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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Oct. 21, 2006

Bearcats Pick Up Biggest Shutout Since 1938 in 59-0 Win Over Fort Hays

MARYVILLE, Mo. - (stats) #2 Northwest Missouri State football earned its biggest shutout since 1938 and the offensive unit totaled a season-best 530 yards of offense in cruising to the 59-0 MIAA victory over visiting Fort Hays (Kan.) State this afternoon from Bearcat Stadium on Homecoming. Despite the Northwest regulars pulled in the second quarter, the game was never in doubt after Northwest scored at the 14:07 mark of the first quarter in front of 7,857 paid fans in attendance.

Northwest, who won its fifth straight Homecoming battle, improves to a perfect 8-0 on the year. Fort Hays falls to 0-8 overall and 0-6 in the league. Today's meeting was the first since 1980 between the Bearcats and Tigers.

"Our defense was dominant today," said head coach Mel Tjeerdsma. "After giving up a couple big plays early, we held them down. Even though we have some injuries in the secondary, we have depth. As the game wore on, we got better and that is a true sign of our depth."

Northwest took the opening drive 74 yards on three plays, scoring first for the ninth straight game. Sophomore Raphael Robinson raced 68 yards down the right sideline after catching a Josh Mathews toss before he coughed up the ball at the Fort Hays 6-yard line. Junior E.J. Falkner smothered the fumble in the endzone and, after Tommy Freverts' PAT, one of a career-high eight on the day, Northwest led 7-0.

The visiting Tigers showed signs of promise on their first offensive drive. On a third-and-6, quarterback Shane Jackson found Deonte Morris for a 30-yard pass play which put the ball at the Northwest 42. However, three plays thereafter yielded minus-13 yards on a rush, an incompletion and a sack and Fort Hays was forced to punt. That was the only sign of offense as Fort Hays put up 155 total yards of offense including just 32 in the second half.

That 30-yard gain for the Tigers was by far their longest of the day. The Northwest defense was its usual dominant self. Coming into the game ranked first in the MIAA in scoring defense, total defense and rushing yards allowed, the Northwest defense held Fort Hays to 23 plays from scrimmage in the second half for an average of 1.4 yards per play. To further explain the Northwest dominance in the final 30 minutes, FHSU had three first downs (1 by penalty) and ran just four plays in Northwest territory after fielding a short punt and starting its drive at the Northwest 32-yard line.

After leading 7-0 going into the second quarter, Northwest piled up 28 points in the second frame including three short runs by junior Harlon Hill candidate Xavier Omon. Omon now stands with 16 rushing scores on the season, four away from the season (all games) best - Northwest will play at least three more regular season games. Omon recorded 62 yards on 13 carries in less than two quarters of action.

With many of the reserves in, the Bearcats added two more touchdowns in the third quarter, and senior Zach Sherman speared in from 2-yards out at the 12:30 mark of the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.

Freshman LaRon Council went for a career-high 133 yards and one score on 13 carries for a 10.2 yards per carry average. He led the rushers to 267 net yards. Mathews finished his first half of play with 244 passing yards on a 9-fo-13 effort and two aerial strikes. Junior Mike Peterson was the team leader in receiving with four catches for 70 yards.

Don Black Award winner (given to the Northwest MVP at Homecoming) Myles Burnsides tied for the team-high in tackles with six and notched his second career interception to go along with two tackles-for-loss. Junior Dallas Flynn finished with six tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.

After giving up the ball three times last week at Washburn, Northwest did not turn the ball over and forced two. On the year, Northwest is a league-best +9 in turnover margin after today's no-turnover performance.

FHSU running back Jordan Hickel was the leading rusher with 29 yards on 15 carries. Drew Dallas was the primary quarterback as he was 6-of-20 for 49 yards and one interception. Hoang Mai played a solid game defensively with a team-high 12 tackles.

Northwest hits the road heading to the University of Central Missouri next Saturday, Oct. 28. Kick-off is set for 1:30 p.m.

*Homecoming record after today: 34-25-1, winning 11 of the last 12 and five straight.
*Scored first in last nine games dating back to 2005.
*Xavier Omon has lost a fumble once in the last 682 rushing attempts.
*8-1 when ranked No. 2 at home (since 1996). Lone lost came in first game as No. 2 ranking at home in 0-40 lost vs. Pittsburg State on Nov. 16.
*Score at 14:07 is earliest score this season by Northwest
*35 points in the first half is the most in a regular season game since Nov. 15, 2005 vs. Southwest Baptist (42 points)
* 31 points in single quarter is most since 2003.
* Xavier Omon moves into first in career rushing touchdowns (regular season) with three today (40 total)
* 59 points scored against Fort Hays State is the most all-time against the Tigers (22 games)
* 38 points scored against a homecoming opponent in a single half (1st half) is most since 2004 (38 points vs. Emporia State on Oct. 2, 2004)
* Josh Mathews moves into ninth on career passing yards with 2,632
* Mathews is one short on career touchdown passes from moving into sixth (currently has 26), who is held by his father, Kirk Mathews
* Xavier Omon sets career total touchdowns record (all games) with three today (53 total)
* Moves into second in career points (all games) with 18 today (318 total)
* Most points scored this season in single game
* Most points scored since homecoming game of 2004 against Emporia State (59-28)
* Eight PAT's by Tommy Frevert ties for fourth in game records (regular season and all games) - new career high
* Frevert moves into third on career (all games) with 90
* Frevert moves into fourth on career (regular season) with 71, jumping up five spots
* Largest margin of victory since Nov. 11, 1938 against Sioux Falls (65-0).
* Largest MIAA shutout in school history.
* Fort Hays accumulates 155 total yards, the lowest by an opponent since 2004 (statistics not available before 2004 at this time).

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