Dec. 4, 2007
Northwest & Grand Valley Decade DominanceMARYVILLE -- Since 2000, Northwest Missouri State's and Grand Valley State's Division II football programs have chalked up four national titles, three runner-ups and 11 semifinal appearances. The Lakers have the longest current streak of consecutive playoff appearances with seven, while the Bearcats have missed just two postseason's in the past eight years - 2001 and 2003. To say that these teams have been the face of Division II football since 2000 would be like saying that the 2007 New England Patriots have a pretty good football team.
Even though this will be just the fourth overall meeting, the third in-a-row in the playoffs, between Grand Valley and Northwest, a heated postseason rivalry has blossomed into some great football games. In the last two meetings, the 2005 and 2006 Division II National Championships, Northwest had an opportunity to bust up the Lakers perfect season and grab a ring. In 2005, Northwest's drive came four yards short as Raphael Robinson was tackled when time expired, losing 21-17. The Bearcats started its last drive in 2006 on the Grand Valley 48-yard line trailing 17-14 with 1:32 left, but a fumble on the 21-yard line secured another Lakers victory.
Since 2000, Northwest or Grand Valley has been ranked No. 1 in the nation 77 percent (80-104) of the possible weeks, according to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Poll. Grand Valley leads the way with 68 weeks rated No. 1, while Northwest is second with 12 weeks atop the polls.
A Bearcat win would not only avenge the last two championship losses, but would snap Grand Valley's current 40-game winning streak. The Lakers have not felt defeat since Nov. 27, 2004 when North Dakota took down the Lakers 19-15 in the Division II quarterfinals. The Bearcats look to enter their third straight NCAA Division II National Championship game.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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