Sept. 15, 2007
Osborn Leads Northwest Past Missouri Western
ST. JOSEPH, Mo.-Northwest quarterback Joel Osborn, making his first career start, threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns to lead the 11th-ranked Bearcats to a 44-20 win over Missouri Western in front of a record crowd Saturday night at Spratt Stadium.
It was the MIAA opener for both teams. Northwest (1-1, 1-0 MIAA) improved to 12-2 in league openers under head coach Mel Tjeersdma. The Griffons (2-1, 0-1 MIAA) lost for the first time at home in 11 games. A capacity crowd of 9,007 was on hand for the contest.
Osborn led the Bearcats on four consecutive touchdown drives to start the game. His first touchdown pass, a 13-yard strike to high school teammate Greg Applegate, gave Northwest a 28-0 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
It was the first touchdown reception for Applegate, who attended Harlan Community High School with Osborn.
Xavier Omon had already rushed for three scores by the time Applegate reached the end zone.
Omon scored on runs of 4-, 1- and 4-yards. He carried 28 times for 120 yards in his seventh straight 100-yard effort. It was also the fifth time the senior has ran for three scores or more in a contest.
Northwest mustered 358 yards of total offense in the first half and led 28-7 at the break. Osborn was 16-of-20 in the first half for 259 yards and completed 19-of-26 passes for the game.
Missouri Western drove 89 yards on 15 plays and cut the lead to 28-14 on a 1-yard plunge by Thomas Hodges. Hodges ran for 56 yards on 14 carries to lead the Griffons.
Osborn answered on the ensuing possession with a 14-play, 73-yard drive capped by a 7-yard pitch-and-catch from Osborn to LaRon Council. Council carried four straight times on the drive for 25 yards. It was his second touchdown reception this season.
Tommy Frevert kicked a 42-yard field goal to make it 38-14 Northwest with 7:31 left to play. That tied a career long for Frevert, who made a 42-yard field against the Griffons in 2005. He kicked a game-winning 41-yard field to beat Missouri Western last season.
The Griffons final score came on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Barron Bradshaw to Andrew Mead. Mead caught seven passes for a game-high 125 yards and two touchdowns.
Missouri Western's attempt at an onside kick was spoiled by Caleb Obert, who recovered and sprinted 37 yards for his first career touchdown as a Bearcat. Northwest outscored the Griffons 16-6 in the fourth quarter.
Jared Erspamer had nine tackles and a sack to lead the Bearcat defense. Northwest outgained Missouri Western 489-293 in the contest. The Bearcats also had six sacks and forced three turnovers.
- First career start for Joel Osborn … set a new personal record with 287 passing yards (previous best of 80 set at Southwest Baptist on Nov. 11, 2006).
- First time Mike Peterson hasn't started since Nov. 26, 2005 vs. Pittsburg State.
- Caleb Obert records first career touchdown, returning a kickoff for 37 yards with 2:20 remaining in the game.
- Obert's kickoff return for a touchdown is Northwest's first since Sept. 7, 2002 (Gabriel Helms 94-yard return vs. Nebraska-Omaha).
- Tommy Frevert misses his first PAT in 30 attempts (not including one blocked PAT) since Nov. 4, 2006.
- Northwest is 17-10 against Missouri Western all-time - fourth straight win over the Griffons.
- 21 points in first quarter most since Nov. 11, 2006 against Southwest Baptist (21 points)
- Northwest has not trailed in a MIAA game since Oct. 29, 2005, vs. Pittsburg State in the Fall Classic.
- Northwest has won 13 straight MIAA road games.
- Second time Northwest scored on its opening possession this season.
- 489 total yards are the most on the road since Nov. 19, 2005 (494 vs. Washburn).
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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