Nov. 11, 2006
Bearcats Remain Undefeated in 55-9 Win at Southwest Baptist
BOLIVAR, Mo. (Plaster Stadium) -- (stats) #2 Northwest Missouri State football won its 20th Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Championship - the 2nd highest amount in league history - with a 55-9 victory over Southwest Baptist in the regular season finale this afternoon. Northwest turned three SBU turnovers into 21 first-half points in opening up a 42-0 halftime edge.
Northwest moves to a perfect 11-0 on the season, the fifth time in school history the program has gone 11-0 on the season. Southwest Baptist ends its season at 1-10 overall and 1-8 in the conference.
Sophomore running back Brant Gregg turned the first SBU turnover into seven points just three minutes into the contest. His third career touchdown in as many weeks from 1-yard out gave the visiting Bearcats a quick lead. Freshman running back Sheldon Cook added scoring runs of 10 yards and two yards before senior safety Tyler Martin returned an interception for a 22-yard score and at that point, Northwest led 28-0 minutes into the second quarter.
The visiting Bearcats utilized their deep bench subbing frequently in the second half. Northwest posted 234 yards of total offense in the second half - nine more yards than the first half.
Northwest amassed 459 yards of total offense on 76 plays (6.0 ypp) thanks to a balanced rushing (227 yards) and passing (232 yards) attack. The leading conference team in turnover margin (+15), Northwest picked up one fumble and two interceptions of SBU quarterback Robert Clardy.
Both teams combined for 25 penalties with SBU totaling 15 of those for 83 yards.
Cook finished with his second straight 100-yard game going for 124 yards on 27 carries (4.6 ypc) and three rushing touchdowns. Gregg complimented him with 89 yards and three scores.
In one half of action, junior quarterback Josh Mathews was 13-of-21 for 152 yards while sophomore Joel Osborn had 80 yards through the air on 7-of-9 passing. Junior E.J. Falkner led Bearcat receivers with 40 yards on five catches.
Redshirt freshman Myles Burnsides led Northwest tacklers with seven total stops.
Clardy, who moved to 8th on the MIAA career total offense list, had trouble creating offense. He passed for just 126 yards on 11-of-21 passing and had two interceptions. Nick Smart was his favorite target with 102 yards on six receptions.
The NCAA Division II playoff field will be announced beginning at 12 p.m. CST on ESPNews on Sunday. Northwest entered today with a No. 1 ranking in the Southwest ranking and a projected bye in the first round on Nov. 18.
NOTES: Northwest wins its 12th straight MIAA road game …. Northwest wins its 12th straight versus Southwest Baptist … Tommy Frevert moves to third on the career (regular season) PAT list with 87 … Redshirt freshman Luke Buntz records first career touchdown on his first career reception in the third quarter (4:37) … 42 points scored in the first half is the most in a single half since Northwest did the same against SBU last season …. Joel Osborn sets a personal-high with 80 passing yards and seven completions … Senior defensive end Ryan Waters moves into a tie for career sacks (all games) with 1.0 today - he has 21.5 in his Bearcat career … Mathews goes a start without a TD pass for the first time in 12 games … Northwest rattled through the MIAA undefeated for the 11th time in school history and sixth since 1997 … Both teams combined for four blocked kicks (2 punts, 1 FG, 1 PAT).
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