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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Oct. 6, 2007

Omon's Fifth Touchdown Beats PSU in OT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - (Box Score) Xavier Omon's 1-yard leap into the end zone on fourth-and-goal gave Northwest Missouri State a 37-34 overtime win over Pittsburg State in front of 19,103 fans at the Fall Classic at Arrowhead VI. Omon carried 34 times for a career-high 274 yards and five touchdowns.

Northwest (4-1, 4-0 MIAA) improves to 4-2 all-time in the Fall Classic, claiming victories in the last two meetings.

Pittsburg State (4-2, 2-2) received the kickoff but lost possession five plays later when Chris LeFlore notched his third career interception at the Gorilla 34-yard line. The Bearcats couldn't score on the possession as Geoff Tisdale blocked a 34-yard field goal attempt and returned the ball 19 yards to the Bearcat 43-yard line.

The play led to a 10-yard touchdown run by Gorilla quarterback Mark Smith for the game's first score. It was the first time Northwest had trailed in an MIAA contest since the 2005 Fall Classic.

Omon and the Bearcats answered on their ensuing possession. Omon carried 29 yards on the first play. Josh Mathews shovel passed to Kendall Wright for 24 yards down to the 1-yard line later in the drive. Omon leaped in the end zone from there to tie the game at 7-7.

Pittsburg went three-and-out on its next possession and Northwest drove to the Pittsburg State 27-yard line. Tommy Frevert nailed a career-long 44-yard field goal to give the Bearcats their first lead, 10-7.

A Northwest fumble in the second quarter led to a 20-yard field goal by Jared Witter. The Gorillas had first-and-goal from the two, but was unable to get in on three runs by Smith. Chris Termini, LeFlore and Jared Erspamer each had stops for Northwest. Erspamer tied his career-high with 11 tackles in the first half.

The Bearcats opened three-and-out on their first possession of the second half. Justin Farabi took an option pitch on the Gorillas first play and raced 43 yards untouched for a touchdown. It was Farrabi's 10th touchdown of the season.

Jason Northern intercepted a Mathews pass on the next Northwest drive, but the Gorillas couldn't find the end zone and missed a 39-yard field goal attempt wide right.

Omon recorded five carries when the Bearcats regained possession, including a 4-yard run for his second touchdown with 6:05 remaining in the third quarter.

The Gorillas took over with 3:35 left in the third quarter on their own 33-yard line. Thirteen plays and 6:12 later, Farabi scored from 1-yard out to push Pittsburg State to a 24-17 lead with 12:23 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Bearcats answered back with five straight rushing plays following the kickoff, four from the legs of Omon, to score two minutes later tying the game at 24. Northwest forced a Gorilla punt on the next possession, which allowed Omon to record a 63-yard touchdown run and a 31-24 lead with 7:36 left to play.

The Gorillas drove 62 yards on seven plays following the kickoff as Farabi scored on his third rushing touchdown to tie the game at 31-31.

Northwest was forced to punt, allowing the Gorillas to regain the ball with 2:07 left in play. Pittsburg State drove 58 yards to the Bearcat-14, setting up for a field goal by Witter that missed wide left as time expired. The 31-31 score at the end of regulation forced the first overtime contest between the two teams in school history.

Pittsburg State started overtime on offense, advancing to the Bearcat-15 before suffering an illegal procedure call and a Bearcat sack, pushing the Gorillas back to the Bearcat-25. Witter converted on a 42-yard attempt to give the Gorillas a 34-31 lead.

Sheldon Cook saw three straight rushes in overtime for 12 yards to take Northwest to the Gorilla-10. A completion from Joel Osborn to Josh Gannan took the Bearcats to the Gorilla-5. Omon converted on a fourth-and-inches play and rushed the ball the next four snaps and eventually converted on a fourth-and-goal on the Gorilla-1 to record his fifth touchdown of the game to seal a 37-34 Northwest victory.

Omon's 274 rushing yards are the third highest mark in school history. He moved into fourth in MIAA career scoring lists with 30 points, surpassing Truman's Jarrett Anderson with 476 points.

Erspamer finished with a career-high 16 tackles, while Matt Robertson contributed 13 and Terry Bilbro recorded 10. Northwest notched nine tackles-for-loss, with Robertson leading the Bearcats with three.

Northwest returns to Bearcat Stadium on Oct. 13, welcoming Central Missouri for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Team Notes

  • Northwest is 4-2 at Arrowhead Stadium.
  • Northwest is 8-0 when ranked No. 9.
  • Northwest is 18-21 when playing Pittsburg State, winning the past three meetings.
  • Mel Tjeerdsma is 10-6 against Pittsburg State all-time.
  • Both teams have been nationally ranked in 13 of the last 14 meetings, with Northwest holding a 9-4 record in those contests
  • Northwest has won 15 straight MIAA contests, with the last loss coming to Pittsburg State at Arrowhead in 2005.
  • Northwest trailed for the first time in MIAA play since 2005 when Pittsburg State took an early 7-0 lead.
  • It is the first time this season Northwest did not score on its opening drive.
  • Northwest held PSU to 4 yards passing in the first half.
  • In six games at Arrowhead, 135,269 fans have watched the Fall Classic.
  • The last overtime game for Northwest was Aug. 25, 2005 where the Bearcats defeated Minnesota State 24-21.
  • It was the first ever overtime game between Northwest and Pittsburg State.

Individual Notes

  • Xavier Omon has rushed for over 100 yards in ten straight games.
  • The 274 yards for Omon is a career-high and places him third all-time on the Northwest single game rushing record.
  • It's the fourth time in Omon's career he has rushed for over 200 yards.
  • It's the ninth straight game Omon has scored a touchdown.
  • With Omon's third touchdown, he moved into fourth in MIAA scoring with 452 points passing Jarrett Anderson (1993-96 - Truman - 446).
  • It's the fourth straight multi-Touchdown game for Omon and the second time this season he has scored five touchdowns.
  • Chris LeFlore's interception was the third of his career.
  • The 44 yard FG by Tommy Frevert was a career long.
  • Jared Erspamer broke a career-high in tackles with 16, 11 coming in the first half.
  • Terry Bilbro also broke a career-high in tackles recording 10.
  • The 13 tackles for Matt Robertson is a season-high.
  • Kendall Wright has caught a pass in 21 straight games dating back to 2005.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
sid@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468