Oct. 20, 2007
Just Enough...Bearcats Outlast Tigers
HAYS, Kan.-On a day when its offense struggled to get going, Northwest got a season-high six sacks from its defense and stopped a late drive to beat Fort Hays State, 17-10, Saturday at Lewis Field. It was the Bearcats first trip to Hays since 1979. Northwest (6-1, 6-0 MIAA) mains one game ahead of Washburn, who visits Maryville next weekend.
Xavier Omon extended his streak of consecutive 100-yard efforts to 12 games and became the seventh player in Divison II history to rush for 1,000 yards in four seasons. He carried 27 times for 151 yards and scored his 19th and 20th touchdowns of the season. He's tied the program's regular season mark for touchdowns scored during the regular season.
Josh Mathews threw for a game-high 161 yards but was intercepted twice. The Bearcats committed three turnovers on the day and committed 10 penalties for 85 yards. Northwest had a 51-yard touchdown pass called back in the first half and a fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown wiped out by penalties.
Northwest still managed 200 yards rushing and 402 total yards of offense. The Tigers (3-5, 1-5) failed to run for 100 yards and were limited to 241 yards of total offense.
Joel Osborn was 4-for-5 for 41 yards in limited action for the Bearcats. He quarterbacked the team's third offensive series and led the Bearcats on a five-play, 53-yard touchdown drive. He completed passes to Josh Gannan for 10 yards and rolled out and found Mike Peterson for 22. A quick lateral to E.J. Falkner took Northwest to the 5-yard line and Omon went untouched through the left side for his first score.
The Tigers went three-and-out on their next possession and Northwest capitalized on a 25-yard field goal by Tommy Frevert. Gannan kept the drive alive with a third-down completion from Mathews. The Bearcats had 1st-and-10 from the 11-yard line before settling for three.
Another three-and-out by Fort Hays led to the Bearcats third score of the half. Omon capped an 11-play, 76 yard drive with a 4-yard run up the middle. It gave the Bearcats a 17-0 lead.
Fort Hays managed to score just before halftime. The Tigers converted a 4th-and-5 from the Northwest 38-yard line. Jordan Hickel later carried to the 1 before Ryne Salyer snuck in for a score. Hickel carried 21 times for 99 yards in the contest for Fort Hays.
The score was 17-10 when Fort Hays had the ball on its final drive of the game. Aldwin Foster-Rettig intercepted a tipped ball and raced 21 yards for what appeared to be the Bearcats fourth score. But a roughing-the-passer penalty gave the Tigers new life.
Caleb Dohrman recorded his second sack of the game on 3rd-and-10 moments later and Matt Robertson's open-field tackle on 4th-and-long sealed the win for Northwest. Omon carried five straight times for 23 yards to run out the clock.
In addition to its defense, Northwest got a great effort from freshman punter Michael Stadler. Stadler punted four times with a 41-yard average and twice pinned the Tigers inside their own 10-yard line. He booted a 52-yarder in the first quarter, which was one yard shy of his career long.
Robertson and Jared Erspamer each recorded nine tackles each. Chris Termini got his first career sack on a key third down in the fourth quarter. Brandon Clayton, Terry Bilbro and Dallas Flynn also recorded sacks for the Bearcats.
• Xavier Omon becomes the seventh player in Division II history to rush for 1,000 yards or more in four seasons.
• Tommy Frevert kicked a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter. It was his third 3-pointer this season and the 19th of his career. He's tied for the fourth most field goals made in Northwest history.
• Safety Chris Termini recorded his first career sack on a 3rd-and-4 in the fourth quarter.
• Northwest has won 18 straight MIAA games dating back to 2005.
• Northwest has won 10 straight road games against MIAA opponents.
• Northwest has outscored its opponents 113-16 in the first quarter this season (led Fort Hays 7-0).
• Northwest had six sacks in a game for the first time since its semifinal victory against Bloomsburg last season in Maryville.
• The Bearcats were scoreless in a half for the first time since their season-opener against Nebraska-Omaha.
• Northwest's 17 points is a season low.
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