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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Oct. 4, 2008

No. 6 Pittsburg State vs. No. 7 Northwest Missouri State

(7:26) - Another win for the Bearcats, their 23rd straight in league play. Sorry to leave you so abruptly, but me being the host gives me press conference duties (Myles, Ozzy and Wright will be there).

Thanks for joining me for another Saturday of Northwest football. Go Cats!

(7:22) - The clincher, a 25-yard touchdwon run by Council - his fourth! 24 carries, 144 yards - three shy of his career high.

(7:14) - Another jump ball by Smith, another Northwest INT. Myles Burnsides the captain! Second this season, seventh of his career. Time is running out on the Gorillas, 6:30 and counting. NW still with a 28-10 lead.

(7:11) - Interception Aldwin Foster-Rettig! His first of the season and third of his career. He positioned and outjumped Marquise Nelson on a jump ball near the goalline. Northwest goes 3-and-out. Nice 52-yard punt by Stadler from his own end zone.

(7:07) - Tonight's attendance 21,316 - the fourth-highest total in the 7-game history of the Fall Classic. Solid numbers on a night where Missouri and Nebraska collide in Lincoln.

(7:04) - There's a statement drive by the Bearcats! Third-and-4 and coach T puts all his confidence on the right side of his oline and LaRon Council. Three more touchdowns for the nation's leading scorer!

(7:02) - Osborn to Wright has never looked so good. They've been on the same page the whole game, but give credit where it's due. Osborn has had all day to throw the football. 11 catches 157 yards for Wright. (179 is his career high).

(6:57) - Just what Northwest needed to quiet the crowd, a hard-nosed run by Gregg into the heart of the PSU defense for 10 yards. That brings us to the end of the third quarter. (I think they just announced the Truman score to the crowd here).

Gregg is a senior who broke his leg during the preseason. He played sparringly at UNO, but has been the fullback for much of the game tonight and looks to be 100 percent. He's had a great game and I couldn't feel better that it's happening to a senior who's battled through a ton of injuries in his four years. Congratulations Brant!

(6:54) - Interesting choice to kick the field goal there. It was 4th-and-1 1/2 I'd say. I thought the momentum gained during the drive (mainly generated by Smith) would prompt a fourth-down attempt. Witter drilled the field goal to make it 21-10. 48 seconds left in the 3rd.

(6:50) - Getting chippy between Northwest defensive backs and PSU receivers. The Gorillas are looking to throw a little more often and even worked in a reverse pass that was slightly overthrown. Well defended by the Bearcats.

(6:45) - A second pick for Ozzy spoils a five-minute drive for the Bearcats. He had plenty of time, but Ferrari Welch baited him into making the throw and stepped right in front of the Northwest tight end.

(6:39) - 8 catches for 107 yards for Wright. He's had a terrific day on offense and special teams. His career high for receptions is 9. Then a terrific burst up the middle by Council, who's keeping the linebackers honest on this drive.

(6:36) - First turnover comes on a pick by Morgan the linebacker. Ozzy hit him right in the chest. 22-yard run back to midfield. Good stand by the defense though and a pooch punt by the backup quarterback pins Northwest at the 2.

(6:30) - Northwest gets the ball to start the half...let's get it on!

Bearcat drive looks bleak until Osborn is given a minute to stand in the pocket and find Wright wide open for 21 yards. Another blitz that failed to get to Osborn.

(6:25) - New web site up and running by the MIAA that you should check out. Looks pretty sharp. I like the banner at the top of the page and video board in the middle. Newberry has no comment worth mentioning though he seems pleased the process is over.

(6:20) - Tough to get a good feel of the crowd as it's pretty muted here in the press box. I'm also staring at the PSU fans, which could play a factor. Both bands have taken the field and I've noticed the KC camera men have focused more on the steppers than the band. I see him down there and it looks like he has a good view of the action. Nice routine steppers!

(6:15) - First half stats:
First Downs, 6 (PSU), 10 (NW)
Rush-Yds, 19-53 (PSU), 18-62 (NW)
Pass Yds, 52 (PSU), 120 (NW)
Turnovers: none
Penalties, 2-10 (PSU), 4-26 (NW)

(6:12) - I thought Osborn and the Northwest offense whethered the storm in the first half. I thought PSU was aggressive with a lot of blitzes. Ozzy isn't known for running around much and even though he took two sacks, he didn't turn the ball over under pressure and got his receivers involved early.

The defensive line had a great first half, but it's a different story when they can't create a push. If Smith doesn't have to pitch it early, his full arsenal becomes available. He can pitch or fake-pitch pull down and sprint for 40.

(6:06) - Good first half of play, much different from the 10-10 halftime score of last year's contest. That game, however, did produce more than 50 second-half points. The Bearcats are 116-11 when leading at the half under Tjeerdsma.

There's no doubt that Pitt is a dangerous team. Smith's play on that last drive of the half proved that to everyone. It will take 30 minutes of solid football to win this one.

Quick first half, little more than an hour of play. It certainly feels like it's gone fast, but it doesn't necessarily feel like a quick pace. Lost on completions and solid run games are to blame.

(6:00) - The streak came to an abrupt halt and Mark Smith was the culprit. His fake option pitch netted 32 yards, he then rolled out and threw back across the field to a wide open tight end down to the 2. He then hit Kush in stride for the score. Witter makes this one and it's 21-7. 1:45 remaining in the first half.

(5:51) - Council caps another Northwest drive and this time he didn't need to follow anyone. The O-line cleared the way and Council went again untouched for six yards and six points. 21-0 Northwest.

Northwest on a 127-0 run in its last 11 quarters. Unbelievable!

(5:48) - I spoke briefly of Bolles last week and with that dart up the middle he gets a mention again. Terrific speed, great playcall on 3rd-and-7. And then another "wow" from the media on his scramble and tip-toe of the sidelines for another Bearcat..."First Down!"

(5:46) - Speaking of playmakers, how about Paddock and Shade on that sack of Smith who had no chance of doing much of anything. Then Wright with a 29-yard return and the Bearcats are in business in PSU territory.

(5:42) - The O-line was deserving of all the credit last week, but give it to the Northwest playmakers on that drive. Ozzy, Council, Robinson, Wright and for the TD, Rhodes. Great job of getting open. Great job of hitting them in stride.

(5:40) -Thanks for making me sound good Ozzy! First man wasn't open, pulled it down, forced to scramble and somehow found Nick Rhodes standing wide open in the end zone. 14-0 Northwest!

(5:37) - First start at the classic for Ozzy and I like what I've seen so far. 10-of-13 for 99 yards. Great timing route with Wright over the middle for a first down into Gorilla territory. A third-and-long completion to Robinson wide open at the PSU 30.

(5:35) - Interesting, the Gorillas opt to pass on 4th-and-1 and it looks more like a broken play. Smith is alone without a pocket and Martin and Wilmes are there for the sack.

(5:32) - Live stats should be updated now Brandon, thanks for looking out for me.

Pitt is answering with a drive of its own. Mostly on the ground and mostly for short yardage, but enough to move the change. Solid tackling by the Bearcats thus far. The middle is really forcing Pitt to run to the outside.

(5:22) - What a block by Tom Pestock. Council took it at the five, put a hand on Pestock's shoulder and followed him nearly untouched up the middle and into the end zone. 12 plays, 71 yards, 5:11. 7-0 Bearcats.

(5:18) - Good drive working here mainly through the air. Four different receivers thus far for Ozzy.

(5:16) - I'm seeing lots of blitzes and they've been fairly effective. Osborn has had to scramble quite a bit to get his pass off. Fortunately the cross routes are open and Osborn's finding them. First catch of the season for Josh Gannan! Great to have you back 84.

(5:13) - Another option team this week in PSU and the Bearcat defense is 2-for-2 in stopping the Gorillas. Sean Paddock forces Smith to pitch early, Farabi stuffed by Clayton the corner. Northwest O back on the field.

(5:09) - Love the view from here. I have stats to the left of me, an announcer to my right and video replay right in front of me. The press have huddled in the middle of the press box. Matt Newbery, the MIAA SID is in row 2 already working hard on his "Truman upsets UNO" release.

(5:03) - Tackle for loss by Burnsides, stuff up the middle, false start and a Tyler Northway sack. Yep, the Bearcats and their crowd have arrived.

(5:02) - Let's get it on! The Fall Classic VII is underway!

(4:59) - Pick 6 and Truman has beaten UNO in double overtime. I'm literally speechless.

On another note, Northwest won the toss, differed and will kick to the Gorillas.

(4:57) - Northwest enters and then a terrific national anthem played in unison by both teams bands. Lots of fireworks and booms and the crowd is ready to go.

Not many people in the end zones, but plenty in the stands. I must say the Bearcats entrance to the field was quite a bit louder than PSU's. The press box is on the Northwest side and obviously I'm biased so take that for what it's worth.

(4:53) - PSU just ran through the tunnel and their seniors are now being called one-by-one.

This is the seventh year of the fall classic, but it's still such a thrill for Northwest players. There's always those that are seeing Arrowhead for the first time. Some have stood on the sidelines, but are dressing or will be playing on the field for the first time today.

(4:47) - Nebraska-Omaha and Truman in overtime? Masucci (TSU kicker) a 42-yarder to force and then a 49-yarder on the first possession of OT. Special Teams player of the week? I think I'm on the committee this week.

(4:42) - We're 20 minutes from kickoff and it's time for a few notes on today's game. The Bearcats have won 4 of the 6 classics. Mel Tjeerdsma is 10-6 all-time against PSU. This is the eighth time in the last 15 meetings that PSU and Northwest are ranked in the top 10.

(4:38) - At least the PSU marching band is decked out in red. As far as the teams, the Gorillas will be wearing their white pants with their traditional white jerseys and red helmets. Their numbers are red with a yellow outline. Northwest is wearing it's home green-on-green with green helmets and white numbers.

(4:35) - PSU has cleared the field, but the Bearcats are freshning up on their plays inside the 10. There's quite a few white shirts gathering in the seats behind the PSU bench and plenty of green on the Northwest side. I wonder when the Pittsburg State fans will arrive...

(4:29) - Dr. Bob and President Hubbard just took a peak inside the press box. Dr. Hubbard and Pitt State president Tom Bryant will be honored in a special ceremony before today's game and both will walk out with their respective teams captains for the opening coin toss. Congratulations to both presidents, who will retire at the end of this academic year.

(4:25) - Big shout out to Coach Tracy Hoza and our soccer team, who continued the shalacking of the Mavericks by upsetting the fourth-ranked team in the nation 2-1 back in Maryville. Another shout out to Tim, an intern in the UNO SID office who covered the game for me so I could be here nice and early.

(4:20) - What a huge recruiting tool for both teams this game is. I saw what must've been a group of 75-100 recruits and family members soaking it all in. I'm sure they took the same route that I did while walking around. Their final pit stop was in the Big Theatre (Chiefs' media room) where Northwest coaches (including Tjeerdsma) were scheduled to speak.

(4:13) - Got a chance to take the tour of the stadium after we arrived this afternoon. This is the first year the Bearcats have been placed in the Kansas City Chiefs locker room. I caught most of our players lounging in the huge amount of space the room provides.

The Chiefs had already moved all of there stuff when we held the press conference here Monday. Coach Tjeerdsma and I couldn't help but sneak a peek before we headed back to Maryville.

(4:08) - Northwest is the home team for this year's game, which means my staff will be the official scorers. Typically that means I'm behind the computer, but Jared gets the job today so I can chat with you all.

Last week's blog got more than 10,000 page views in the three days it was up and was the our fifth-highest viewed page for the entire month of September. A huge thank you to all who logged in last weekend. As always, your commments and questions are appreciated.

(4:00) - Just spoke with Dan Roberts, the stadium announcer for the Chiefs. He'll be in the booth for today's game as he has for most if not all of the Fall Classics thus far. Fred Gruhn, another verteran for the Chiefs, will be in the seat to my right announcing the plays over the speakers in the press box.

(3:57) - Plenty of construction still outside the stadium, but inside everything looks great. This year's Fall Classic logo is at midfield (photo on our web site). Northwest is painted in green with white trim in the end zone to my left (west). Pitt State is in red letters, yellow trim to my right (east end zone).

(3:40) - Couple of quick notes for our fans, MIAA TV will not be available, but live stats will be. My graduate assistant just completed the setup and we should be good to go for the opening kick.

As for the reason for no MIAA TV, I'm told the computer's assigned to the conference schools to run MIAA TV are assigned a single port so it's not possible to move the equipment from one location to another. (We have two setups on campus, one for football and one for basketball because of this)

(3:35) - Good afternoon sports fans and welcome to the Fall Classic at Arrowhead VII from Kansas City. I'm Bryan Boettcher the sports information director at Northwest Missouri State and I'll be giving you my observations from the press box of Arrowhead Stadium.

It's a perfect day at the stadium. The sun is shining high and the temperature is in the upper 70s. A crowd of more than 20,000 is expected on hand to witness a battle for sole possession of first place in the MIAA.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
sid@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

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