One of the biggest reasons Northwest Missouri State was able to finish the regular season unbeaten was their stingy defense and potent running attack. The Bearcats finished 11-0 overall, 9-0 in the MIAA and received a No. 1 seed in the Southwest Region of the Division II playoffs.
Junior running back Xavier Omon was named a regional finalist for the 2006 Harlon Hill Trophy – the Division II version of the Heisman Trophy. Six players were nominated in the region. The top two players in voting from each region will advance to the national vote. The national winner will be given the Harlon Hill Award on Dec. 15. The awards is handed out in Florence, Ala the day before the Division II National Championship Game, which means if Omon wins he might not have to make a special trip.
Omon has already broken school records for career rushing yards (4,200), rushing touchdowns (49), and total touchdowns (53). His four touchdowns against Emporia State this season tied a Northwest single-game record.
Omon has been out the past two games with a rib injury but does expect to play in the Bearcats second round game Nov. 25. Northwest has a first round bye and will play the winner of fourth-seeded Midwestern State and fifth-seeded Missouri Western.
The other finalists from the Southwest Region are: quarterbacks Dalton Bell (West Texas A&M), Toby Korrodi (Central Missouri), Billy Malone (Abilene Christian), and running backs Germaine Race (Pittsburg State), and Danny Woodhead (Chadron State).