OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The sixth Fall Classic at Arrowhead, slated for this Saturday (Oct. 6) in Kansas City, Mo., will again feature a pair of squads ranked in the American Football Coaches Association Division II Top 25.
The ninth-ranked Northwest Missouri State Bearcats (3-1, 3-0 MIAA) will be shooting to remain in sole possession of first place in the MIAA when they take on the No. 16 Pittsburg State Gorillas (4-1, 2-1 MIAA).
The game, which has drawn at least 20,000 fans to the home of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs during each of the previous five seasons, will be one of the four featured games on streaming video as part of the CSTV/NCAA Division II football package. It's available free of charge by going to http://www.cstv.com/ncaa/divii .
All other MIAA games this week are available in streaming video on www.themiaa.tv for $5.95 each.
Northwest has won three in a row after having their opener with Arkansas Tech lost to lightning and falling at now-No. 6 Nebraska-Omaha in the next scheduled game.
Pittsburg State bounced back from a loss to Missouri Western (3-2, 1-2 MIAA) by claiming a hard-fought double-overtime win over Central Missouri (3-2, 2-1 MIAA) last weekend.
Northwest has won three of the five games with PSU at Arrowhead, snapping a 2-2 tie in the series with a 41-14 win last season.
A pair of teams among the four tied for second in the MIAA after three games will hook up in Topeka as Washburn (3-2, 2-1 MIAA) and Missouri Southern (4-1, 2-1 MIAA) hook up in Yager Stadium at Moore Bowl.
The Lions are seeking their first win over the Ichabods since 2002 after last season's 14-13 heartbreaker when the snap on the potential winning field goal in the game's final minute went awry.
Central Missouri will aim to bounce back from their tough loss to PSU when the Mules travel to face Emporia State (3-2, 1-2 MIAA) on Jones Field at Welch Stadium.
UCM has not lost to the Hornets since 1999, the 48-21 win last season extending the Mules win streak to seven games.
Homecoming season also starts on Saturday with Fort Hays State (3-2, 1-2 MIAA) and Southwest Baptist (0-5, 0-3 MIAA) hosting returning alumni.
The FHSU Tigers host Western for homecoming. It is the Griffons first trip to Lewis Field Stadium since 2000, when Fort Hays State handed them a 23-15 non-conference setback -- the Tigers' last win in the series.
The SBU Bearcats are out to snap a 10-game losing streak dating back to last season when Truman (3-2, 1-2 MIAA) come to Plaster Stadium.
The Bulldogs have won seven of the last eight meetings, but SBU won the last game in Bolivar, 38-36, in 2005, also on Homecoming.
TRUMAN FINALLY GETS PICKED: After throwing 169 passes without getting intercepted in 2007, the Truman Bulldogs suffered their first pick at the hands of Fort Hays State last Saturday (Sept. 29).
Junior QB Matt Ticich had a string of 188 pass attempts without a pick dating back to last season snapped as well when Tiger junior DB Jason Carr intercepted his attempt at the FHSU 23 early in the second quarter.
Carr snatched another Ticich pass in the third quarter.
The NCAA-II record for lowest interception percentage in a season is 0.7 percent -- New Haven (Conn.) tossed just two picks in 296 pass attempts in the 1993 season. Truman now has two in 210 throws (0.95%).
OMON WATCH: Northwest Missouri State senior RB Xavier Omon enters this week fifth on the MIAA's career rushing list with 5,204 yards.
He needs 573 yards to pass Pittsburg State's Ronald Moore (1989-92 -- 5,776) for fourth place on the conference list.
After three TDs vs. Southwest Baptist last week, Omon remains fifth in MIAA career scoring with 432 points -- 14 from passing Truman's Jarrett Anderson (1993-96 -- 446) for fourth place.
THE 80-WIN CLUB: Two men have a chance to close in on the 80-win plateau as a head coach in the MIAA.
Willie Fritz of Central Missouri needs two wins to be the eighth MIAA coach with 80 and one to pass Terry Noland (1983-96) as the most victorious coach in UCM history and for eighth place on the league list.
With 74 wins, Missouri Western's Jerry Partridge needs wins in the Griffons' last six games to make 80 this regular season.
Central Missouri: The Mules last lost to Emporia State on the road in 1999, the game prior to their current seven-game run of success against the Hornets... With two interceptions against Pitt State last week, UCM raised its total to 12 for the year -- tying with West Liberty (W.Va.) State for most in Division II... Junior RB Glenn Milner accounted for all of the Mules' touchdowns on the ground in the double-OT loss to PSU, finishing with 218 yards rushing on 37 totes... At 13.2 points per game, Milner is fifth in D-II scoring... Senior RB Jeremy Braden had 103 all-purpose yards (56 rushing, 47 receiving) and a TD vs. ESU in 2006.
Emporia State: Head coach Garin Higgins will be aiming to avoid his first three-game losing skid as a collegiate head coach... The Hornets are trying to snap a seven-game losing skid to the Mules... After playing just once at home in the first five week, ESU will have three in a row in Emporia... Junior RB Seville Ko had 98 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown the last time the Hornets faced UCM... Two of the three catches junior WR Sean Partridge had vs. the Mules last season went for TDs.
Fort Hays State: The Tigers hope to build on the attendance they had for their last home game -- the 5,194 who saw FHSU down Emporia State was the most at a game in Lewis Field Stadium since the 2003 opener... Senior DL Jason Hill has at least one sack in every game this season for the Tigers... FHSU has 18 team sacks, five more than in all of 2006... Senior K Justin Barr has taken sole possession of third place on the school's career field goals list, making No. 25 vs. Truman... Fort Hays State is 3-0 this season when scoring at least 20 points.
Missouri Southern: The Lions slipped to ninth in D-II rushing offense (251.0 ypg)... Junior QB Adam Hinspeter connected on his first 16 passes of the game vs. ESU, two shy of the single-game record for the MIAA, and ended the half connecting on 20-of-22 throws... Hinspeter's last 300-yard passing game came in last season's meeting with WU -- he was 29-of-47 for 314 yards and one TD with two picks... Freshman RB Renard Johnson matched his collegiate-best effort rushing with 148 yards against ESU, adding a TD... Senior WR Colin Bado has a season-high nine catches against the Hornets.
Missouri Western: The Griffons have just one win in their previous seven trips to FHSU -- that was in 1981... Junior K Dustin Strickler has not missed in his last 50 point-after attempts, dating back to last season... Freshman RB La'Darrian Page was limited to less than 100 all-purpose yards in a game for the first time last week, as Washburn held him to 93 (all rushing)... Senior LB Robert Bishop forced a fumble for the second time in as many games, and logged a season-best 13 tackles vs. WU.
Northwest Missouri State: Thanks largely to a trio of bad snaps by SBU (two resulting in safeties), Northwest was able to establish the MIAA record for fewest rushing yards allowed with minus-74 -- UCM held Lincoln (Mo.) to minus-67 back in 1982... With sophomore KR/WR Sydney Brisbane sharing honors this week, a Bearcat has won MIAA Special Teams Player of the Week for three weeks in a row... Northwest now leads D-II in scoring offense (51.0 ppg) and is second in team pass efficiency (180.05 Rating) and net punting (39.75 ypp)... Senior RB Xavier Omon will be going for his 10th 100-yard rushing game in a row vs. PSU -- he missed last season's meeting with an injury.
Pittsburg State: The Gorillas have dropped the last two meetings vs. the Northwest Bearcats -- last season's Fall Classic meeting and a 21-10 home quarterfinal playoff loss in 2005... The win at UCM was PSU's first rallying from a fourth-quarter deficit since the 2004 Fall Classic (21-17 -- the Gorillas trailed Northwest, 17-14, in the fourth)... PSU raised its record to 6-3 in OT games, 2-1 in multi-OT games and 2-1 vs. the Mules in extra frames... Junior RB Caleb Farabi (122 yards) and sophomore QB Chadd Snyder (120) gave PSU its first duo of 100-yard rushers in a game since the 4OT win at ESU last season.
Southwest Baptist: Senior WR Nick Smart maintained his lead in Division II receptions with an average of 10 per game -- he stays on pace to break the MIAA record of 97 set in 2004 by Emporia State's J.J. Richard... Freshman QB Steven Gachette is ranked fifth in D-II passing yards (286.2 ypg) and eighth in total offense (301.8 ypg)... The 86 points surrendered by the Bearcats at Northwest Missouri State was the most in the modern era of SBU football, and the most all-time since Southwest Missouri State set the MIAA record against the school by scoring 94 in 1927.
Truman: Junior QB Matt Ticich threw for 374 yards and one touchdown after being limited to 228 yards passing and one TD in the previous two games combined... The win over FHSU was the Bulldogs' sixth in a row at Stokes Stadium dating back to last season... After catching just seven passes in the first three games of the season, senior RB Jake Cunningham has 18 receptions for 145 yards in his last two outings... After not having a play from scrimmage of more than 20 yards in the first two conference games, Truman had five in the win over Fort Hays State -- two going for TDs.
Washburn: Senior RB Ra'Shawn Mosley recorded the third-best ruching effort in Ichabods history with his 210 yards in the win vs. Missouri Western last week -- the most since Dino DeLisa had 216 in 1983 vs. Benedictine (Kan.)... Mosley needs 24 more yards to pass DeLisa (1983-85 -- 2,794) for second on Washburn's career rushing list... Senior QB Jordan Brill passed Joe Schartz (1993-96 -- 5,527) for second on WU's career passing list -- he had 5,617 yards... After the win over the then-No. 24 Griffons, the Ichabods are 7-13 vs. ranked foes under Craig Schurig... WU snapped an eight-game road skid vs. MWSU.
MIAA Football Players of the Week
For the week of play ending Sept. 30
Chadd Snyder, QB
Pittsburg State University
Snyder, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound sophomore from Carl Junction, Mo., had 259 yards of total offense after coming in at halftime and had a hand in three touchdowns to rally the No. 19 Gorillas to 38-31 double-overtime win at Central Missouri Saturday (Sept. 29).
Subbing for injured starter Mark Smith, he tied the game at 14-14 with an 18-yard TD pass to Martin Burke capping his first drive of the game.
Snyder scored on a 1-yard run with 5:08 left in regulation to give PSU a 21-17 lead, setting up the TD with a 49-yard completion to Nate Thomas. He went 4-of-4 for 48 yards passing and ran for 7 more yards on the drive to set up the game-tying field goal.
In the first overtime, he scrambled to score on a fourth-and-goal play from 6 yards out to extend the game to a second extra session. He gained 15 yards on the first two plays of the next OT to set up Caleb Farabi's go-ahead TD.
Snyder, listed third on PSU depth chart entering the game, is a graduate of Carl Junction High School.
Others Nominated: Adam Hinspeter, QB, MSSU; Josh Mathews, QB, NWMSU; Glenn Milner, RB, UCM; Ra'Shawn Mosley, RB, WU; Matt Ticich, QB, TSU.
Previous Winners: 8/27 -- Mark Smith, QB, PSU; 9/3 -- Caleb Farabi, TB, PSU; 9/10 -- Matt Ticich, QB, TSU; 9/17 -- Alley Broussard, RB, MSSU & Caleb Farabi, TB, PSU; 9/24 -- Xavier Omon, RB, NWMSU.
Kendall Ricketts, FS
University of Central Missouri
Ricketts, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior from Raytown, Mo.., equalled the UCM record for tackles by a defensive back in the Mules' 38-31 double-overtime loss to No. 19 Pittsburg State Saturday (Sept. 29).
He accounted for 20 tackles, six being solos and he also assisted a teammate on a tackle for loss. Ricketts also forced a PSU fumble recovered by UCM with less than four minutes left in regulation and the Mules leading, 24-21.
The 20 stops is a career high, and matches the school mark for DBs set by Clint Steiner in 2000.
Ricketts is a graduate of Raytown South High School.
Others Nominated: Robert Bishop, LB, MWSU; Myles Burnsides, S, NWMSU; Jeremy Jackson, LB, PSU; Jerod Tetuan, FS, WU; James Thabbateau, DB, TSU.
Previous Winners: 8/27 -- Garret Feig, DB, TSU; 9/3 -- Zach Watkins, ILB, WU; 9/10 -- Emmanuel Howard, CB, ESU; 9/17 -- Emmanuel Howard, CB, ESU; 9/24 -- Jared Brawner, LB, MSSU.
Sydney Brisbane, KR/WR, Northwest Missouri State University &
Jared Witter, K/P, Pittsburg State University
Brisbane, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound sophomore from Maryville, Mo., returned his first collegiate punt 54 yards for a TD in No. 10 Northwest's 86-13 home win over Southwest Baptist Saturday night (Sept. 29).
It marked the second time in as many weeks the Bearcats had returned a put for six points. He also added a 22-yard kickoff return on the night.
Brisbane is a graduate of Maryville High School.
Witter, a 6-3, 200-pound freshman from Lenexa, Kan., kicked the game-tying field goal as regulation time expired in the No. 10 Gorillas' 38-31 double-overtime victory at Central Missouri Saturday (Sept. 29).
After just missing a 44-yard field goal try into the wind to end the third quarter, he connected on a 25-yard attempt to end the fourth quarter. Witter waited through a pair of timeouts by UCM before making the kick,
He also averaged 44 yards on four punts, made all five point-after tries and averaged 65 yards on four kickoffs with one touchback.
Witter is a graduate of Overland Park (Kan.)-Shawnee Mission West High School.
Others Nominated: Cedric Houston, KR/WR, MWSU.
Previous Winners: 8/27 -- Bryan Haynes, KR, FHSU; 9/3 -- Jared Witter, K/P, PSU; 9/10 -- Marcelo Velazquez, K, UCM; 9/17 -- Caleb Obert, KR/WR, NWMSU; 9/24 -- Kendall Wright, KR/WR, NWMSU.