January 18, 2005
Five Bearcats Honored on Football Gazette All-America Squad
PITTSBURG, Kan. -- The 2004 Don Hansen's Football Gazette NCAA Division II All-America team was announced today and five Northwest Missouri State players bagged some form of honor. Senior placekicker Luis Berlanga (Monterrey, Mex.) and offensive tackle Brad Schneider (Lowden, Iowa) were on the Second Team Offense, senior linebacker Adam Long (Bennington, Neb.) and senior return specialist Jamaica Rector (Celeste, Tex.) were on the Third Team Defense while redshirt freshman running back Xavier Omon (Beatrice, Neb.) was an Honorable Mention pick.
Berlanga, who was a Daktronics Second Team All-Region pick, 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). The Daktronics First Team All-Region selection was part of a defense to rank 10th in the NCAA in rushing defense (94.0) and 26th in turnover margin (0.8).
Omon was an 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. The Daktronics Second Team All-Region winner 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 unanimous 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 finished 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. The Daktronics First Team All-Region honoree 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.
The No. 3 Bearcats ended their season at 11-2 after a NCAA Division II Quarterfinal loss to #1 Pittsburg State 50-34 on Nov. 27. The final ranking was the highest since the 1998 and 1999 national championship teams.
2004 Don Hansen's Football Gazette NCAA Division II All-America Team - Northwest players
• Luis Berlanga - Second Team Offense
• Adam Long - Third Team Defense
• Xavier Omon - Honorable Mention
• Jamaica Rector - Third Team Defense (return specialist)
• Brad Schnedier - Second Team Offense
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