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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Jan. 13, 2006

2006 Football Schedule Announced

MARYVILLE, Mo. - (2006 schedule) Two non-conference home games and a league contest against the newest MIAA member Fort Hays State headline the 2006 Northwest Missouri State football schedule, announced today. Northwest faces four teams that ended the 2005 season in the AFCA final poll, two of which advanced to the NCAA playoffs.

"It is good to have an 11-game schedule," said head coach Mel Tjeerdsma. "I am excited to have Fort Hays, they will be a new challenge. Going back to Arrowhead is nice because it is popular with our players and I think it is the best for everyone to have it there. We have extended that for two more years.

"We have a tough road schedule with Central Missouri and Washburn being at the top of our conference. But we also have a good balance at home with Nebraska-Omaha and Missouri Western coming here. Those teams will get us big crowds at Bearcat Stadium."

Northwest begins the slate with a Sept. 2 home date against Minnesota State. In a non-conference rivalry that has occurred five of the last six seasons with Northwest winning the last four of those encounters, the Mavericks and Bearcats meet at 1 p.m. Nebraska-Omaha follows with a visit to Bearcat Stadium on Sept. 9 - UNO is the first of four teams littered on the schedule who was ranked in the AFCA poll holding down the No. 16 spot in 2005.

The two non conference home games to begin the season will be the second time that has happened in three campaigns. In 2004, the Bearcats spanked Minnesota State, Moorhead 77-12 before taking down West Chester (Pa.) 38-7.

The renewal of the Hickory Stick battle with Truman State, the 72nd edition, takes place on Sept. 16 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) opener. Missouri Western, who was No. 25 nationally after defeating Concordia-St. Paul 35-23 in the Mineral Water Bowl, comes to Maryville, Mo., on Sept. 23. That game sets up a showdown at Missouri Southern (Sept. 30) where the contest takes place under the lights at 6 p.m. Most notably, it will be the first game against former Northwest offensive coordinator Bart Tatum, who took over head coaching duties at MSSU in December.

On Oct. 7, Emporia State is the guests before Northwest travels to 2005 MIAA champion Washburn on Oct. 14 in Topeka, Kan. The Ichabods, who were 13th in the coaches poll, snapped the Bearcats' 12-game home winning streak as a 23-yard field goal with four ticks remaining was the difference in the 31-28 win. The Washburn win gave them sole possession of the league lead and vaulted them to a MIAA title. It was the first time since 1993 a team other than Northwest or Pittsburg State won the hardware. Northwest got revenge in the second round of the playoffs in the 42-32 triumph.

Northwest then looks forward to hosting Fort Hays State on Oct. 21 in the Homecoming game. Fort Hays went 2-8 last season and took seventh in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). The last time these two programs faced each other was Sept. 20, 1980 in Maryville with the Bearcats stealing a 19-14 win. Overall, the Tigers hold a 12-8-1 edge having won seven of the first nine meetings beginning in 1950.

The final three regular season games include Central Missouri (Oct. 28), Pittsburg State (Nov. 4) and Southwest Baptist (Nov. 11) - all of them away from Maryville. Northwest tangles with a CMSU squad who went a disappointing 7-3 overall and fifth in the conference after many preseason voters had them in the top three. The Nov. 4 game against the Gorillas will again be played at Arrowhead Stadium in the Fall Classic at Arrowhead V with kick-off at 2 p.m. All four previous meetings attracted over 20,000 fans with PSU winning the last two including an embarrassing 56-35 win in 2004. PSU, who ended the year at No. 12, was humbled in the postseason as the Bearcats took a 21-10 victory in Pittsburg, Kan.

In the regular season capper, Northwest goes to SW Baptist where the green Bearcats have won five straight and not lost since 1994. Overall, Northwest holds an 11-game winning streak against SBU.

Playoffs begin on Nov. 18 at campus sites and wrap up at the NCAA Division II National Championship played for the 21st straight time in Florence, Ala., on Dec. 16.

Northwest finished the 2005 season with an 11-4 record, a National Championship appearance, and its eighth season of 11 or more wins in the Mel Tjeerdsma era (since 1994).

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468