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  • #91
    Originally posted by NWFanatic View Post
    The key is how NW plays. GV appears to be a juggernaut this year and I suspect they’ll make few mistakes. NW needs to do the same.

    NW Offense needs to limit putting the defense behind the 8 ball due to penalties, turnovers & play calling. They needs to sustain some drives to give the defense a rest.

    Defense needs to contain(scrambling QB have hurt NW in the past) hassle and hurry the GV QB and limit long passes. They need to avoid penalties and win the TO battle.

    Special teams needs to make all their PAT/FG attempts, make good punts and limit kick returns.
    It would’ve been easier to just say NW needs to play a perfect game.


    • #92
      Holy shibby!!!! GVSU takes on NWMSU in only 12 hours!!! I should get some sleep.


      • #93
        Nice article by NW Missourian Sports Editor Wesley Miller.

        Playoff rivalry to be renewed between Northwest football, Grand Valley State

        WESLEY MILLER | Sports Editor | @wesleymiller360

        Northwest football redshirt freshman defensive back Mayes Doggan knocks the ball away from Ouachita Baptist sophomore wideout Tucker Swboda. The Bearcats won 47-17 over the Tigers Nov. 19 and advanced to the seventh all-time matchup with Grand Valley State in the playoffs.

        The second round of the Division II football playoffs pins two teams together with a storied history, especially in similar moments. Northwest football and Grand Valley State have met six times in the playoffs during the 21st century.

        The Bearcats are 4-2 over the Lakers in those matchups. Three of those meetings have been for the ultimate prize — the national championship.

        Grand Valley defeated Northwest in the 2005 and 2006 title games, but Northwest has gotten its revenge. The Bearcats have earned victories over the Lakers in the 2007 semifinals, 2013 playoffs on the way to the team’s fourth national championship and in the first round of the 2018 postseason. Most notably, though, Northwest defeated Grand Valley 30-23 Dec. 12, 2009, for the 2009 National Championship.

        The two teams will write a new edition to the rivalry Nov. 26 in Allendale, Michigan, in the second round of the playoffs and for a chance to move onto the Super Region Three title game.

        While coach Rich Wright wasn’t at the helm of the program for all of those wins, he was part of the Northwest staff.

        “It’s always kind of fun to play Grand Valley because when you’re playing them, you’re playing for something,” Wright said. “They’re such a great program and have a phenomenal history, just like we do, and it’s hard for me to not be a little reflective.”

        Aside from the times both squads met in the postseason, the Bearcats (10-2) and Lakers (11-0) are two of the most successful playoff teams in Division II. Northwest has the record for national titles with six, but Grand Valley isn’t far behind at third all-time with four championships, all in between 2000-10.

        Northwest has the record for most playoff appearances with 26, while Grand Valley is tied for second with 21. The Bearcats also have the record for longest streak of playoff appearances with an active 18 consecutive berths. Previously, the Lakers held the record with 10 straight playoff selections starting in 2001.

        Matt Mitchell has personally seen his fair share of the history between Northwest and Grand Valley as the Lakers’ coach for the past 12 years.

        “The tradition of this football game, I think, carries through to this contest,” Mitchell said. “You’re talking about two highly successful, competitive programs where there’s a lot of mutual respect in all of the games I’ve been involved in, and I don’t think it’s gonna be any different here.”

        Mitchell said both teams have great sportsmanship, which comes from how the two programs are run and for the respect both teams have for each other.

        When the two programs match up at 12 p.m. (CT) Nov. 26, it’ll be the fourth time the Lakers come into the game as the No. 1 team in the country, while Northwest comes in at No. 8. The Bearcats are 1-2 in the previous three times. Northwest’s only road win against the top-ranked team in the nation was during the team’s playoff run to the 2009 national title over Central Washington Nov. 28, 2009.

        Northwest sophomore linebacker Andrew Dumas said for him the eye test means more than rankings.

        “For me, personally, I go on a week-to-week basis, and I don’t look at rankings, I look at what I see,” Dumas said. “What I see is the scout film on them and if I deem them a good team — I don’t care what anybody says about them — if I deem them a good team, I’m really excited to play them. … I deem them as the top team we’ve seen and everybody that we’re going to play up to this point, I’m going to deem them as the top team we’ve seen. That’s the mentality you got to have in the playoffs because you cannot relax. There’s no room to relax because if you do, you’re gone and that’s the season.”

        In the first round of the playoffs Nov. 19, Northwest went up against the No. 4 rushing team in the nation in Ouachita Baptist. In the 47-17 win for the Bearcats, they held the Tigers to a mere 18 rushing yards.

        For the second round, Northwest’s No. 1 rush defense, allowing 52.8 yards per contest, will go against the No. 8 rush offense in Grand Valley. Heading into the game, the Lakers are averaging 241.1 rushing yards per game.

        Wright said it’s another challenge and more than just the defense is going to have to be ready to play the No. 1 team in Division II. Mitchell said his team is going to also be prepared for going against the top rush defense.

        “I don’t know if exciting is the right word. ‘Sleepless’ may be a better descriptor,” Wright said. “... You get to this point in the season, and you got four teams left in the region, everybody’s pretty good. We just have to put them on their heels a little bit, find a way to run the football and create plays.”

        “I mean, we’re excited for the opportunity and challenge,” Mitchell said. “You’re Grand Valley State, you don’t run away from things, you attack things head-on. They got the No. 1 rushing defense in America, and we really respect that, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. We’re going to run the ball, it’s gotten us to 11-0 and No. 1 in the nation.”

        The Lakers will have home field advantage when the Bearcats make the roughly 633-mile trip to Allendale. Grand Valley’s Lubbers Stadium can fit 10,444 fans, which has helped the team to an eight-game win streak at home.

        Dumas said he remembers practicing there ahead of Northwest’s 2021 playoff game against Ferris State. He said the thought of the stadium stuck to his brain, and he’s going to do his best to create energy for everybody else.

        “I was like, ‘I can’t wait to play these dudes. I don’t know when it’s gonna happen, but I cannot wait,’” Dumas said. “I’m playing for my brothers, I’m playing for our team, I’m playing for everybody. So those big crowds, they haven’t been a factor for me. … So, as soon as we get the energy rolling, it’s gonna be like the crowd is not even there. We’re just gonna go.”

        “Just to be in those environments is exciting and you kind of thrive in that,” Wright said. “That’s why you play this; that’s why you do this. Whether it be Arrowhead Stadium, whether it be Sporting KC, all the venues we’ve played in over the years, it doesn’t really matter which side that crowd is cheering on. It adds some juice, and it adds some energy.


        • #94
          Good article but don't expect a big crowd today. Probably 3 to 4 thousand since the students are on a holiday break and there is a big game in Columbus at noon EST. The last time we played a home game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving the attendance was barely 3000. And under the NCAA's neutering policy, the atmosphere will be unremarkable.


          • #95
            At 10:00 am it’s 8 degrees warmer in Allendale than in Maryville. Hope NW players can adapt to the heat😎.
            Gonna be great football weather


            • #96
              Originally posted by 4nick8 View Post
              Good article but don't expect a big crowd today. Probably 3 to 4 thousand since the students are on a holiday break and thereers is a big game in Columbus at noon EST. The last time we played a home game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving the attendance was barely 3000. And under the NCAA's neutering policy, the atmosphere will be unremarkable.
              The holiday break is bad enough to get fans in the stands, but that Ohio State-Michigan game will be brutal on Lubbers Stadium today.


              • #97
                Good luck to the Bearcats.

                That was more painful than a root canal.

                Hide your Turkeys, Lakers. Y'all don't even wanna know what they do to them.


                • #98
                  Originally posted by ZubCat81 View Post
                  Drove by Lamkin Bearcat Arena on the NW campus tonite. Light was still on in HC Wright's office ... and players milling around outside out front. I slowed to a stop to ask them what was up. Said Wright and Tjeerdsma had been up there in the office all night talking about gameday NW going up to GV this coming Saturday. Said they haven't been able to stop laughing. I just smiled and drove off for home.
                  Well maybe the God of Bearcat football will show this sub par coaching staff how to beat them.god knows they can't figure it out for them selfs.time for a new head coach


                  • #99
                    Why is the streaming making me pay for the game? I thought playoff games were always free of charge.
                    Once a Bearcat, Always a Bearcat!


                    • Braden Wright playing QB? Is Hohensee hurt?


                      • BW throws a pick


                        • Originally posted by Bearcat1986 View Post
                          Braden Wright playing QB? Is Hohensee hurt?
                          He’s been sick all week.


                          • Originally posted by Bearcat1986 View Post
                            Braden Wright playing QB? Is Hohensee hurt?
                            Yes, has had the flu all week.


                            • Originally posted by Bearcat1986 View Post
                              BW throws a pick
                              Fire Wright!

                              Sorry, just thought I’d get that out of the way….


                              • We’re toast with BW @ QB