This Saturday could provide all of the fireworks as well as pomp and circumstance of the last six Fall Classic football games at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.



So much so that officials on Monday expected 20,000 fans or more at the game that kicks off at 5 p.m.

This Saturday could provide all of the fireworks as well as pomp and circumstance of the last six Fall Classic football games at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

So much so that officials on Monday expected 20,000 fans or more at the game that kicks off at 5 p.m.

Both Northwest head coach Mel Tjeerdsma and PSU coach Chuck Broyles held a press conference at Arrowhead on Monday in preparation for the annual showdown.

This year will feature an undefeated Gorilla squad that is just off a 49-28 win over Central Missouri at home and the 4-1 Bearcats that stunned No. 5 Nebraska-Omaha 42-0 on the road last week.

Both coaches discussed just what it means to have the game off-campus for the past seven years.

“It’s not as easy as it sounds to bring a game off-campus,” Broyles said. “We have outgrown the fact that we are taking the game off-campus.

“We look at this as a home game although we are the visitors.”

Tjeerdsma said players get a thrill off of the gametime atmosphere during the game.

“This is a big thrill for our kids,” Tjeerdsma said. “From that standpoint, it takes a little off the coaches because you know the kids will be ready to play.”

Both said it was still a favorable notion to play the game at a neutral site instead of an on-campus field.

“Anytime you play in a metro area, it is good for recruiting as well as good for the fan base,” Broyles said.

As both teams boast several players from the Kansas City-metro area, it gives an extra opportunity for those players to showcase themselves at home.

“Every year, our kids talk about going through the tunnel with the fireworks and the band,” Tjeerdsma said.

“It ends up being a good experience for everyone,” Broyles added.

Over the last 14 years, Pitt State and Northwest have been nationally ranked together in 13 of those 14 years and the Gorillas have been in the NCAA Division II playoffs in 14 of the last 18 years while the Bearcats have been in the playoffs in 10 of the last 12 years.

“It has grown past just being about Arrowhead,” Broyles said. “Both teams play hard and it is a good rivalry ... not a bitter rivalry.”

Tickets for the game are $20 for adults; $10 for children (high school aged and younger) and for Northwest and Pitt State students with a valid college ID; or $25 for club level seats (adults and students).

New in 2008, a family of four (two adults and two children), can purchase a family package for $50. Tickets can still be ordered by calling Ticketmaster at 816-931-3330, through ticketmaster.com or by calling the Pittsburg State Ticket office at 235-4796.

Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140.