December 8, 2004
Six 'Cats Mentioned on Daktronics All-Region TeamRICHARDSON, Tex. -- The 2004 Daktronics Division II All-Southwest Region Football Team was announced today and Northwest Missouri State senior Luis Berlanga (Monterrey, Mexico), senior Adam Long (Bennington, Neb.), redshirt freshman Xavier Omon (Beatrice, Neb.), senior Jamaica Rector (Celeste,Tex.), senior Brad Schneider (Lowden, Iowa) and junior Steve Williams (Bolingbrook, Ill.) were all honored either on the first or second team. The teams were voted on by Sports Information Directors at member institutions. Northwest ties national championship participant Pittsburg State with four players on the First Team but holds the most of any program with six combined selections.
Berlanga, who is one of two kickers on the roster, set the NCAA all-divisions mark for consecutive PAT's made in a single season with 73. The 2004 All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) First Team selection was honored as a league Special Teams Player of the Week on three occasions. Berlanga, who played just one season at Northwest, holds the Northwest mark for most points by a kicker in a single season with 122. In the nation, Berlanga finished 18th in scoring with 9.4 points per game and 10th in field goals per game (1.2). He set a Northwest playoff record with a 51-yard field goal against Texas A&M-Kingsville (Nov. 20) and again at Pittsburg State (Nov. 27); the field goals pushed his season total to 16 which is tops on the season charts. He finished 74-of-76 on PAT attempts - the PAT attempts set a Northwest school single-season record.
Long was the 2004 MIAA Most Valuable Defensive Player and All-MIAA First Team pick at linebacker as he was first in the league with 1.45 tackles-for-a-loss (TFL's). His team-leading 18.0 TFL's put him second on the Northwest single season list, just two shy of the record. For his two-year career at Northwest, Long compiled 29.0 TFL's, which ties him for fourth on the school list. On the year, he tied for first on the team with 81 total tackles, tying a team-high with 43 solo stops. He had at least seven tackles in seven games, which was tops on the club. His season-high tackles mark (12) came against Southwest Baptist (Oct. 30). He was part of a defense to rank 10th in the NCAA in rushing defense (94.0) and 26th in turnover margin (0.8).
Omon, who is one of two freshman on either squad, is a All-MIAA First Team offensive selection at running back. He set the single-season Northwest rushing mark with 1,575 yards on 249 carries (6.3 average) - he is the first freshman rusher at Northwest to surpass 1,000 yards - and his 19 rushing TDs was second on the season charts. He went over 100 yards in six straight contests at one point and seven overall games. Nationally, he ranked 19th with 121.2 rushing yards per contest and 22nd in scoring (9.2). His 91-yard scamper to paydirt (Oct. 9) helped him to a 184-yard effort against Missouri Southern - that scoring play ties him for the longest scoring play from scrimmage in reported school history. Twice, he topped the 200-yard rushing mark and his 120 season points was the most for a non-kicker. He totaled 149 playoff rushing yards, which puts him fourth on the all-time school list and his three rushing TD's is tied for third. His 249 rushing attempts set a Northwest record, breaking Jim Albin's mark of 228 in 1973.
Rector was the first in reported Northwest history to be a four-time All-MIAA First Team selection after being a unanamious selection at both kick returner and wide receiver in 2004. He was one of 26 Harlon Hill finalists as a junior and senior. The 2004 Don Hansen's Football Gazette Preseason All-America and D2Football.com 2nd Team All-America pick became the MIAA's all-time leading receiver in yards (regular season and all games) as he finishes his career with 4,497 yards and 289 receptions - those career totals are good for No. 2 on the NCAA yardage list and No. 3 in receptions. On the school list, he ended tops in career punt return yardage (1,404), punt returns (112), most yards per kick return (27.5) touchdown receptions (38) and third in career points (270) - his 38 TD's (all games) is first on the MIAA charts. Also, the Hula Bowl participant holds season and career school records in receptions, receiving yardage, punt returns and kick return average.
A mainstay of the offensive line starting all 13 games, Schneider was a All-MIAA First Team selection at offensive tackle. He was an integral member of an offense ranked 2nd in the NCAA in scoring offense (44.5 points), 13th in total offense (450.0 yards), 33rd in rushing offense (197.4 yards) and 29th in passing offense (252.6 yards). He was part of an offensive line paving the way for the school's all-time leading rusher in a single season (1,575 yards). As a team, the offense rolled up 2,566 rushing yards (197.4 per game), up from 1,398 yards in 2003.
Williams was the only unanimous pick on the All-MIAA First Team at defensive tackle. In his first season at Northwest after transferring from the University of Indiana (2000-01), Williams was fifth on the team overall and second amongst defensive lineman in total tackles (52) including 19 solo halts. He notched his first career interception against No. 1 Pittsburg State (Nov. 6). Also, he had a career-high seven tackles against No. 8 Central Missouri State. He was part of a defense to rank 10th in the NCAA in rushing defense (94.0) and 26th in turnover margin (0.8).
The No. 4 Bearcats ended their season at 11-2 after a NCAA Division II Quarterfinal loss to #1 Pittsburg State, 50-34, Nov. 27.
Northwest Missouri Selections on the 2004 Daktronics Division II All-Southwest Region Team
• Luis Berlanga - 2nd Team at Place Kicker
• Adam Long - 1st Team at Linebacker
• Xavier Omon - 2nd Team at Running Back
• Jamaica Rector - 1st Team at All-Purpose Back
• Brad Schneider - 1st Team at Offensive Line
• Steve Williams - 1st Team at Defensive Line
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