Sept. 20, 2008
Hickory Stick Gets a Seventh Coat of Green
KIRKSVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State scored touchdowns on six consecutive drives spanning the first three quarters and totaled nearly 600 yards of offense in blanking Truman 49-0 Saturday at Stokes Stadium.
It was the 74th meeting of the Old Hickory Stick, the oldest traveling trophy in Division II football. Northwest will keep possession of the 30-inch piece of hickory for the seventh year in a row. The Bearcats have defeated the Bulldogs in 12 of 13 games dating back to 1996.
The game featured one turnover, but it opened the flood gates for Northwest.
Scoreless more than halfway through the first quarter, Truman had just crossed midfield and had a new set of downs when halfback Phil Kenney was stripped of the football. Sean Paddock scooped the loose ball for the Bearcats and scampered 54 yards down to the 6. Consecutive carries by LaRon Council gave Northwest its first score and a 7-0 lead.
The Bearcats would score on their next five possessions of the game leading into the third quarter and took a 42-0 lead on Joel Osborn's 8-yard touchdown toss to Kendall Wright midway through the third quarter.
Truman was outscored 35-0 in the first half and outgained 182-6 in the second. The Bulldogs ran 18 plays in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter that netted one yard. Truman's only first down of the half came on a questionable late hit out-of-bounds on third-and-long on the third play of the third quarter.
Twenty-six different players recorded a tackle for Northwest. Adam Vondrak led the team with six tackles. Ike Urum-Eke had four stops and recorded the Bearcats' only sack.
In addition to his first-half fumble return, Paddock got a hand on a punt midway through the third quarter. It was the second blocked kick for the Bearcats this season and 18th since the start of the 2006 campaign.
Northwest rushed for 212 yards and got two more scores from Council, the nation's leading scorer heading into this week's games. Previn Perry's only carry resulted in his first collegiate touchdown, a 10-yard counter run that followed Council's two scores and gave Northwest a 21-0 lead.
Osborn passed for 246 yards and tossed two of his three touchdowns in the first half. He finished 17-of-23 for 285 yards.
Raphael Robinson, Abe Qaoud and Wright each had touchdown receptions.
Robinson made a leaping grab in the end zone on his 22-yard touchdown from Osborn. It was Robinson's first touchdown since the 2006 national championship game against Grand Valley State. He missed nearly all of last season due to injury.
• Northwest has won seven consecutive games against Truman dating back to 2002 and 12 of 13 dating back to 1996.
• Northwest's last shutout came in a 27-0 win against Midwestern State in the 2006 NCAA playoffs.
• Northwest is 7-0 against Truman in Kirksville since the end of the 1994 season
• Northwest has won 14 consecutive road openers in MIAA play dating back to 1995.
• Northwest has won 21 consecutive MIAA games dating back to 2005.
• Truman leads the all-time series 54-30-4.
• Since the Hickory Stick was first awarded in 1931, Truman leads the all-time series 42-28-4 and has held the trophy in 44 of 78 years.
• Truman had five yards of total offense in the third quarter.
• Previn Perry scored his first collegiate touchdown on his first carry of the game, a 10-yard counter run in the second quarter that gave Northwest a 21-0 lead.
• Raphael Robinson scored his first touchdown since the 2006 championship game against Grand Valley State. Robinson missed nearly all of last season due to injury. He had 14 catches for 137 yards in three games entering tonight's contest.
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