November 6, 2004
Northwest Falls 21-17 to Pittsburg State in Fall Classic at Arrowhead IIIKANSAS CITY, Mo. - No. 2 Northwest Missouri State held a 17-14 lead through three quarters but a fourth-quarter touchdown by No. 1 Pittsburg State with 10:43 remaining sent the Gorillas to a 21-17 victory in the Fall Classic at Arrowhead III this afternoon. The loss snapped a 13-game overall winning streak and ended Northwest's streak of seven consecutive wins against the Gorillas.
Northwest drops to 10-1 overall on the year and 8-1 in the MIAA while Pittsburg State went to 11-0 overall and won its ninth league title under head coach Chuck Broyles (since 1990).
The 'Cats went ahead on a 64-yard touchdown pass from junior Jeff Netolicky to freshman redshirt E.J. Falkner with 8:58 remaining in the third period. The game-winning score came via the long pass for Pitt State on a 51 yard connection from Neal Philpot to Jermaine Carpenter.
Northwest looked to respond with under six minutes remaining in the game.
Netolicky, who replaced an injured quarterback Josh Mathews in the second quarter, hooked up with senior Morris White on a third-and-eight from midfield with under four minutes to go. However, on the ensuing play, Netolicky was intercepted by PSU's Jeremy Neville in the endzone and Pitt State ran out the final 3:02 of the game to secure the MIAA Championship. Pitt State also will most surely hold home field advantage throughout the playoffs pending the NCAA selection show tomorrow - it entered the game at No. 2 in the Southwest Region.
Both teams played the tune of a scoreless first quarter. Northwest got on the board first with a 26-yard field goal by senior Luis Berlanga. Pittsburg State answered with 1:08 left in the second half on an 18-yard pass to Brandon Twito. Freshman redshirt running back Xavier Omon gave the lead back to the Bearcats on a burst from 47-yards out with 13:15 left in the third.
The fourth lead change came at the hands of PSU running back Jermaine Race on a three-yard jaunt at the 11:20 mark of the third. With the score at 14-10 in favor of the Gorillas, Northwest got back on the Falkner score before the Carpenter game-winner.
Omon, who went for 160 yards on 22 carries and one TD, moved closer to the Northwest single season rushing mark with his effort. He stands with 1,426 rushing yards, which is 28 yards away from Jesse Haynes record of 1,453 in 1996.
Netolicky finished with 109 yards, three interceptions and one touchdown toss. Junior wide-out Andre Rector led the club with six catches on 44 yards.
Pitt State's Germaine Race held a team-high 149 rushing yards on 29 carries while Neal Philpot went for 265 passing yards on 11-of-23 and one score.
Defensively, sophomore Darcell Clark tallied nine tackles while senior Adam Long recorded eight on the day. Junior defensive end Steve Williams notched his first Bearcat interception to go along with eight tackles, including two for a loss.
The Bearcats await the selection of the NCAA Division II Committee for the place and date for their upcoming game in the playoffs. Going into the contest, Northwest was No. 1 in the Southwest Region - the top two seeds in each region have a first-round bye on Nov. 13.
Notes: Northwest falls to 16-19 in the overall series with Pittsburg State…Jamaica Rector, who went for a season-low 25 yards on three catches, remains one TD reception (all games) shy of the MIAA career touchdown reception mark - he looks up at Northwest's Tony Miles who holds 37 career TD catches…Luis Berlanga continues his streak of consecutive PAT's as he stands with 67 straight on the year - he was two-for-two…The 3-0, 10-7 and 17-14 Northwest leads were the first of any opposition playing Pittsburg State on the season…The announced attendance of 25,542 at Arrowhead falls just shy of the Division II single-game record in a professional venue of 26,695 set back in 2002 at the Fall Classic I…The nine MIAA titles by Chuck Broyles is the most of any conference coach…The 2004 MIAA Championships was Pitt's 10th overall…The last time Northwest faced a No. 1 club was against Carson-Newman Dec. 11, 1999 and won, 58-52 in the NCAA title game…PSU kicker Nathan Alleman missed one field goal from 31 yards out and had his second attempt (26 yards) blocked by NMSU's Troy Tysdahl.
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