Nov. 12, 2005
No. 21 Northwest Missouri State Defeats Angelo State 45-14
SAN ANGELO, Tex. - In the first meeting between the two schools, No. 21 Northwest Missouri State held No. 20 Angelo State to more than 20 points off its season average in the 45-14 first round NCAA playoff win this afternoon at San Angelo Stadium. Sophomore running back Xavier Omon finished with a career-high 225 yards on 24 carries and his two touchdown runs give him a Northwest playoff individual-best five touchdowns.
Northwest, which moves to 13-7 all-time in playoff contests, will travel to No. 1 seed Washburn on Saturday, Nov. 19 for a rematch against the Ichabods. Tickets will go on sale beginning Monday at 8 a.m. through the Northwest Student Services at 562-1212. Washburn stole a 31-28 win on Oct. 8 in Maryville in the battle of the MIAA unbeatens. The Ichabods won their first MIAA title in the sport with a conference record of 8-1.
Angelo, who falls to 3-5 in postseason play, ends the season at 9-3 overall. It was the Rams first playoff appearance since 1997.
Northwest didn't take long to score as it took the opening drive 65 yards on eight plays with Omon gaining 44 yards on six carries during the march. His final touch was good for 19 yards as he found the end zone and gave the Bearcats a 7-0 lead just three minutes into the contest.
The Bearcats used good-field position on their second drive to take a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Redshirt freshman Kendall Wright gave Northwest field position at the ASU 45-yard line. Ten plays later, senior fullback Daren Roberts plunged in from the one-yard line with 6:23 left. The key play of the drive was a fourth-and-two conversion in ASU territory when senior Josh Lamberson hooked up with senior running back Mitch Herring for seven yards.
Wright handed Northwest advantageous field position for the second time on the punt return. Wright weaved his way 32 yards down the left sideline as the Bearcats began at the ASU 42-yard line. Five plays later, Roberts again scored from one-yard out with 13 minutes left and Northwest led 21-0 in the second quarter.
A special teams blunder allowed Angelo to get on the board midway through the second quarter. Freshman punter Gabe Lickteig lined up in his own end zone and fumbled the snap. ASU's Brandon Davis pounced on the loose ball in the end zone to put the Rams on the board and the score stood 28-7.
Senior wide receiver Andre Rector, who moved to second on the Northwest career receptions charts with 190, caught touchdown passes of 50 and 22 yards in the second quarter to expand the Bearcat lead to 35-7 going into the half. The Northwest defense, which held ASU to 91 yards on 24 plays in the first half, forced a fourth-down incompletion late in the second quarter. After the Rams touched Northwest territory for the first time with five-and-a-half minutes left in the second frame, the ball rested on the Northwest 28-yard line. On fourth-and-six, a pass attempt fell incomplete and Northwest took over on downs.
Senior safety Kelly Williams thwarted an Angelo drive by snatching his fifth career interception in the Northwest end zone as the third quarter began. After both teams traded punts, Omon went for a season-long 61 yard touchdown run to pad the Bearcat lead 42-7 with under four minutes left in the third quarter. The 61-yard rush was the longest play for any Northwest player this season.
ASU scored one last time on a two-yard pass from Drew Peterson to Matt Stanley mid-way through the fourth. Freshman kicker Tommy Frevert hit his ninth field goal of the season, this one from 26 yards out, to close out the scoring. The season field goal mark ties Frevert with Shawn Geraghty for eighth on the single-season list.
The Northwest defense held ASU to 384 yards of total offense and just one-of-four in the red zone. Much of the second half was played without 2005 MIAA Defensive Player of the Year senior Dave Tollefson, who was nursing a shoulder injury. Junior linebacker Lance Butler came away with a career-high eight tackles to lead the team. ASU quarterback Trey Weishuhn was relieved in the second half because of a dismal 11-of-25 effort for 120 passing yards. Freshman running back Kyle Fox was the offensive bright spot as he gathered 174 yards rushing on 21 carries (8.3 avg.). The rushing output was second-best for a Northwest opponent as Jamar Day of Nebraska-Omaha had 188 in Week 2.
Lamberson finished with 258 passing yards on 18-of-24 attempts and two touchdowns. Besides being the career-holder in touchdowns (56) and total offense (7,015), Lamberson moved into first-place in passing yards (6,258) and completions (480). Rector completed his day with five catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns - it was his eighth career 100-yard day.
NOTES: Northwest moves to 5-1 against the Lone Star Conference in the Mel Tjeerdsma era (since 1994) winning the last five contests … Northwest held its first ever No. 21 ranking in the coaches poll … On a three-yard run late in the first quarter, sophomore running back Xavier Omon became the third running back since 1965 to garner back-to-back 1,000 rushing seasons - he has totaled 1,161 season yards … Northwest won for the first time when playing a ranked opponent and is now 1-3 this season … Senior fullback Daren Roberts posted two rushing touchdowns this afternoon - he came into the game with four career rushing scores … Senior wide receiver Andre Rector trails brother Jamaica for the top spot in career receptions - Andre is looking up at his brothers career total of 289 … The 35-7 first half advantage was the most points scored in the first half in playoff history and the largest lead that Northwest has held at halftime … The 225 rushing yards by Omon is seven shy of the all-time single-game playoff high set by Jesse Haynes (232) in 1996 … Senior quarterback Josh Lamberson passed all-time passing leader John McMenamin in passing yards (6,225) and completions (478) … Northwest improves to 7-3 in NCAA first round games and advances the club to its seventh trip to the second round … Head coach Mel Tjeerdsma sits with 13 career postseason wins, which is tied for fourth on the NCAA Division II all-time charts … Lamberson now is ranked eighth on the MIAA career list (all games) with 7,015 yards of total offense … The Bearcats held a 3-1 turnover advantage for the first time since Emporia State (Oct. 1) - a span of five games … The 499 yards of total offense was a Bearcat season-high and the most since going for 606 against Missouri Southern (Oct. 9, 2004) … The 31 point win is the largest margin of victory for Northwest in the playoffs.
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