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Morning Sun
  • Fall Classic XI could live up to 'classic' name

  • The Fall Classic at Arrowhead XI promises a classic game between No. 1-ranked Pittsburg State and No. 7 Northwest Missouri.

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  • The Fall Classic at Arrowhead XI promises a classic game between No. 1-ranked Pittsburg State and No. 7 Northwest Missouri.
    Both teams have similar records and similar numbers. Pitt State enters 5-0 (5-0 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) and Northwest Missouri 5-1 (4-1 MIAA). Both teams rank top 10 nationally in scoring offense and top 20 nationally in scoring defense. Plus, Northwest Missouri and Pitt State have won outright or shared 21 of the last 23 conference titles.
    Pitt State won its first four games against opponents with a combined 2-22 record and defeated Central Missouri 30-21 last week after trailing in the fourth quarter for the first time all season. Of a total 300 minutes played this season, the Gorillas have trailed only 9 minutes, 2 seconds.
    “We feel a lot more about our football team because we played a quality opponent and Central Missouri was a very good team and we faced some adversity and we were able to handle that and fight back and get the W,” Pitt State head coach Tim Beck said.
    Northwest Missouri lost 31-21 to Central Missouri in Week 2 and have won four consecutive games, including back-to-back wins over Northeastern State and Central Oklahoma by a combined score of 136-13.
    “Coach Dorrel (Northwest Missouri second-year head coach Adam Dorrel) spoke really highly of their defense and their defense is really good but they’ve scored a lot of points, very explosive the last couple weeks,” Beck said. “They do a tremendous job of spreading the ball around to receivers and running backs. . . . They do a really good job of not having very many tendencies, so they do a really good job of mixing things up and keeping you offbalance. Overall, just another really good Northwest Missouri football team.”
    The Bearcats look for their first win against the Gorillas since Dorrel (former Northwest Missouri player and offensive coordinator) became head coach in 2011. Pitt State won the Arrowhead game 38-35 on a Chase McCoy field goal as time expired and defeated Northwest Missouri 41-16 in the National Quarterfinals at Carnie Smith Stadium.
    “I don’t know if it is right or wrong but in my young coaching career as a head coach, games like this I approach that we don’t have anything to lose,” Dorrel said. “I told the kids that. We are not favored to win. We are the underdog. I kind of like that. We are going to prepare like that. We are going to throw everything we have at them and play hard for 60 minutes. As long as the kids know, we are going to be aggressive as coaches and we want them to be aggressive. The only expectation I have of them is to play hard for 60 minutes. If you do that, you got a chance.”
    “No, it’s (magnitude of the game Saturday) understood by our players,” Beck said. “I asked our team Tuesday before practice, ‘Are you guys feeling any pressure?’ and they’re not, they don’t. We try to make them understand how you’ve got to go to practice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, how much that carries over into Saturday.”
    Page 2 of 5 - The Bearcats average 45.8 points per contest (No. 7 in NCAA-II) with 136 points scored over their last two games.
    “Coach Wiemers (defensive coordinator Dave Wiemers) does a tremendous job with our defensive staff of getting our defensive guys ready to go,” Beck said, “looking at all the different sets they give and last week was a very challenging week against Central and now we’re onto the next team, which happens to be Northwest Missouri, and they’ll be very challenging.”
    Northwest Missouri junior quarterback Trevor Adams earned MIAA Offensive Player of the Week for his performance last Saturday against Central Oklahoma — 248 yards and five touchdowns on 10 of 12 passing.
    The Bearcats have allowed six quarterback sacks in six games (tied for 24th in sacks allowed, NCAA-II) and the Gorillas have 23 sacks for losses of 159 yards in five games (No. 1 in NCAA-II with 4.6 sacks per game).
    “He’s a very good quarterback but it’s going to be like about every week with us, if we can take our four defensive linemen and get pressure on him and not have to bring a fifth guy or a sixth guy or the less we have to do that, then the better off we will be,” Beck said. “We’ll have to see what the game dictates and what we have to do but it will be important for us to eventually get pressure on him.”
    James Franklin leads Northwest Missouri with 336 yards rushing and Brady Bolles and Jordan Simmons both have over 200 yards rushing and four TDs, Bolles 288 and Simmons 229 yards. Tyler Shaw leads Northwest Missouri with 27 catches for 529 yards and seven TDs and Simmons adds 26 catches for 247 yards and four TDs. Simmons leads Northwest Missouri with nine TDs.
    Northwest Missouri defensive leaders include linebacker D.J. Gnader (44 tackles), defensive end Matt Longacre (5.0 sacks) and defensive back Brandon Dixon (four interceptions).
    Pitt State junior receiver-return man John Brown leads NCAA-II in all-purpose yards (233.0 per game) and ranks eighth in receiving yards (108.6 per game), fifth in punt returns (17.7 yards per return) and 12th in kickoff returns (29.6 ypr). Brown has 31 catches for 543 yards and four TDs.
    Last week, Brown passed Jermaine Carpenter for third on the PSU career receiving yards chart and needs 69 yards to pass Gene Wayenberg, Jr. for No. 2 in school history. Brown has 1,759 yards, Wayenberg 1,827 and Ronnie West 2,521.
    Junior linebacker Nate Dreiling needs 24 tackles to pass Andrew Poling (1996-1999) for No. 5 on the PSU all-time tackles chart. Dreiling leads PSU with 37 tackles and shares the team lead with two interceptions, while contributing 2.5 sacks and four pass breakups.
    Senior defensive end Gus Toca leads PSU with 5.0 sacks and 9.5 tackles-for-loss, and ranks second behind Dreiling with 28 tackles. Toca ranks in the top 20 nationally in sacks.
    Sophomore quarterback Anthony Abenoja, a suburban Kansas City kid who played high school football at perennial Kansas power Blue Valley, makes his first Arrowhead Stadium start.
    Page 3 of 5 - “Oh man, it’s going to be pretty sweet,” Abenoja said. “I’ve been at a couple KC games as a kid and the crowd was roaring. It will be fun to play.”
    Abenoja has passed for 1,385 yards and nine TDs on 92-139 during his first year as starting quarterback. His first collegiate start resulted in 378 yards against Northeastern State, a school single-game record performance.
    Pitt State holds a 23-22 lead in the overall series.
    NO. 1 GORILLAS at NO. 7 BEARCATS
    The Pittsburg State Gorillas (5-0, 5-0 MIAA) and the Northwest Missouri Bearcats (5-1, 4-1 MIAA) clash in the Fall Classic at Arrowhead XI.
    When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
    Where: Arrowhead Stadium (76,416)
    On the air: KKOW 860 AM and KJML 107.1 FM at 3 p.m.
    Weather: Thunderstorm, 66 degrees
    2012 PREVIOUS GAMES
    PITTSBURG STATE (5-0, 5-0 MIAA)
    at Northeastern State, W 41-20
    vs. Central Oklahoma, W 34-19
    at Southwest Baptist, W 52-9
    vs. Lincoln, W 59-17
    BYE WEEK
    vs. Central Missouri, W 30-21
    NORTHWEST MISSOURI (5-1, 4-1 MIAA)
    vs. East Central (Okla.), W 33-3
    at Central Missouri, L 21-31
    vs. Fort Hays State, W 48-10
    at Nebraska-Kearney, W 37-13
    vs. Northeastern State, W 66-6
    at Central Oklahoma, W 70-7
    THE FALL CLASSIC AT ARROWHEAD SERIES
    2002 — Northwest Missouri 29, Pitt State 7
    2003 — Northwest Missouri 20, Pitt State 19
    2004 — Pitt State 21, Northwest Missouri 17
    2005 — Pitt State 56, Northwest Missouri 35
    2006 — Northwest Missouri 41, Pitt State 14
    2007 — Northwest Missouri 37, Pitt State 34 (OT)
    2008 — Northwest Missouri 35, Pitt State 10
    2009 — Northwest Missouri 30, Pitt State 10
    2010 — Northwest Missouri 22, Pitt State 16
    2011 — Pitt State 38, Northwest Missouri 35
    2-DEEP ROSTERS
    PITTSBURG STATE OFFENSE
    WR 5 John Brown (5-11, 171, Jr.)
    17 Levi Kuntzsch (6-5, 211, Jr.)
    TE 49 Mandel Dixon (6-3, 238, So.)
    82 Brady Letchworth (6-3, 220, So.)
    LT 73 Ollie Venegas (6-3, 295, So.)
    68 Boston Higgins (6-4, 260, So.)
    LG 79 Tyler Smith (6-3, 297, So.)
    66 Jeremiah Fleming (6-1, 281, Sr.)
    C 71 Aaron Kolich (6-2, 275, Sr.)
    72 Taylor Peak (6-2, 275, Jr.)
    RG 74 Josiah Cody (6-4, 281, So.)
    70 Cale Karigan (6-5, 286, So.)
    RT 77 Cody Holland (6-6, 337, Jr.)
    68 Boston Higgins (6-4, 260, So.)
    WR 81 Luke Rampy (5-9, 170, So.)
    84 Bradley Argabright (6-2, 175, So.)
    WR 1 Andrew Castaneda (6-2, 205, Sr.)
    18 Gavin Lutman (6-4, 210, So.)
    QB 12 Anthony Abenoja (6-3, 218, So.)
    3 Darrack Harger (6-4, 215, Fr.)
    FB 26 Jason Spradling (5-11, 188, Sr.)
    44 Stephen Poston (6-3, 220, Jr.)
    TB 33 Briceton Wilson (6-2, 226, Sr.)
    23 Solomon Watkins (5-10, 182, Jr.)
    Page 4 of 5 - PK 13 Connor Frazell (5-10, 179, Jr.)
    LS 48 Alex Howdeshell (6-2, 240, Fr.-RS) - long snaps
    71 Aaron Kolich (6-2, 275, Sr.) - short snaps
    H 81 Luke Rampy (5-9, 170, So.)
    PITTSBURG STATE DEFENSE
    DE 90 Joe Uzzel (6-4, 233, Jr.)
    96 Dallas Shalz (6-2, 241, So.)
    NG 99 Taye Irvin (6-1, 333, Fr.)
    69 Tank Burns (6-2, 276, So.)
    DT 94 Will Grissom (6-5, 269, Jr.)
    61 Gavin Rainwater (6-3, 305, Fr.)
    DE 98 Gus Toca (6-3, 254, Sr.)
    97 Avery Adair (6-5, 230, So.)
    LB 28 Joe Windscheffel (6-3, 235, Jr.)
    24 Tyler Disney (6-1, 216, So.)
    LB 11 Nate Dreiling (6-4, 229, Jr.)
    57 Lewis Foutz (6-3, 228, Fr.-RS)
    CB 22 Graylon Sanders (5-11, 191, Sr.)
    8 Aries Herrion (5-10, 172, So.)
    SS 9 Bryant Sanchez (5-10, 188, Sr.)
    38 Chris Heffern (5-9, 181, So.)
    FS 4 Jason Peete (6-3, 190, So.)
    15 Jake Catloth (6-0 , 180, Sr.)
    WS 19 Keeston Terry (6-2, 190, Jr.)
    21 Chas Smith (5-9, 186, Sr.)
    CB 14 De’Vante Bausby (6-2, 165, So.)
    37 Dino Teague (6-1, 161, Fr.-RS)
    P 47 Griffin Knopp (6-3, 182, So.)
    PR 5 John Brown (5-11, 171, Jr.)
    KR 5 John Brown (5-11, 171, Jr.)
    20 Marquise Cushon (5-10, 157, Fr.)
    NW MISSOURI STATE OFFENSE
    WR 4 Tyler Shaw (6-0, 180, Sr.)
    8 Clint Utter (6-3, 200, Jr.)
    TE 86 Joel Gantz (6-5, 245, Jr.)
    19 Vinnie Defeo (6-2, 230, Sr.)
    LT 75 Rod Williams (6-5, 300, Sr.)
    76 Shane Smith (6-4, 280, Fr.-RS)
    LG 60 Jake Scarbo (6-2, 275, Jr.)
    58 Bryce Johnston (6-2, 270, Jr.)
    C 65 Cole Chevalier (6-2, 285, So.)
    53 Robert Stough (5-11, 275, Sr.)
    RG 76 Cody Carlson (6-3, 275, Jr.)
    55 Cole Daft (6-3, 280, Jr.)
    RT 71 John Petroff (6-3, 290, Jr.)
    77 Savontae Brown (6-3, 285, So.)
    WR 18 Bryce Young (5-10, 185, So.)
    12 John Hinchey (6-2, 210, Sr.)
    QB 15 Trevor Adams (6-1, 200, Jr.)
    3 Tyler Seals (6-2, 210, Jr.)
    10 Brady Bolles (6-3, 180, Fr.-RS)
    FB 42 Bryant Hummel (6-2, 240, Jr.)
    46 Kyle Kleeman (6-0, 245, Jr.)
    TB 5 Jordan Simmons (5-9, 190, Sr.)
    9 James Franklin (5-9, 185, Jr.)
    PK 49 Todd Adolf (6-1, 185, Sr.)
    LS 42 Bryant Hummel (6-2, 240, Jr.)
    H 15 Trevor Adams (6-1, 200, Jr.)
    NW MISSOURI STATE DEFENSE
    DE 96 Matt Longacre (6-3, 240, So.)
    90 Willie Dyson (6-2, 260, Sr.)
    DT 59 Ryan Meyer (6-2, 270, Sr.)
    91 Zach Williams (6-3, 275, Jr.)
    NG 98 Travis Chappelear (6-5, 255, Jr.)
    99 Brandon Yost (6-2, 280, Fr.-RS)
    DE 44 Ricky Bailey (6-3, 235, Jr.)
    87 Kevin Arnold (6-4, 230, So.)
    LB 32 Matt Massey (6-1, 230, Sr.)
    51 Eric Reimer (6-2, 225, So.)
    LB 36 D.J. Gnader (6-2, 225, So.)
    37 Preston Bostwick (6-0, 215, Sr.)
    Page 5 of 5 - LB 68 Collin DeBuysere (6-4, 230, Sr.)
    47 Cody Matthewson (6-2, 230, So.)
    CB 1 Brandon Dixon (6-0, 195, Jr.)
    30 Tim Martinez (5-11, 185, So.)
    FS 21 Nate DeJong (6-2, 210, Sr.)
    14 Jared Fox (5-10, 190, So.)
    SS 6 Travis Manning (6-0, 190, So.)
    27 Dylan Chadwick (5-10, 195, So.)
    CB 2 Brian Dixon (6-0, 195, Jr.)
    25 Tyshaan Alleyne (6-0, 180, Fr.-RS)
    P 81 Kyle Goodburn (6-0, 180, Sr.)
    KR 4 Tyler Shaw (6-0, 180, Sr.)
    5 Jordan Simmons (5-9, 190, Sr.)
    PR 5 Jordan Simmons (5-9, 190, Sr.)
    18 Bryce Young (5-10, 185, So.)

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