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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Sept. 19, 2008

Northwest, Truman Dual For Old Hickory Stick

Game Notes (.pdf)

MARYVILLE, Mo.-The Battle for the Old Hickory Stick, the oldest traveling trophy in Division II, will write its 74th chapter at 7 p.m. Saturday at Stokes Stadium as ninth-ranked Northwest Missouri State (2-1, 1-0 MIAA) takes on Truman (1-1, 0-1) in Kirksville, Mo.

The rivalry, which first added the prize of the Old Hickory Stick in 1931, has been considerably one-sided as of late. The tip of the stick has seen six coats of green paint applied since 2002. Northwest has won 11 of the last 12 meetings of the series and have outscored the Bulldogs by an average of 20 points in that span.

In addition to its six-game winning streak against Truman (the longest in the 100-year history of the series), Northwest has won the last six meetings in Kirksville. The Bulldogs haven't defended their home turf since 1994.

Speaking of turf, Truman has completed its addition of the surface, which made its debut last week in a 31-28 loss to Central Missouri. The Bulldogs passed for more than 400 yards, but rushed for just three in the contest.

Matt Ticich passed for 379 yards and two touchdowns for Truman, but a costly fourth-quarter interception turned into seven points and gave the Mules a 31-21 advantage with five minutes left to play.

Ticich threw for 118 yards in a 53-6 loss to Northwest in Maryville last season. The Bulldogs didn't commit a turnover, but were outgained by the Bearcats 526-176. Xavier Omon rushed for 117 yards and scored a program-record five touchdowns to lead Northwest.

The loss of Omon has put more reliance on the passing game and quarterback Joel Osborn. Northwest leads the MIAA in passing with 291 yards per game while Osborn ranks 14th nationally in passing yards.

Northwest has responded from its season-opening loss to Abilene Christian by averaging more than 50 points in getting to 2-1. The Bearcats haven't scored less than 31 points in Kirksville in 12 years and are 109-6 under head coach Mel Tjeerdsma when reaching 28.

Notes of the Old Hickory Stick:

The history of the Old Hickory Stick dates back to 1930 when Northwest president Dr. Uel Lamkin sent Truman president Dr. Eugene Fair a piece of wood found on the very farm where Fair was born, located within the Northwest Missouri State school district. The stick had been turned in to the woodworking shop at Northwest and the lettering on the stick listed the scores of every football game between the two institutions from 1908 to 1930.

  • Northwest earned first possession of the stick following its 7-0 win in 1931
  • Truman leads the all-time series 42-27-4 (73 games) and has held the trophy in 44 of 77 years
  • The two teams did not play from 1942-45 due to World War II

Other News and Notes:

  • Truman leads the all-time series 54-29-4
  • Northwest has won 20 consecutive MIAA games dating back to the 2005 Fall Classic at Arrowhead Stadium
  • With nine touchdowns in three games, Northwest running back LaRon Council leads the nation in scoring (18 ppg)

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

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