No. 7 Gorillas, No. 2 Bearcats to Meet in Fall Classic XII at Ar - KOAM TV 7

No. 7 Gorillas, No. 2 Bearcats to Meet in Fall Classic XII at Arrowhead Saturday


Press Release Pittsburg State University: 

The Pittsburg State University football team will travel to Kansas City, Mo., to meet Northwest Missouri State University in The Fall Classic at Arrowhead XII Saturday (Oct. 19).

The game profiles the two dominant programs in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association over the last quarter century as the Gorillas and Bearcats have combined to win outright or share 21 of the last 24 conference titles.  Pitt State and Northwest also have combined to win five NCAA Division II National Championships and make 12 appearances in the NCAA-II National Championship Game.

The contest also will pit an NCAA Division II top 10 match-up between two teams in the thick of the 2013 MIAA Championship race.  Pitt State will carry the nation's No. 7 ranking into Saturday's match-up while Northwest climbed one spot to No. 2 in this week's poll.

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. (CDT) at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs.

The Records
Pittsburg State, the winningest all-time NCAA Division II program, improved to 6-0 on the season and 6-0 in MIAA play after posting a 31-21 win over Central Missouri last Saturday (Oct. 6) in Warrensburg.  The Gorillas, one of five remaining unbeaten MIAA schools along with Emporia State, Washburn, Northwest Missouri and Missouri Western, scored 21 unanswered points to erase a 14-7 deficit en route to defeating the Mules.

Northwest improved to 6-0 on the year and 5-0 in MIAA play with a lopsided 72-10 home win over Central Oklahoma Saturday (Oct. 12).  The Bearcats have averaged a 54-10 victory over their last four opponents..

Ticket Information
Tickets for The Fall Classic at Arrowhead XII are available by calling the PSU Ticket Office at (620) 235-4796, the Northwest Ticket Office at (660) 562-1212 or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

Lower level tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for PSU & NW students as well as high school & under.  Club seats are $37.  The Family Pack (2 adult, 2 child tickets) is available for $60.

Parking for the game is $20 per car and $30 for RV/Bus parking.

Online Ticket Locations:
www.pittstate.edu/tickets                 www.ticketmaster.com

The Coaches
Tim Beck has compiled a 32-10 (.762) career record in his fourth season as head coach at Pitt State.  

Beck led his alma mater (PSU, '88) to the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship two seasons ago, earning national coach of the year honors from Liberty Mutual, the Don Hansen Football Committee and FieldTurf™.

Beck became the school's 14th all-time head football coach in December 2009, after serving for 23 seasons as an assistant coach for the Gorillas including 16 years as the team's offensive coordinator from 1994-2009.

In his first season leading the Gorillas, Beck guided Pitt State to a 6-6 record and a victory in the 2010 Mineral Water Bowl.  In 2011, Beck led the Gorillas to the program's second NCAA national championship and the school's fourth national title overall in a 13-1 campaign.

Pitt State captured the MIAA Championship and ultimately the NCAA-II National Championship with a 35-21 victory over Wayne (Mich.) State on Dec. 17, 2011.
Last year, the Gorillas opened the season 5-0 before finishing the year 7-3 overall.

During his 16 seasons as offensive coordinator, the Gorilla offense consistently ranked among the finest units in NCAA Division II.

In 2008, Beck was selected the inaugural NCAA Division II Coordinator of the Year by FootballScoop.com, following a vote of his coaching peers.

In 2004, Beck's offensive unit established itself as the most prolific squad in the history of NCAA football.  PSU shattered a 118-year-old scoring record, scoring an amazing 837 points (55.8 ppg).  His squad also set the NCAA all division records for rushing (5,320 yards) and total offense (8,976 yards).

Beck's teams led Division II in scoring in two of the last six years (2004, 2006) and ranked in the top two nationally in total offense three times in the last six seasons (2004, 2005, 2006).  His squads ranked among the national rushing leaders every season, leading Division II in 1995 (318.8 ypg) and 2004 (354.7 ypg).  Beck's "multiple choice" option attack also compiled 16,483 passing yards (216.9 ypg) and 143 aerial touchdowns during the last six years.

Pitt State averaged a staggering 38.8 points and 442.5 yards of total offense per game during his tenure as offensive coordinator.

Prior to assuming the offensive coordinator's role, Beck served two years as Pitt State's defensive coordinator (1992-93).  He became a full-time assistant on the Pitt State staff in 1989, after serving first as a student assistant (1987) and then as a graduate assistant (1988).

This will be Beck's fifth meeting vs. Northwest Missouri. He is 2-2 vs. the Bearcats.

NWMSU's Adam Dorrel is in his second season as head coach of his alma mater, after serving for seven seasons as an assistant coach on the Bearcats staff.  He has compiled a 27-6 (.818) record leading Northwest.

Dorrel was named the Bearcats' head coach on June 23, following the tragic passing of Northwest head coach Scott Bostwick earlier that month.  Bostwick, a long-time Bearcat assistant, had succeeded legendary Northwest head coach Mel Tjeerdsma, who retired after leading the Bearcats to three NCAA-II National Championships (1998-99, 2009) and 183 victories in 17 seasons. Dorrel served the previous four seasons as offensive coordinator at Northwest, directing one of the top offenses in Division II.

This will be his third meeting vs. Pitt State. He is 1-2 vs. the Gorillas.

The Pitt State-Northwest Missouri Series
This will be the 47th meeting between the Gorillas and the Bearcats in a series that dates all the way back to the 1932 season.

The competitive series is tied 23-23-0.  The Gorillas are 13-7-0 vs. the Bearcats at Pittsburg, while the Bearcats hold an 8-7-0 edge in games played at Maryville and an 7-3-0 advantage at neutral sites all-time.

Northwest scored 31 unanswered points to overcome a 14-0 third quarter deficit against top-ranked Pitt State in The Fall Classic XI last season.

The Gorillas had won the previous two meetings in the series – The Fall Classic X (38-35) and a 2011 NCAA-II national quarterfinal victory (41-16) – to snap a seven-game losing streak in the series to the Bearcats.

The Fall Classic at Arrowhead Series
Date    Result    Attendance

10/17/02    NW, 29-7    26,695
11/15/03    NW, 20-19    20,342
11/6/04    Pitt, 21-17    25,542
10/29/05    Pitt, 56-35    21,044
11/4/06    NW, 41-14    22,561
10/6/07    NW, 37-34 (OT)    19,103
10/4/08    NW, 35-10    21,316
9/12/09    NW, 30-10    20,813
11/13/10    NW, 22-16    16,504
10/1/11    Pitt, 38-35    15,106
10/13/12    NW,  31-21    15,349

PSU's Regular Season Success
Northwest and Pitt State have enjoyed unparalleled consistent success in the MIAA during the past two decades.

Northwest has posted a mind-boggling 133-12-0 (.917) record in MIAA action since the start of the 1996 season, including a conference record 49 straight MIAA victories which ended at the 2011 Fall Classic.

Northwest has won 24 MIAA titles in the school's history, including 12 conference titles in the last 17 seasons.

Pitt State has posted an equally impressive 182-39-1 (.822) record against its MIAA opponents since joining the conference in 1989 – with a 95-13-1 (.876) home mark, a 84-18-0 (.824) road record and a 3-8-0 (.273) record on neutral fields.

NW Missouri State has the second-highest winning percentage during the past 24 years in the MIAA. The Bearcats have posted a 175-47-0 (.788) overall record in MIAA play during that span.

The Gorillas have won 11 MIAA titles since joining the conference 25 years ago.

PSU's Regular Season Success
Pitt State has won 262 of its last 308 regular season games, posting a phenomenal 262-44-2 (.854) mark during the past 29 seasons (1985-2013). PSU is 143-14-1 at home, 113-22-1 on the road and 4-8-0 at neutral sites in the regular season during that span.

Pitt State in the AFCA Top 25 Poll
Pitt State has been ranked in Division II's top 10 100 times in the last 184 polls and the Gorillas have been ranked in the top 25 poll in 158 of 184 weeks overall (dating back to the 1999 season).

Ground Game PSU's Bread and Butter…
Pitt State's success can be directly linked to its ability to rush the football.

Since the 1986 season, PSU has rushed for 200-plus yards in 281 of 335 overall games.  The Gorillas have posted a 250-30-1 (.891) record when they eclipse 200 yards rushing.  Pitt State is an even more impressive 137-6-0 (.958) when it eclipses 300 yards rushing.

By contrast, PSU is just 25-30-1 (.455) in the handful of games when it has been held below 200 yards rushing.

Since 1986, PSU has rushed the ball for the highest yardage total among all NCAA Division II programs, with 96,538 yards (including postseason competition) for an average of 288.2 yards per game.

The Gorillas currently rank 15th nationally in rushing, averaging 269.5 yards per game on the ground. Pitt State has rushed the ball 290 times for 1,617 yards (5.6 ypc) and 19 touchdowns.

… But Don't Overlook PSU Passing Attack
While it's no secret Pitt State's offensive success has been predicated on running the football, the Gorillas have unleashed a potent passing attack to compliment their stalwart running game.

Since the start of the 2004 season, the Gorillas have passed for 24,688 yards and 185 TDs, averaging 228.6 passing yards and 1.7 touchdown passes per game in the last 108 outings.

In 2012, quarterback Tony Abenoja established a new single-season passing record, averaging 233.0 passing yards per game.  Also, against Lincoln on Sept. 28
Abenoja established new school single game records for passing yards (442), passing touchdowns (5) and total offense (463 yards).

The Gorillas have averaged 284.0 passing yards in their first six games with 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Quick Strike Offense
The Pitt State offense has exhibited a penchant for being a "quick strike" unit.

During the last nine seasons (2005-13), the Pitt State offense has generated 572 scoring drives (489 TDs, 83 FGs) and averaged just 2:53 of elapsed time per drive. [Overtime scoring drives not included in elapsed time figures.]

2005    97 scoring drives (86 TDs, 11 FGs)    2:40 elapsed time
2006    79 scoring drives (72 TDs, 7 FGs)    2:14 elapsed time        
2007    64 scoring drives (55 TDs, 9 FGs)    3:02 elapsed time
2008    69 scoring drives (61 TDs, 8 FGs)    3:23 elapsed time        
2009    49 scoring drives (44 TDs, 5 FGs)    3:21 elapsed time    
2010    41 scoring drives (34 TDs, 7 FGs)    3:04 elapsed time
2011    78 scoring drives (60 TDs, 18 FGs)    2:54 elapsed time
2012    51 scoring drives (40 TDs, 11 FGs)    2:58 elapsed time
2013    44 scoring drives (37 TDs, 7 FGs)    2:50 elapsed time

The Gorillas have been highly successful when they are quick out of the gates.  Pitt State has scored on its opening drive 50 times (42 TDs, 8 FGs) in the last 102 games, posting a 47-3 (.940) record in those games. By contrast, Pitt State is 28-24 (.538) in games it doesn't score on its opening drive during the same span.

Pitt State Displays Prolific Offense
The Pitt State offense has asserted itself as one of the top units in NCAA Division II the past 10 seasons (2004-13).

Pitt State's high octane "multiple choice" offense ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 nationally in both scoring and total offense in three of the last seven seasons.
In 2004, PSU staked its claim as the most prolific offense in the history of NCAA football, leading Division II in scoring (55.8 ppg), rushing (354.7 ypg) and total offense (598.4 ypg).

Pitt State broke the NCAA's 118-year-old all-time all division scoring record with 837 points, besting the old mark of 765 points set by Harvard in 1886.  The Gorillas also broke the all-time NCAA all division records for rushing (5,320 yards) and total offense (8,976 yards) in 2004.

Oklahoma set the previous rushing record (5,196 yards) in 1971, and Texas Tech held the previous total offense mark (7,576 yards) in 2003.
In 2005, Pitt State ranked second nationally in scoring and total offense, averaging 46.8 points and 536.0 total yards per game.  The Gorillas also ranked seventh nationally in rushing, averaging 295.2 yards a game.

In 2006, Pitt State led NCAA Division II in scoring and ranked No. 2 nationally in total offense, averaging 44.8 points and 454.8 total yards per game in 2006.

In 2007, the Gorillas ranked 21st nationally in scoring and 19th nationally in total offense, averaging 37.4 points and 454.2 total yards per game. In 2008, Pitt State ranked 18th nationally in scoring (35.5 ppg) and 21st in the nation in total offense (432.6 ypg).

In 2009, the Pitt State offense averaged 29.4 points and 434.4 total yards per game, while the Gorillas averaged 22.8 points and 357.7 total yards per game in 2010.

In 2011, the Gorillas ranked sixth nationally in scoring (40.2 ppg) and 19th in the country in total offense (448.5 ypg). In 2012, the Gorillas ranked 24th nationally in total offense (454.4 ypg) and 27th in the country in rushing offense (204.6 ypg).

This season, Pittsburg State is currently ranked ninth nationally in scoring (47.8 ppg), 15th nationally in rushing offense (269.5 ypg) and sixth in total offense (553.5 ypg).

Dreiling Etched in Record Books
Junior linebacker Nate Dreiling continues to climb both the Pitt State and MIAA career tackles charts. Dreiling (6-4, 226) has posted double-digit tackles in 26 of 42 career games for the Gorillas.

The Hutchinson/Victoria, Kan., native now has 437 (10.4 pg) career tackles. He needs 34 stops to become PSU's all-time tackles leader.  Dreiling trails only former All-American Chris Brown (470) on the career list.

Dreiling also needs four tackles to take over eighth place on the MIAA's all-time tackle chart. Truman's Marti Rave (1977-79) holds the MIAA career tackle mark (489).
A three-time All-American performer (2010-12), Dreiling was named the MIAA Defensive Player of the Week Monday (Oct. 14) for his efforts in the Gorillas road win over Central Missouri. He had a team-leading eight stops, including two behind the line of scrimmage, against the Mules. Dreiling also snared an interception – the 11th of his career – on the game's first offensive play to help stake the Gorillas to an early 7-0 lead.

PSU Career Tackles    Total    MIAA Career Tackles    Total
    1.    Chris Brown, 1992-95    470        1.    Marti Rave, Truman, 1977-79    489
    2.    Nate Dreiling, 2010-pres.    437        2.    Zach Watkins, WU, 2006-09    473
PSU Career Interceptions    Total          6.     John Harvey, MSU, 1978-81    452
    1.    Ted Adams, 1986-89    20         7.     Dave Svehla, NWMSU, 187-90    450
                    8.    Steve Savard, NWMSU, 1982-85    441
    4.    Mark Kilgore, 1979-82    13        9.    Nate Dreiling, Pitt State, 2010-pres.    437
    4.    John Pringle, 1979-82    13
        Nate Dreiling, 2010-pres.    11

Abenoja Ranks Fourth in Nation in Passing Efficiency
Junior quarterback Tony Abenoja currently ranks fourth in NCAA Division II with a 188.4 passer rating.  He also ranks sixth nationally in completion percentage (.692) and 12th in points responsible for (18.5 ppg).

Abenoja (6-3, 210) has completed 110 of 159 passes for 1,660 yards (276.7 ypg) and 17 touchdowns with three interceptions.  The Overland Park, Kan., native also has rushed the ball 57 times for 273 yards (4.8 ypc) and three TDs.

Abenoja established a trio of new Pitt State single game records against Lincoln, passing for 442 yards with five touchdowns and compiling 463 yards of total offense.
For his career, Abenoja has completed 294 of 439 passes (.670) for 4,254 yards and 35 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.  He's also rushed 150 times for 485 yards (3.2 ypc) and six TDs, compiling 4,739 yards of total offense. Abenoja already ranks fifth on PSU's career passing yards and sixth in career passing touchdowns lists.
He also improved to 13-3 (.813) as the Gorillas starting quarterback.

Brown Continues to Make History
Senior wide receiver/return specialist John Brown earned MIAA Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second time in three weeks Monday (Oct. 14), after nearly logging his second 200-yard receiving game of the season.

Brown (5-11, 170) posted a game-high 12 receptions for 199 yards and two touchdowns against the Mules. He had a five-yard TD grab late in the first half and a 30-yard scoring catch in the third quarter against UCM.

Brown captured Pitt State's all-time receiving record with a nine-catch, 237-yard performance in the Gorillas' game against Lincoln on Sept. 28.

The Homestead, Fla., native scored five total touchdowns in the contest to tie the PSU single game scoring record (30 points) and he compiled 294 all-purpose yards, earning MIAA Offensive Player of the Week honors. His 237-yard receiving total ranks second on Pitt State's single game chart and fifth in MIAA single game history.

Brown now holds both the Pitt State career receptions record (163) and the Pitt State career receiving yards mark (2,939 yards). He passed Ronnie West, the only wide receiver in Division II history to win the Harlon Hill Trophy in 1991, atop the list, in his 28th game – the same number of games West played in 1990-91. Brown now needs 110 yards to carve his name in the MIAA career receiving top 10 list.

PSU Career Receiving    G    Rec    Yards    YPG             
    1.    John Brown, 2011-pr.    30    163    2939    98.0
    2.    Ronnie West, 1990-91    28    123    2521    90.0                

MIAA Career Receiving    Rec    Yards
    1.    Jamaica Rector, NW, 2001-04    289    4497

    9.    Michael Dritlein, WU, 1992-95    170    3103
    10.    Andre Rector, NW, 2002-05    213    3049
        John Brown, PSU, 2011-pres.    163    2939

PSU Career All-Purpose    Rush    Rec    PR    KR    Yards
    1.    Ronald Moore, 1989-92    5776    318    0    1084    7178

    3.    Monte Weathers, 1984-87    3852    295    686    1932    6764    
    4.    John Brown, 2011-pres.    332    2939    952    1212    5435

Reimer, Longacre Lead Northwest Defense
Junior linebacker Eric Reimer and junior defensive end Matt Longacre have led the Bearcat defense through the first six games of the season.
Reimer (6-2, 225), from Menomonee Falls, Wis., has made a team-leading 42 tackles (26 solo) with 6.0 tackles-for-loss and 2.0 quarterback sacks, while Longacre (6-3, 240), an Omaha, Neb., native, has registered 19 stops (12 solo) with 4.5 TFLs and 2.5 QB sacks.
Longacre earned MIAA Defensive Player of the Week honors in the Bearcats' victory over Nebraska-Kearney on Oct. 5.  He made four tackles, including 2.0 TFLs and 0.5 QB sack, and he recovered a fumble that he returned 17 yards for a touchdown.
Junior linebacker DJ Gnader (6-2, 225) also has recorded 40 tackles (22 solo) and three pass breakups for the Bearcats. Junior cornerback Travis Manning (6-0, 190) has made two of Northwest's six interceptions on the season.

Adams Leads Division II in Passing Efficiency
Senior quarterback Trevor Adams currently leads NCAA Division II in passing efficiency with a 199.8 passer rating and completion percentage (.745).
Adams (6-1, 200), an Odessa, Texas, native, has completed 76 of 102 passes for 1,137 yards (189.5 ypg) and 11 touchdowns with just two interceptions on the season. He's also rushed the ball 25 times for 100 yards (4.0 ypc) and a score.

Adams continues to climb up several lists in the Northwest record book follwing a strong showing against Central Oklahoma last Saturday when he completed 18 of 21 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns.

Adams is now fourth all-time in passing touchdowns (55), fifth in total offense (6,303), sixth in passing yards (5,863), sixth in completion percentage (64.7), and eighth in completions (430).

Sophomore quarterback Brady Bolles also has seen significant action for the Bearcats. Bolles (6-3, 180) has completed 46 of 65 passes for 622 yards and five TDs, while rushing a team-leading 56 times for 253 yards (4.5 ypc) and three scores.

Junior wide receiver Reuben Thomas and senior wide receiver Clint Utter have been Adams' favorite targets this season. Thomas (6-2, 185) has caught a team-leading 21 passes for 320 yards (15.2 ypc) with three touchdowns, while Utter (6-3, 200) has 19 grabs for 374 (19.7 ypc) and five scores.

Senior running back Billy Creason (5-10, 200) has 55 carries for 285 yards (5.2 ypc) and seven touchdowns, while junior running back Robert Burton III (5-11, 190) has 50 attempts for a team-leading 317 yards (6.3 ypc) and four TDs.

The Northwest offensive line – anchored by senior guard Cody Carlson (6-3, 275) – has allowed just two quarterback sacks in 171 pass attempts, ranking second nationally in passing sacks allowed (0.33 pg).

Odds & Ends
    •    Junior place kicker Connor Frazell has converted 18 of 24 (.750) career field goals and 76 of 79 (.962) career PATs.

    •    Pitt State is +9 (+1.5 pg) in turnover margin in its first six games with 16 takeaways vs. seven giveaways. The Gorillas are 11-0 during Coach Beck's tenure in
         games they are +2 or better in turnover margin.

    •    The Gorillas have executed their 2-minute offense perfectly at the end of the first half in five games, going 62 yards in six plays and 1:03 elapsed to score a TD
          vs. NSU, going 40 yards in four plays and 49 seconds elapsed to score a TD vs. UCO, going 62 yards in three plays and 24 seconds elapsed to score a TD vs.
          SBU, going 66 yards in eight plays in 1:48 of elapsed time to score a TD vs. LU, and going 43 yards in five plays in 0:51 of elapsed time to score a TD vs. UCM.

    •    Pitt State has scored on its opening possession of the game four times in 2013 and the Gorillas have scored on their opening possession of the second half in
         four of the first six games.  



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