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MSSU to Host #1 Northwest Saturday - KOAM TV 7

MSSU to Host #1 Northwest Saturday

Updated:

RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

Football Plays Host To No. 1 Ranked Northwest Missouri State

9/21/2016 | Football

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern football team will play host to number one ranked Northwest Missouri State University this weekend. Kickoff from Fred G. Hughes Stadium at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex is slated for 6 pm.

Game Information
Team Records: MSSU - 0-3, 0-3 MIAA | NWMO - 3-0, 3-0 MIAA
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2016
Kick-Off: 6 pm, CT
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Fred G. Hughes Stadium | Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex (7,000)
Series Record: Northwest Missouri leads the series 23-4.
Coaches: Denver Johnson (1-13 at MSSU, 70-79 overall) | Adam Dorrel (61-8 overall/at NWMO)

Media Coverage
MSSU Radio: ESPN Joplin 101.3, 103.5 FM and AM 1560; 88.7 FM KXMS - Mike McClure, Play-by-Play, Scott Boudreaux, Color
Video Webcast: http://portal.stretchinternet.com/mssu/
Live Stats: http://sidearmstats.com/mssu/football
Lions on Facebook: Facebook.com/mososports
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mosofootball

The Series: Northwest holds a 23-4 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 the defending National Champions. Northwest has won 18 games in a row dating back to last season when the team completed an undefeated 15-0 trek to the National Championship. The Bearcats defeated then 24th ranked Emporia State to start the season and have since won two games at home over Washburn and Nebraska-Kearney.Northwest is led by senior quarterback Kyle Zimmerman. He has passed for 799 yards on 63-98 passing for nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. He has also ran for 89 yards and a score. Phil Jackson is the leading rusher with 121 yards and two scores, while Cameron Wilcox has a rushing score of his own. Shawn Bane is the leading threat through the air, having caught seven passes for 199 yards (28.4 per catch) and three touchdowns. Jordan Grove has nine receptions for 146 yards and a score, while George Sehl has eight receptions for 139 yards and three scores. Defensively, Jacob Vollstedt is the leading tackler with 29 stops, including two tackles for a loss and two quarterback hurries. Jarrod Bishop is one of three Bearcats with an interception, while Cass Weitl has nine tackles and two sacks. The Bearcats will be back in action next week as they take on Central Missouri. That game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City and features the two MIAA ranked teams.

A Victory vs. Northwest Missouri State Would: be the first time in the last 22 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 start on the offensive line for the Philadelphia Eagles.

NFL Leaders: Brandon Williams has become a leader on the defense for the Baltimore Ravens, shoring their defensive line. Last year, the third-year pro had a career-high 52 tackles and two sacks. He was listed by many as a notable snub for the NFL Pro Bowl in 2015. Allen Barbre will be in his second year as a starter on the offensive line for the Eagles and head coach Doug Pedersen is very high on Barbre, naming him the starter prior to training camp. Barbre started all 16 games for the Eagles in 2015.

NFL Executive: Former Lion and former NFL wide receiver James Thrash is in his second season serving as the NFL and NFLPA's Appeals Officer. He hears all appeals for the NFL regarding on-field player discipline. Thrash played 12 seasons in the NFL for the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.

Lions On Radio: The Lions will partner with ESPN Joplin this year as Southern can now be heard on three separate FM stations, as well as an AM station. ESPN Joplin will air the Lions' games on 101.3 and 103.5 FM, as well as AM 1560. MSSU's KXMS 88.7 will also simulcast the games giving the Lions a larger reach in the four-states than they've ever had.

Tough League/Region: The MIAA has two teams in the coaches top 25 this week. Northwest Missouri is 1st, while Central Missouri is 13h. The Super Region Three, which the Lions are a part of, has 11 teams in the top 25. There are 13 teams total that are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll from the region.

Lions On TV: Missouri Southern's KGCS will air every Lions home game live this year during the season. They will also re-broadcast the games on Sunday evenings at 7 pm.

Lions On The Web: All of MSSU's football games are carried live online as part of the MIAA's streaming contract with Stretch Internet. Fans can view games live by clicking on the link on www.mssulions.com.

New Coaches: Bill Bleil (offensive line) and Darius Hart (defensive line) will join the Lions this year on coach Denver Johnson's staff. Bleil comes to Southern from the University of Rhode Island, while Hart previously coached at Trinity Valley Community College.

Team Stats Rankings: The Lions, as a team rank seventh in blocked punts and lead the NCAA in fewest blocked punts allowed. The team ranks 38th in passing offense, while ranking 33rd in fumbles recovered and 28th in completion percentage.

Individual Stats Rankings: Individually, TJ Fleeton ranks 16th nationally in completions per game, while ranking 25th in completion percentage. Scott Lathrop is 21st nationally in receptions per game, while travelle Smith and Chris Williams rank 21st nationally in fumbles recovered. Brock Renken ranks 33rd nationally in field goals per game, while Romel Hill, Trevor Plafcan and Smith rank 38th in forced fumbles. Fleeton ranks 46th in total offense.

A Tale Of Two Halves: Last week at Emporia, the Lions allowed 20 first downs, 42 points and 323 yards in the first half. In the second half, the defense settled down and allowed just 156 yards, seven points and just six first downs, while also forcing a fumble and recovering and forcing a three and out.

Safety First: The Lions forced a safety against Missouri Western after blocking a punt out of the end zone. It wsa the first time since 2012 the Lions have had a safety.

Call Me A Hall Of Famer: Allen Barbre will go into the Missouri Southern Athletics Hall of Fame this year. Barbre was a multiple All-American offensive lineman in his four-year career for the Lions and is now a starter with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Expanded Roster: Last season, the Lions carried between 80-90 players on their roster and that provided depth issues for the team. This year, Southern has between 130-140 players, much more to the liking of head coach Denver Johnson.

Record Setter: TJ Fleeton tied his own school record this past week as he completed 36 passes against Fort Hays. He tied the record he had previously set last season, ironically against FHSU.

Welcome Back: Southern welcomed back a pair of former starters to the lineup after both had sat out last year with an injury. Lars Lindquist and Scott Lathrop are both back, but both are playing different positions. Lindquist has moved to the offensive line after serving as a starter on the other side, while Lathrop will move from quarterback to receiver.

Weather Report: The weather report for the Joplin area on Saturday calls for partly cloudy conditions and a high of 88 degrees with a 20 percent chance of precipitation.

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