November 25, 2006
Bearcats Blank Midwestern State 27-0 in NCAA 2nd Round; Hold MSU to 147 Total Yards
MARYVILLE - ( stats) Northwest Missouri State football, the No. 1 seed in the Southwest Region, advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinal round with a 27-0 blanking of No. 4 seed Midwestern (Texas) State this afternoon (Nov. 25) from Bearcat Stadium. Northwest held Midwestern, the nation's third-most potent offense statistically, to 17 total yards of offense in the second half and a Northwest playoff-record low 147 overall. The Bearcats will host Chadron (Neb.) State on Dec. 2 at 12 p.m. Chadron was a 43-17 winner today over West Texas A&M.
With the win, Northwest moves to 12-0 on the year for the fourth time in school history. Midwestern wraps up its season with a 10-3 mark.
Tickets for next Saturday's game will go on sale beginning Monday, Nov. 27 at 8 a.m. for all fans. Call the Northwest Student Services Center at 660.562.1212.
The Northwest defense, who notched its third shutout of the season and first in playoff history (25 games), limited the nation's third-best offense more than 300 yards below its season average. MSU entered the game third with 460 yards of total offense and third in scoring at 39 points per contest. MSU was shut out for the first time since the 1996 season.
The Mustangs of MSU appeared ready to take the first lead of the game taking the opening kick-off 50 yards to the Northwest 15-yard line. But a Kristian Foster 32-yard field goal attempt missed right. The Northwest offense, which gained 473 yards of total offense, sputtered in the red zone early. Two Tommy Frevert field goals in the first quarter, one from 29-yards and another from 28-yards, handed Northwest a 6-0 edge going into the second frame.
Two costly fumbles in the first half by Northwest killed two scoring opportunities. Both occurred inside the MSU 30-yard line. However, a blocked field goal by Northwest's Diezeas Calbert in the second quarter helped preserve the Northwest shut-out.
Junior Xavier Omon, who returned to the starting line-up after missing two games with injured ribs, found the endzone twice in the second and third quarters to give the Bearcats a 20-0 edge. Junior Josh Mathews then found junior Jon Goss from four yards out with 10 minutes left in the game to complete the scoring.
Omon finished with his 22nd career 100-yard rushing game with 100 yards on 27 carries (3.7 ypc). Mathews went 26-of-36 for 336 yards and one score. The top receivers were sophomore Kendall Wright (119 yards) and junior E.J. Falkner (73 yards).
MSU's Daniel Polk posted 82 rushing yards at the quarterback position and went 8-of-22 for 48 yards with one interception.
The Northwest defense had several key tacklers with seniors Thomas Smith, Ryan Waters and junior Jared Erspamer each posting five tackles overall. Cody Thompson came away with 16 total tackles to lead the Mustangs.
Coming into the contest, Northwest led the conference in turnover margin (+15). Today, the Bearcats were -2 and lost in that category for just the third time all season.
NOTES: Northwest leads the all-time series with MSU 3-0 -- it was the first meeting since the 1998 season ... Senior Ryan Waters set the all-time (all games) sack record at Northwest with 1.0 in the fourth quarter -- he now has 22.5 and passed Erik Petersen ... Northwest moves to 17-8 all-time in NCAA playoff action ... The Bearcats now own a eight-game home winning streak, tied for sixth longest at Northwest ... Northwest has never trailed in a game this season and has scored first in 13 straight dating back to 2005 ... Thanks to a late second quarter interception by Brandon Pratt, Northwest has now picked off at least one interception in 12 straight games.
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