Aug. 30, 2012
Northwest defense smothers Tigers in 33-3 win
MARYVILLE, Mo. – A solid defensive effort paved the way for a 33-3 season-opening win for the 3rd-ranked Northwest Missouri State football team Thursday night against East Central (Okla.) in nonconference action from Bearcat Stadium.
The Bearcats battled hard to move to 1-0 on the year while the Tigers fell to 0-1. Northwest will have nine days before opening MIAA play at Central Missouri Sept. 8.
After a record-setting season on offense in 2011, the defense answered the bell only allowing a 32-yard field goal. The Bearcat defense held ECU to only 48-yards on the ground and picked-off the Tigers three times.
Northwest jumped on the board after Brandon Dixon’s first interception of the night was tipped to Eric Reimer who raced 55-yards – setting up the Bearcats’ first score. One play later, Trevor Adams would punch it in from 3-yards out putting Northwest up 7-0.
The Bearcats would put together their longest drive marching 80-yards in six plays. Jordan Simmons scored his first touchdown from the one yard line as Northwest took a 14-0 lead into the break.
East Central picked up its only points of the night as a seven-play drive stalled at the Bearcat 30-yard line. However, Brian Gonzalez drilled a 32-yard field goal for the Tiger’s lone points.
The Northwest defense locked in as Brandon Dixon picked-off his second ECU pass and raced 38-yards to give the Bearcats a 24-3 lead.
A bad snap from ECU went through the Tigers’ end-zone giving Northwest two more points and 26-3 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
After the Bearcats forced the ECU safety, Trevor Adams would find Bryce Young with a shovel pass on the Bearcat’s first play from scrimmage. Young then raced 53-yards for the game’s final score, giving Northwest a 33-3 lead.
Adams finished 12-of-27 for 201 yards and two touchdowns, one through the air and one on the ground.
However after the final whistle, it was the Northwest defense that highlighted the season-opening win. Picking off ECU three times and adding three sacks Northwest held the Tigers to just under 300-yards of total offense. DJ Gnader led Northwest with 10 tackles while Brandon Dixon added seven tackles to his two interceptions.
“We have really hit it hard during practice, so it was kind of like slow motion,” Dixon said of the defenses’ solid play.
Starting his second season at the helm of the Bearcats, Dorrel was pleased with the way the defense picked up the offense.
“I’d rather have a game like tonight where the offense struggles,” Dorrel said. “Defense is what wins championships and we have a really good foundation.”
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