Sept. 3, 2009
Northwest Battles Southwest Baptist Tonight
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Plaster Stadium in Bolivar, Mo., will play host to the Battle of the Bearcats as the eighth-ranked green Bearcats from Northwest take on the purple Bearcats of Southwest Baptist. Game time is 6 p.m.
Both teams are coming off season-opening losses from last Thursday. Northwest lost 19-14 at nationally-ranked Abilene Christian while Southwest Baptist fell 39-28 at Central Missouri. Southwest Baptist led 28-20 late in the third quarter and 28-26 heading into the fourth. Northwest surrendered nine points while its defense was on the sidelines.
Both teams outgained their opponents in terms of total yards last week. It was just the 10th time under head coach Mel Tjeerdsma that Northwest lost after netting more yards (122-10). Southwest Baptist quarterback Steven Gachette accounted for 371 of the Bearcats' 500 total yards. He passed for 339 yards on 23-of-48 passing and tossed two touchdowns against no interceptions.
Gachette passed for 236 yards and three touchdowns against Northwest last year, but it wasn't nearly enough. The green Bearcats scored touchdowns on nine of 11 possessions and won easily, 63-28, in Maryville.
Northwest and Southwest Baptist have met each year since 1988 and to say the series has been one sided is an understatement. Northwest has won the series' last 14 games and by an average of nearly 40 points. In fact, the green Bearcats have scored at least 35 first-half points in each of the last four meetings.
Northwest has outrushed Southwest Baptist 1,203-230 in the last four meetings. Bearcat running back LaRon Council carried 22 times for 117 yards and three touchdowns in last year's contest when eight different Northwest players combined to rush for 316 yards.
Northwest hasn't lost back-to-back games to start a season since 1995 and hasn't dropped two straight during the regular season since 2001. Even better, the team has won 12 and 13 consecutive games following season-opening losses in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
Linebacker Willie Horn had three sacks and a game-high 10 tackles in last week's loss to Abilene Christian. Northwest had five sacks in the game and allowed just 164 yards to the Wildcats. Southwest Baptist sacked Central Missouri four times and had six tackles-for-loss. Shawn Kilduff and Jarred Schumpert had 11 and 10 tackles, respectively, to lead the purple Bearcats.
Northwest quarterback Blake Bolles goes for his first win as a starter and running back LaRon Council hopes to reach the end zone for the first time in 2009. Council found paydirt 36 times in 2008.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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