Oct. 1, 2005
Football Shutouts Emporia State on the Road
EMPORIA, Kan. - Northwest Missouri State forced six turnovers and held Emporia State to 285 yards in the 14-0 shutout win at Welch Stadium this afternoon. The win was Northwest's seventh straight on the road in league play and was its second shutout of 2005. The last time Northwest held the opposition scoreless twice in the same season was 1984.
Northwest has not lost in Emporia since Oct. 9, 1965 in a stretch of nine meetings. The Bearcats win their fourth straight on the year and sits 5-1 overall and 4-0 in MIAA action. Emporia, who was shutout for the first time in 55 games, drops to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in league play.
After forcing a fourth-down play on Emporia's first drive, the Northwest special teams unit stood strong. On a fake punt attempt, senior safety Pat Whitt forced and recovered the fumble in ESU territory. Northwest was unable to take advantage of the good field territory as a 44-yard field goal attempt by freshman Tommy Frevert was blocked by Brandon Stribling.
As the Northwest defense held strong, the offense scored on a three-yard toss from senior quarterback Josh Lamberson to junior tight end Mike Peterson with just under two minutes left in the second quarter. The first score was the fifth time out of six games this season that Northwest has lit up the scoreboard first - all wins. The scoring drive was 10 plays, 63 yards, which is the fifth time the Bearcats have gone 10 or more plays to score this season.
Northwest held a 7-0 halftime lead with just a total of 99 yards of offense. But, the Bearcat defense limited Emporia to 79 first-half yards and three pass completions.
On the Hornets first drive of the second half, they methodically marched to the Bearcat one-yard line but was halted there. Two pass incompletions on third and fourth down occurred.
Using a fumble recovery in Emporia territory at the 46, Northwest scored on a Lamberson 18-yard pass to senior wide receiver Andre Rector with four minutes left in the third frame. Rector's catch was on a third and goal. It was Rector's third straight catch on third-and-long on the drive as he hauled in passes of 22 and 36 yards.
Northwest forced a season-high six turnovers, including three fumbles. Junior defensive back Brandon Clayton, junior linebacker Ben Harness and sophomore defensive lineman Dallas Flynn each notched their first career interceptions in the fourth quarter. All three picks happened in Northwest territory.
Fresh off a groin injury which kept him out three games, senior defensive tackle Steve Williams set a career-high with 10 tackles. Harness added a personal-best nine stops and junior Jared Erspamer ended with nine.
Lamberson went 18-of-27 through the air for 163 yards and two touchdowns. His two passing scores moved him into a tie for fourth on the all-time list with 44. Sophomore running back Xavier Omon totaled 87 yards on 26 rushes. Omon becomes the eighth back in history to surpass 2,000 yards. Rector had 99 receiving yards on seven catches.
Northwest was flagged 13 times for a season-high 144 yards and now has more penalty yards than the opponent in all six games this season.
Northwest heads home to face Washburn next Saturday at 1 p.m. The game marks Foundation and Centennial Society day in which Northwest looks to extend its 10-game win streak in the series. In other league action, No. 4 Pittsburg State lost 35-34 at Washburn on a failed PAT attempt in overtime. WU is tied with Northwest at 4-0 in the MIAA.
NOTES: Northwest improves in the series to 18-2 and have won the last 11 meetings … Northwest stands undefeated at 8-0 when ranked versus Emporia … The Bearcats are 6-1 all-time when ranked No. 7 in the AFCA Coaches' poll … In its current streak of 19 weeks in the top 25 polls, Northwest stands 16-3 … ESU wide receiver J.J. Richard did not catch a pass - the first time in 31 games … The 0 points for Emporia was the first home shutout since 1984 … Freshman Tommy Frevert attempted a career-tying 44-yard field but it was blocked in the first quarter … The seven combined first half points was the lowest amount since the NCAA second round game on Nov. 20, 2004 versus Texas A&M-Kingsville where Northwest held a 7-0 halftime edge … Northwest has 11 takeaways in the last three games - the Bearcats have not given the ball away in that stretch … The 49 net rushing yards is the least amount since 49 against Kingsville last season … ESU held a 20-10 first downs advantage.
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