Oct. 26, 2007
Homecoming With a Crown to Be Won
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Seventh-ranked Northwest Missouri State can capture its second consecutive MIAA championship in front of a homecoming crowd Saturday at Bearcat Stadium (1:30 p.m. CDT). The Bearcats (6-1) host second-place Washburn (6-2), winner in its last four. Northwest has won its last six.
The game holds significant championship and postseason implications. Northwest and Washburn enter the weekend ranked second and sixth, respectively in the region. A loss for the Ichabods will likely end their bid for the postseason. A win might secure it, and would pull Washburn into a tie atop the MIAA standings with two games left to play.
A win for the Bearcats moves the team closer to securing a first-round bye in the playoffs. It also gives Northwest a two-game lead in the MIAA, meaning the Bearcats would clinch at least a share of the league crown.
Northwest won last year's meeting 31-26 in Topeka and has won 12 of its last 13 against Washburn dating back to 1995. But the Ichabods were the last team to beat the Bearcats in Maryville, doing so 31-28 in 2005. Northwest has won 13 in a row at home since.
Washburn rides into Saturday's game having posted 71 points in its homecoming contest against Truman. Northwest, meanwhile, managed 17 in its seven-point win at Fort Hays State, a team with one win in league play this season.
Saturday's contest features two of the top rushing teams in the league. The Bearcats feature the nation's third-leading rusher in Xavier Omon, who's carried for 100 yards in all seven games and is averaging 158.6 yards this season. Ra'Shawn Mosley is averaging 108.5 yards per game for the Ichabods, who had three 100-yard rushers last weekend.
Northwest quarterback Josh Mathews practiced all week and is a game-time decision after suffering an arm injury against Fort Hays State. If he's unable to go, the Bearcats will hand the ball to Joel Osborn, who threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns in his start against Missouri Western earlier this season.
Following the game, Northwest will announce its homecoming Most Valuable Player. That student-athlete will be awarded the coveted Don Black Award, which has been presented every homecoming since 1972. Black was a running back for the Bearcats from 1951-53 and helped lead Northwest to an MIAA title in 1952.
Myles Burnsides became the third freshman to win the award last season after leading the Bearcats in tackles and posting an interception in a 59-point shut out victory against Fort Hays State.
News and Notes:
• Northwest has won 12 of its last 13 homecoming matchups, winning by an average of 32 points per game.
• Northwest has won 18 straight games against MIAA opponents dating back to 2005.
• Northwest has won 20 of its last 22 games since the start of the 2006 season.
• Northwest has outscored its opponents 113-16 in the first quarter and 192-52 in the first half this season.
• Northwest is 6-0 in conference play for the eighth time in 11 seasons. All eight 6-0 teams made it to 7-0.
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
email@example.com | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468