Nov. 3, 2007
Bearcats Beat Emporia State; Win MIAA Title Outright
EMPORIA, Kan. - (Box Score) Xavier Omon ran for 230 yards, 178 in the second half, and scored two touchdowns to lead sixth-ranked Northwest Missouri State to a 24-7 win against Emporia State Saturday at Welch Stadium.
The win gives Northwest its seventh outright MIAA title in the last 12 years. The Bearcats (8-1, 8-0 MIAA) have won eight games in a row overall, 20 in a row against league opponents and 13 straight against Emporia State (3-7, 1-7).
Omon's 230 yards is his second-highest total this season and the eighth-best performance in school history. It's the sixth time in his career he's surpassed the 200-yard mark. He's reached 100 yards in 13 straight games dating back to last season.
Omon became the 11th player in Division II history to rush for 6,000 yards and the fifth player to score 500 points. He's ran for 1,483 yards this season and needs 17 more to become the first student-athlete in Division II history to rush for 1,500 yards in four seasons.
Northwest outgained the Hornets 455-229 and its defense allowed just two drives of more than 27 yards. Three ESU drives were three-and-out.
Linebackers Matt Robertson and Jared Erspamer led the Bearcats with 12 and 10 tackles, respectively. Tyler Northway, Tommy Miller and Terry Bilbro had six tackles each. Erspamer and Northway each had a sack in the second half.
Northwest had minus-four yards rushing in a scoreless first quarter, but gained some momenum on tight end Mike Peterson's first and only carry of the game in the second quarter.
Peterson lowered his shoulder and powered 12 yards on a 1st-and-10 carry from the Northwest-44. Omon went virtually untouched on the next play for 39 yards down to the 5 and scored on the next play to give the Bearcats a 10-0 lead.
The Hornets answered with a 13-play, 84-yard drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock. Quarterback Eric Runge ran in on 3rd-and-2 for the score. The Bearcats were flagged four times for 43 yards during the drive.
The score remained 10-7 until the final minute of the third quarter when Omon scored from three yards out. A 19-yard pass from Joel Osborn to Peterson helped set up the score. Peterson caught five passes for 60 yards on the day, including a 8-yard touchdown reception late in the game.
Osborn got his second start of the season and matched Omon's total of 230 yards. He was 24-of-34 with a touchdown and four interceptions. Three of those came on passes that were tipped. On the possessions following the turnovers, Emporia State ran a combined 16 plays for 21 yards with zero points scored.
Kendall Wright tied his career high with nine catches and he finished with 86 yards. Abe Qaoud matched Peterson with five catches for 60 yards.
- Xavier Omon reached 500 career points with a touchdown at 7:15 remaining in the second quarter.
- It's his 13th straight game with a rushing touchdown.
- Omon ended the day with two touchdowns and 506 career points, the third highest career total in MIAA records. It was his third straight game with multiple rushing touchdowns.
- Omon tied the school all-games total touchdown mark with his 23rd and 24th season touchdowns. Tied with David Jansen (1999) and himself (2006).
- Omon needs 17 yards to become the first player in Division II to rush for 1,500 yards in four seasons. He rushed for 230 yards, the eighth highest total in game records.
- The 230 yards is his second-highest mark behind a 274-yard performance against Pittsburg State on Oct. 6, 2007.
- 178 yards came in the second half.
- The 230 yards is his third game this season with 200 or more rushing yards and sixth in his career.
- Omon rushed 100 of more yards for his 14th straight game.
- Became the fourth player in MIAA history to record more than 6,000 career rushing yards, standing with 6,219. He needs 93 to tie for third (Jarrett Anderson of Truman - 6,313)
- Joel Osborn reached 200 passing yards for the second time this season with 230 today.
- Set new career highs with 34 attempts (previous best: 26 vs. Missouri Western, Sept. 15, 2007) and 24 completions (previous best: 19 vs. Missouri Western, Sept. 15, 2007).
- Osborn started the second half with four straight pass completions, advancing the Bearcats 34 yards.
- Abe Qaoud set a new career high with five receptions - four were made in the first half.
- His 60 receiving yards is the most for him this season and puts him over 500 career receiving yards.
- Sheldon Cook's 33-yard kickoff return in the second quarter is the longest in his career (previous best: 30 vs. Nebraska-Omaha on Sept. 8, 2007).
- Kendall Wright's nine receptions tied his career high.
- Has recorded nine receptions twice before, the last time vs. Washburn on Oct. 14, 2006.
- Matt Robertson tallied double-digit tackles for the third time this season with 12 today, leading all players.
- Jared Erspamer recorded 2.5 tackles for loss, including a sack for a loss of four yards.
- Justin Welch recorded his first career forced fumble and fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
- Tyler Northway notched his first sack of the season and second of his career for a loss of 10 yards.
- Matched his first career sack on Sept. 30, 2006 against Missouri Southern, which was also for a loss of 10 yards.
- Northwest has won 13 straight games against the Hornets since 1995 and leads the overall series 22-2. The Bearcats have not lost in Emporia State since 1965.
- The Bearcats have won 21 straight MIAA games dating back to 2005 and have won 13 straight MIAA road contests since 2004.
- Northwest won outright its 21st MIAA title.
- First time Northwest has not scored in the first quarter this season.
- First time since Dec. 16, 2006 vs. Grand Valley State.
- First time in regular season since Oct. 28, 2006 vs. Central Missouri.
- The first scoring drive for the Bearcats was 5:59, the second-longest scoring drive this season (behind the season's first scoring drive of 7:22 against Nebraska-Omaha on Sept. 8).
- The touchdown at 7:15 in the second quarter is the latest scoring drive resulting in a touchdown this season.
- Northwest kept Emporia State to 111 yards of total offense at halftime and 229 throughout the game.
- The 229 yards on the road is the lowest since holding Washburn to 217 total yards of offense on Oct. 24, 2006.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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