Dec. 2, 2006
Bearcats Hold On For 28-21 Quarterfinal Win Over Chadron (Neb.) State
MARYVILLE -- Northwest Missouri State, the Southwest Region's top seed, set a playoff-record by allowing just 48 net rushing yards, and held the NCAA's most prolific rusher (all divisions) to a career-low 16 yards, en route to the 28-21 NCAA Quarterfinal win over Chadron (Neb.) State this afternoon (Dec. 2) from Bearcat Stadium. Northwest will now play Bloomsburg (Penn.), a 24-21 winner over Shepherd (W.V.) in the Northeast Region Final, on Sunday, Dec. 10. The time and site will be announced on Monday.
Northwest, who extends its home winning streak to nine straight, and improves to 13-0 on the year. Chadron, the region's No. 2 seed, ends its season at 12-1.
After Northwest went up by two touchdowns, 28-14 on a 21-yard catch by junior Mike Peterson late in the third quarter, the Eagles cut the lead in half. Quarterback Tyler Hidrogo, who entered in the fourth quarter, found Brady Hollaway from 37-yards out at the 4:45 mark in the fourth. Chadron, winners of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), drove the ball to the Northwest-40 before a 4th-and-1 pass attempt fell incomplete with :23 ticks left on the clock.
The Bearcats ran out the clock from there and earned the right to their fourth ever NCAA Semifinal contest on Dec. 10.
Chadron struck first on a Woodhead 43-yard touchdown reception at the 7:30 mark of the first. It was the first time all season (13 games) that Northwest has trailed in a game. But, Northwest knotted the score at 7-7 on the next possession on a 10-yard catch by junior Xavier Omon.
Two long touchdown runs by freshman Sheldon Cook and Omon staked the Bearcats to a 21-7 lead going into the half. Woodhead's second touchdown catch midway through the third quarter started the Chadron State comeback. Woodhead did go for 10 catches and 79 yards but was held to a career-low 16 yards on 16 rushes (1.0 ypc) -- he went for a net -8 rushing yards in the second half.
Omon finished with 158 rushing yards on 35 carries (4.5 ypc) and two touchdowns (1 rushing, 1 receiving). Junior E.J. Falkner led the Bearcat receivers going for three catches and 37 yards. Junior quarterback Josh Mathews, who departed for a brief time in the third quarter with a reported leg injury (left), was 13-of-19 passing for 125 yards and two scores.
Led by seven tackles, 1.0 sack, 2.0 tackles-for-loss and one fumble recovery by senior Kyle Kaiser, the Northwest defense broke a rushing record dating back to the 2004 playoff game against Texas A&M-Kingsville - the Javelinas tallied 57 for the previous low rushing total. Junior Jared Erspamer was one of four Bearcats to come away with seven tackles.
For Chadron, quarterback Joe McLain was 20-of-32, tossing two touchdowns and two interceptions. Defensively, Paul Schweger posted a team-best 10 tackles.
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