Nov. 19, 2005
Football Gets Revenge With 42-32 Win at Washburn in 2nd Round of Playoffs
TOPEKA, Kan. - Northwest Missouri State football, the No. 6 seed in the Southwest Region, scored touchdowns on its first five possessions en route to a 42-32 NCAA Division II second round playoff win over host Washburn (9-2) this afternoon at Yager Stadium. Washburn, the No. 2 seed, snapped a 10-game series losing skid in the previous meeting 31-28 in Maryville, Mo., Oct. 8.
"Obviously, we got off to a great start," said head coach Mel Tjeerdsma. "From there, we kind of hung on. Our defense never was able to get off the field. This group has a lot of confidence and everyone is very close to each other."
Northwest, who moves to 14-7 all-time in playoff contests, improves to 9-3 on the season. Washburn, winners of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Championship, finishes the year with a 9-3 record. The Bearcats will play at Pittsburg State in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday, Nov. 26. The Gorillas, who dispatched of No. 1 seed West Texas A&M 41-3 this afternoon, defeated Northwest 56-35 in the Fall Classic at Arrowhead IV on Oct. 29.
Tickets for the Pittsburg State playoff game can be purchased on the Northwest campus beginning Monday at 8 a.m. Fans needs to call (660) 562-1212 or stop by the Student Services Center in the Administration Building for ticket orders. There is a limited amount to purchase on the Northwest campus, and when those are sold, fans are encouraged to call the Pittsburg State ticket office at (620) 235-4796 or purchase on-line at http://www.pittstate.edu/tickets/. Gates open at Carnie Smith Stadium at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Just like last week at Angelo State in the first round of the playoffs in which Northwest raced out to a 21-0 advantage, Northwest jumped on top in the first quarter scoring the game's first four touchdowns. Starting at the Washburn 44-yard line, quarterback Josh Lamberson connected with wide receiver Andre Rector twice through the air with the second one going 39 yards for the score. Just three minutes into the game, Northwest held a 7-0 lead.
After a second straight three-and-out for the Ichabods, Northwest drove 43 yards on seven plays capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by sophomore Xavier Omon. For the third straight time in the game, Northwest started its drive in Ichabod territory at the 41-yard line. Junior Jared Meyerkorth was the recipient of Lamberson's second touchdown toss from eight yards out to give Northwest a 21-0 lead at the 2:41 mark of the first.
Washburn picked up its initial first down hitting the Northwest 26 late in the first. However, the Northwest defense held strong on a fourth-and-long play and the offense took over at that spot. On the ensuing offensive play, sophomore E.J. Falkner took a pitch pass from Lamberson and ran down the right sideline for a 74-yard touchdown giving Northwest a 28-0 edge.
The offensive stampede continued as Washburn found the end zone on a 45-yard pass from Jordan Brill to Aaron Gardiner in the middle of the second. Two offensive plays later, Omon kept the Bearcat lead at 28 points taking the handoff 70 yards for his 30th career rushing touchdown. Northwest led 35-7 at the half.
Both teams traded scores in the third quarter. Taking the ball first out of the locker room, Northwest scored on its 11th play via a eight-yard pass from Lamberson to redshirt freshman Kendall Wright. The hosts threatened to cut the lead to within 11 points late in the third but the stiff Northwest defense held on a fourth-and-one at the Bearcat four-yard line.
Down 42-17, Washburn notched two more scores on two pass plays to make the score closer. Senior Kelly Williams picked up his team-tying third interception with a leaping grab in the middle of the fourth stanza to squash another would-be Washburn scoring drive.
Omon ended up with 166 yards and touchdowns on a career-best 37 carries. The 100-yard game was Omon's 13th of his career and fifth in the last six games. He stands with 2,902 career rushing yards, good for fourth, and 30 career rushing touchdowns, which moves him to second all-time on the school charts.
Lamberson went 17-of-26 for 311 yards and four passing scores. It was his fifth such 300-yard career passing game and his third four-touchdown effort. Rector caught seven balls for 110 yards. The top MIAA receiver in both yards and catches per game, Rector has gone for 100-plus receiving yards in four of his last five games with an average of 120.2 during that stretch.
Defensively, senior Dave Tollefson moved to a tie for first on the single-season sacks list with 3.0 on the afternoon. He has compiled 11.5 on the season and stands with 20.0 in his career - that career output is third at Northwest. Sophomore Dallas Flynn had a game-high seven tackles including one quarterback sack.
The Northwest offense again generated over 400 yards this afternoon with 494. It was the fifth straight game exceeding 400 yards. Northwest defense limited WU to 372 yards on 70 plays for a 5.3 yard average.
WU quarterback Jordan Brill went 16-of-29 for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Mike Odupitan caught two balls for touchdowns and finished with 118 yards on five catches. Running back Trent Hearn managed only 61 yards on 22 carries (2.8 ypc) and as a team Washburn averaged just 1.9 yards per carry.
NOTES: This meeting marked the first time for the two programs in the NCAA playoffs … Washburn drops to 5-32 all-time against Division II ranked opponents … In each of its last five games, Northwest has exceeded 400 yards of total offense with an average of 480.8 … Northwest stands 104-19 all-time (since 1984) when ranked in the AFCA poll - the Bearcats have been nationally ranked for the last 25 straight games … Wide receiver Andre Rector moved into a tie for fifth with Dan Anderson with 16 lifetime receiving touchdowns … Washburn picked up its first first down at the 1:17 mark of the first quarter - it was the Ichabods' fourth drive of the game … With 9.0 sacks on the season, junior Ryan Waters is tied for third on the single season list … The 30 career rushing TDs for running back Xavier Omon is second most in school history … Northwest moves to 9-1 when ranked against Washburn … The Bearcats advance to the NCAA Quarterfinal round for the second straight season and seventh time in school history … Head coach Mel Tjeerdsma has led the Bearcats to eight seasons (out of 12 seasons) of nine or more wins in his reign
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