman rusher in reported Northwest history to gain over 1,000 season yards with 169 against Truman State last week, went for his second 200-yard rushing game in 2004. He finished with 204 yards on 24 carries and one TD. Omon stands with 1,266 season rushing yards, good for second on the Northwest single-season list. Also, his lone score pushed his season total to 15, which is good for fifth on the school's single season list.
Northwest's first drive stalled due to two holding penalties after having a 1st-and-goal at the Southwest Baptist seven-yard line. A 41-yard field goal attempt by senior Luis Berlanga sailed wide left. That miss was just Berlanga's second on the season in 12 attempts and the length was a season-long.
The Northwest defense held Southwest to four offensive plays on the ensuing drive before its second possession at the 27-yard line. A 61-yard strike from redshirt freshman QB Josh Mathews to junior wide receiver Andre Rector gave the Northwest Bearcats a 7-0 lead at the 8:15 mark of the first quarter. It was Andre's first receiving TD of the season.
The Southwest Bearcats answered on a one-yard TD run from JoJo Rawls to notch the score at 7-7 with 1:53 left in the first.
The green Bearcats scored 41 seconds after Southwest's touchdown, which set off a 20-point Northwest scoring burst. Four straight Northwest scores, which came in the form of two TD receptions by senior wide-out Jamaica Rector and two 28-yard field goals by Berlanga, put the guests up 27-7 at halftime.
Southwest Baptist's Brigham Rowe added the next score of the game at 10:55 of the third quarter on a QB sack of Josh Mathews in the endzone. The safety was an opponent first this season. With the count at 27-9 in favor of Northwest, freshman redshirt running back Xavier Omon rattled off a 20-yard rush to extend his TD streak to six games and put Northwest up 36-9.
The home Bearcats would add two more late TD's on a Travis Howry 55-yard reception and a one-yard Deon Boykin run to make the final score 34-22. The Howry TD catch was a Northwest opponent season-high.
Special teams play was just that as Diezeas Calbert came up with two blocked punts and Jamaica Rector moved himself to first on the Northwest lifetime kick return yardage list with one kickoff return for 54 yards - he has 1,049 career yards passing Tony Miles' 1,045 yards.
Defensively, NMSU held Southwest to four-of-16 (.250) on third-down conversions. Senior linebacker Adam Long kept up his torrid pace of tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He finished with 12 total tackles and a game-high 3.5 tackles for a loss (TFL). He entered the day first in the league with 1.39 TFL's per game. Senior Troy Tysdahl complimented Long's effort with nine total tackles, six of which were solo.
Finishing with seven catches for 69 yards and two TD catches, Jamaica Rector puts himself one career TD shy of tying Tony Miles for first in MIAA history for career TD receptions (all games) - Miles caught 37 TD passes. It was Rector's 12th career game with two or more TD's scored. His 13 TD catches in 2004 makes him school record holder in that category - Steve Hansley and Tony Miles each recorded 11.
Freshman redshirt QB Josh Mathews, who took over the controls under center with a 253 yard-3 TD performance last week at Truman, followed that up with 183 yards on 14-of-24 passing and three scores today. He now has seven TD tosses to just one INT on the season.
Northwest was out-gained in total offense for the second consecutive game, 461-387 yards. Southwest QB Robert Clardy posted 270 yards on 27-of-44 passing. He was intercepted once by Northwest's Jason Chinn - the ninth Bearcat defender to record a 2004 interception. Clardy's 92 rushing yards was the highest Northwest opponent total since Central Missouri's Lee Thompson had 111 rushing yards in Week 2. Howry had 127 receiving yards on seven catches.
NOTES: Northwest leads the all-time series 14-3 against Southwest Baptist having won the last 10 contests...Senior kicker Luis Berlanga extended his NCAA-all-time best PAT streak to 65 straight with a four-of-four effort today - he broke the old mark of 57 set in 2003 by Travis Johnston of North Alabama last weekend....The 13-game winning streak is the third longest active stretch in NCAA Division II - Texas A&M Kingsville and Albany State (Ga.) entered the day at 16 and 15 respectively...The No. 3 ranking is the highest since Northwest was No. 1, Nov. 18, 2000....Xavier Omon, who has rushed for over 100 yards in five consecutive and six of his last eight games looks up at Jesse Haynes, who had 1,453 rushing yards in 1997...Jamaica Rector has least five receptions in 11 consecutive games and at least 1 TD catch in 11 of his last 12 - the senior wide-out moved up on two NCAA Division II career lists as he is No. 6 with 266 career receptions and No. 6 with 4,198 career receiving yards...The 13-game winning streak (dating back to 2003) is tied for fourth longest in school history....Tickets for the Fall Classic at Arrowhead III can be obtained through Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. by calling (660) 562-1212...Northwest has totaled 62 wins since 1999, the most in NCAA Division II with Grand Valley State entering Saturday at 59 wins...The 34 points is just the fourth time this season that Northwest has been held under 40 points...The Northwest defense was on the field for 37:02...Northwest held the nation's 22nd-ranked rushing offense (223.1) to just 114 yards today...For the first time this year, neither team had a fumble..NMSU moves to 32-0 since 2000 when having fewer punts, Joel Mathews booted three punts while Southwest Baptist had four on the day...Head coach Mel Tjeerdsma is No. 6 on the NCAA DII active coaching wins list as he notched his 165th today.
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