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Football Heads To No. 4 Northwest Missouri For Week Two Battle - KOAM TV 7

Football Heads To No. 4 Northwest Missouri For Week Two Battle

Updated:
JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

The Missouri Southern football team will take to the road for the first time in 2015 when the Lion travel to fourth-ranked Northwest Missouri for a Thursday night battle in Maryville. 

Game Information

Team Records: MSSU - 0-1, 0-1 MIAA | NWMO - 1-0, 1-0 MIAAA
Date: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015
Kick-Off: 7:00 p.m., CT
Location: Maryville, Mo.  
Site: Bearcat Stadium (6,500)
Series Record:  Northwest leads 22-4
Coaches: Denver Johnson (0-1 at MSSU, 69-67 overall) | Adam Dorrel (47-8 at NWMO, overall)

Media Coverage

MSSU Radio: FM 99.7 Real American Country - Mike McClure, Play-by-Play, Scott Boudreaux, Color
Video Webcast: http://portal.stretchinternet.com/mssu/
Live Stats: http://sidearmstats.com/nwmissouri/football
Lions on Facebook:  Facebook.com/mososports
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mosofootball

The Coaches: 

Denver Johnson was named the 13th head coach in Missouri Southern history on April 1, 2015. He comes to Southern after serving four seasons at the University of Tulsa as the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. In his four seasons at Tulsa, four of his offensive linemen earned first-team all-league accolades, including Stetson Burnett (2013), Brian DeShane and Jared Grigg (2012) and Clint Anderson (2011). Tyler Holmes was an honorable mention performer in 2011 and spent the 2012 season with the Minnesota Vikings. Johnson coached an offensive line that helped pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in two of his final three seasons at Tulsa. In 2012, Tulsa's offense ranked fourth nationally for fewest sacks allowed, ninth for rushing offense, 21st for fewest tackles for lost yardage allowed and 28th for total offense. Johnson has spent a total of 30 years coaching college football. In the summer of 2012, Johnson was awarded the Merv Johnson Integrity in College Coaching Award by the Jim Thorpe Association. Johnson has been the head coach at two Division I institutions garnering a 69-66 overall record in 12 seasons at Murray State and Illinois State.  An All-Missouri Valley Conference offensive lineman as a senior for Tulsa, Johnson was an eighth round draft choice by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1981. He spent two years (1981-82) with the Bucs and three seasons in the USFL, playing two years (1983-84) with the Los Angeles Express and the 1985 season with the Houston Gamblers. Johnson's USFL tenure included playing stints with NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Steve Young. Johnson earned his bachelor's degree in business management from Tulsa in 1981. He and his wife, Danita Kay, have two daughters: Taylor and Kelsey.

Adam Dorrel is in his fifth year as the head coach at Northwest Missouri State University. He led the Bearcats to the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship and a perfect 15-0 season. In four plus years at the helm of the Bearcats, Dorrel is 47-8 overall. He was named the 2013 National and MIAA Coach of the Year.  Being one of the first players to start on the offensive line under Tjeerdsma in 1994, Dorrel has continued the streak of ten-straight NCAA playoffs for the Bearcats, the longest current streak in NCAA Division II football. In addition to a celebrated playoff run, the Bearcats have averaged 12 wins per season in his first three seasons as a coach, and the team has scored 59 points or more on eight different occasions in his tenure. 

The Series:  Northwest holds a 22-4 record against the Lions. Southern won last in 1994, 34-9 at Hughes Stadium, the only win at home in the series. Southern is 3-8 in Maryville, but haven't beat the Bearcats since 1994. Since 1998, the average margin of victory for Northwest has been 33 points. The Bearcats own the longest current winning streak against the Lions at 20 straight games.  

The Dish On The Bearcats: The Bearcats are one of the most dominant teams in Division II football over the past 15 years. Northwest has won 10 plus games in each of the last 11 seasons, and 12 times in the last 13 years. Northwest went on the road in week one and shutout Nebraska-Kearney 31-0. The Bearcats had 145 yards on the ground and 242 yards on the ground against the Lopers. They out gained UNK 387 to 244 and had nearly a ten minute time of possession advantage. The Bearcats converted 8-of-16 third down conversions and held UNK to 2-of-13.  Brady Bolles leads the Bearcats' offense as the quarterback went 20-32 for 211 yards and a touchdown in game one. He also carried the ball 12 times and scored on the ground, as well.  Phil Jackson and Kyle Zimmerman lead the team in rushing with Jackson having 54 yards on 10 carries and a score, while Zimmerman had 29 yards on four carries and a touchdown. Shawn Bane had six receptions for 78 yards, while Geoge Sehl had three catches for 54 yards and a score. Defensively, Cass Weitl had a team-high nine tackles, while recording three tackles for a loss and a sack and a half. Brandon Yost had four stops and a sack and a half, while Collin Bevins had a sack and a half and one fumble recovery. The Bearcats will be back in action next Saturday when they travel to Central Missouri. 

A Victory vs. Northwest Would:  be the first time in the last 21 tries for the Lions over the Bearcats. It would also be the highest ranked opponent the Lions have defeated since Southern beat 6th ranked Pittsburg State in 2013. 

NFL Representation: The Lions will have two different starters on NFL rosters to start the season. Brandon Williams is a starter on the defensive line for the Baltimore Ravens, while Allen Barbre will on the offensive line for the Philadelphia Eagles.  

NCAA Stat Leaders:  The Lions, after one game, lead Division II in fourth down conversion percentage, blocked kicks allowed, blocked punts allowed and fumbles lost. They also rank 14th in team sacks, 15th in fewest penalties, 16th in passes intercepted and 27th in turnovers lost.   

MIAA Stat Leaders: The Lions lead the MIAA in fourth down conversion percentage, blocked kicks allowed, blocked punts allowed, fumbles lost and passes intercepted. They also rank second in fewest penalties, and third in fewest penalty yards, rushing offense, sacks allowed, team sacks and turnovers gained. They also rank fourth in team tackles for a loss and fewest turnovers.  

Individual National Rankings: Brock Renken leads the NCAA in field goal percentage, while Ricky Green ranks second in interceptions and passes defended. Kyjuan Tate ranks third in total tackles, while Renken also ranks seventh in field goals per game. Will Gregory ranks 14th in rushing yards per carry, while Chris Goss III and David Smith rank 34th in sacks. Justin Tomlinson ranks 35th in total tackles andStetson Broce ranks 39th in punting, while Gregory is 42nd in rushing yards.   

MIAA Individual Rankings: Renken leads the MIAA in field goal percentage and is second in field goals per game. Green leads the league in interceptions and passes defended, while Gregory and Tate lead the league in rushing yards per carry and total tackles, respectively. Gregory is third in rushing yards and rushing yards per game, while Broche ranks sixth in punting. Both Goss III and David Smithrank sixth in sacks, while Tomlinson is seventh in tackles. 

Rushing It: The Lions rank 35th nationally in rushing  and rank third in the MIAA. The Lions average 224 yards per game and had two rushing touchdowns in week one. 

Spread the Wealth: The Lions had eight different players catch a pass in week one. Six different players rushed the ball. In 2014, only ten different players caught a pass all season. 

Tough League/Region: The MIAA has two teams in the coaches top 25 this week. Northwest Missouri is fourth, while Pittsburg State is fifth. The Super Region Three, which the Lions are a part of, has eight teams in the top 25. There are 13 teams total that are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll from the region. 

New Quarterback:  TJ Fleeton will serve as the MSSU starting quarterback this week at Northwest Missouri. 

Renken's Day:  Sophomore kicker Brock Renken (Joplin) had a day in the Lions' opener as he went 2-2 in both field goals and extra points. He hit a career-high 40-yarder in his first attempt and nailed a 32-yarder later in the game. Renken leads the NCAA in field goal percentage and ranks seventh in field goals per game. 

Broce With the Boot:  Junior punter Stetson Broce had six punts for an average of 40 yards per kick in the Lions' opener. He ranks 39th nationally in punting and sixth in the MIAA. 

Ricky Green With The Pick:  Junior Ricky Green had two interceptions in the game with Emporia State. The two picks are the first time since last year against Central Missouri where a Lion had multiple interceptions in the same game. He currently ranks second nationally in picks and leads the MIAA in the category. He also ranks second nationally in passes defended, while leading the MIAA. 

Welcome Back Kenny:  Defensive Coordinator Kenny Evans is back in green and gold for MSSU. Evans spent nine seasons on the late John Lantz's staff at Missouri Southern from 1989-97 where he helped guide the program into the ranks of NCAA Division II and help MSSU go 51-35 during that stretch.  

Defensive Depth:  The Lions return five starters on defense from a season ago. Of the 11 starters on defense, however, ten saw significant time over the previous two seasons for MSSU.

New Quarterback II:  For the first time since the 2007 season (Nathan Emmert), the Lions will not have the previous season's opening game starting quarterback on its roster (not including graduation). Jay McDowell left the program in the off season. 

Weather Report:  The weather report for the Maryville area on Thursday calls for a high of 81 degrees with mostly sunny conditions and a ten percent chance of rain. 

Up Next:  The Lions will come back home on September 19 for Hall of Fame Weekend when Southern plays host to Nebraska-Kearney at 6 pm inside Hughes Stadium. 

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