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MIAA football opens season on Thursday night - KOAM TV 7

MIAA football opens season on Thursday night

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Press Release MIAA Conference

Thursday night the lights willcome on as the 2013 football season gets underway.

Central Oklahoma at MissouriSouthern
Central Oklahoma will open the 2013 campaign on the road with a trip toMissouri Southern. The two teams faced off last year to open the season inEdmond, Okla. as the Lions held off a fourth quarter charge by the Bronchos topull out a five point victory. UCO returns the league's second best rusher inJoshua Birmingham who scored 13 touchdowns and averaged 107.3 yards per game.Quarterback Adrian Nelson averaged 197.4 yards passing per game. On defenseDevoris Dozier led the team with 77 tackles.  Missouri Southern led theleague in rushing offense last season, but must replace their two top rushers.Runningback Travis Hurd is their top returner after carrying the ball 45 timesfor 275 yards. Defensively Gaitlin Ridgeway had 57 tackles last year including8.5 which were for a loss.

Washburn at Nebraska-Kearney
Washburn will hit the road to open 2013 as they face the Nebraska-Kearney intheir season opener. The two squads opened the year last year in Topeka withWashburn driving for touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter to pull out a24-14 victory. On offense the Ichabods return Mitch Buhler at quarterback whoaveraged 173.7 yards per game and threw for 16 touchdowns. On defense BryceAtagi led the team with 114 tackles including 11.5 tackles for a loss. TheLopers sported the league's best run defense led by returner Kellen Werner whohad 82 tackles including 14.5 tackles for a loss. On offense UNK will have toreplace some production but Matt Berry will return at receiver after playingeight games at quarterback last year. He had nine catches for 60 yards atwideout last year.

#22 Saginaw Valley State at#4 Northwest Missouri
Northwest Missouri will open the season with an non-conference match-up ontheir home turf against Saginaw Valley State. The match-up features thenation's 22nd ranked team against the nation's fourth ranked team. The Bearcatsled the MIAA in scoring offense last year led by Trevor Adams who averaged193.5 yards per game passing and threw for 23 touchdowns. The league's toppassing defense returns Brandon Dixon who pulled down five interceptions in2012. For the Cardinals on offense Jonathon Jennings averaged 298.4 yards pergame and threw for 27 touchdowns. On defense Brian Johnson had 102 tacklesincluding eight that went for a loss.

#6 Missouri Western atCentral Missouri
#6 Missouri Western will open their MIAA title defense on the road at CentralMissouri. The game will be featured as the first MIAA Television Network Gameof the Week. The two teams opened the season last year with MWSU scoring thefirst 28 points and then holding off the Mules on their way to a 38-26 victory.On offense for the Griffons quarterback Travis Partridge is back afteraveraging 193.3 yards per game passing last season with 30 touchdowns. Ondefense Stephen Juergons had 95 tackles and two interceptions. UCM looks torunningback LeVance Taylor who carried the ball 150 times for 672 yards andeight touchdowns. On defense they return a veteran linebacking core led byRicky Spratley who had 53 tackles including two sacks last season.

Emporia State at Fort HaysState
Emporia State and Fort Hays State will open the year facing off for the thirdstraight season. When the two teams met to open last year ESU scored 24 secondhalf points to win 41-18 at home. As the Hornets hit the road this year theyreturn a strong receiving core that led the league in yardage last year. Theywill look to Ray Ray Davis who caught 61 passes for 899 yards and eighttouchdowns. On defense Jordan Sanders was tenth in the league in tackles with96 including two sacks. On offense for the Tigers wide receiver Tanner Hagemanhad 31 catches for 388 yards and four touchdowns. On defense cornerback MichaelJordan racked up 87 tackles including two for a loss.

Lincoln at Lindenwood
Lindenwood will open their first season as full members of NCAA Division II athome when they face Lincoln. The two teams faced off last year in JeffersonCity and the Lions outscored the Tigers 21-7 in the second half to pull out a49-28 victory. On offense they return Ben Gomez who threw for 1,891 yards and15 touchdowns. On defense Pierre Desir led the MIAA with nine interceptions forthe Lions. For the Blue Tigers Jacob Morris returns at quarterback afterthrowing for ten touchdowns and rushing for six in 2012. On defense linemanDarryl Blackmon returns after having 45 tackles including 14.5 for a loss.

Northeastern State at #21Pittsburg State
#21 Pittsburg State will open the year at home when they face NortheasternState. When the two teams met last season in Tahlequah, PSU jumped out to a21-6 halftime lead on the way to a 41-20 victory. John Brown, who racked up2,000 all-purpose yards, returns to lead the PSU offense and special teams. Ondefense Nate Dreiling led the team with 83 tackles and 9.5 tackles for a losslast season. The RiverHawks have the league's top returning rusher in JoelRockmore who averaged 113.8 yards per game last season with ten touchdowns. Ondefense last year Langston Jones led the league in tackles with 110  finishing with two sacks.

Southwest Baptist at Truman
Southwest Baptist will open the season on the road at Truman State in anon-league game with the GLVC opponent. The Bearcats return receiver DerwynLauderdale who caught 76 passes for 697 yards and five touchdowns. On defenseShaquille Shedd was fifth in the MIAA in tackles with 105 on the year, 3.5 ofwhich went for a loss. Truman, in their first year since leaving the MIAA, wonthe meeting between the two teams last year 24-14 in Bolivar. TSU quarterbackConrad Schottel threw for 2,103 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. On defenseJeramey Dockery had 58 tackles on the season. 

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