The Northwest Missouri State University football team will play Shepherd University on Saturday, December 19, at 3 p.m. CST at Children’s Mercy Park (Sporting Park) in Kansas City, Kan., for the 2015 NCAA Division II National Championship. Fans interested in attending the game or any events leading up to the game can visit the official information page.
The previous championship games have been played in Florence, Ala. and now fans in Missouri have an opportunity to see one of the most successful football programs in the state.
Here’s a look back at the Bearcats’ four previous national titles.
1998 | Northwest 24, Carson-Newman 6 |
December 12, 1998 | Braly Municipal | Florence, Ala. | 6,149
Northwest quarterback Chris Greisen threw two touchdown passes and Derek Lane ran for one touchdown to lead the Bearcats to a 24-6 win against Carson-Newman and the program’s first national title. Greisen threw an NCAA record 13 touchdown passes during the playoffs.
Northwest became the first Division II program to finish a season 15-0. 1999 | Northwest 58, Carson-Newman 52 (4OT) |
December 11, 1999 | Braly Municipal | Florence, Ala. | 8,451
Northwest’s 58-52, quadruple overtime win against Carson-Newman has been described as “the greatest college football game ever played.” Northwest scored 30 points in the fourth quarter and 15 points in the final three minutes to reach overtime, successfully completed a two-point conversion to force a fourth overtime, and then recovered a Carson-Newman fumble to win its second national title in as many years.
Bearcat quarterback Travis Miles threw for 298 yards and five touchdowns including a 13-yard strike to J.R. Hill to give the Bearcats a 58-52 lead. Hill had 120 yards receiving and caught three touchdown passes during the game including a 34 yarder with 10 seconds left in regulation. Ryan George then made “the catch” in the back of the end zone for two points and a 44-44 tie.
2009 | Northwest 30, Grand Valley 23 |
December 12, 2009 | Braly Municipal | Florence, Ala. | 6,211
Northwest used a 21-0 halftime lead to hold off Grand Valley State 30-23 and win the program’s third national championship. Bearcat quarterback Blake Bolles threw a 26-yard touchdown strike to Jake Soy on a 4th-and-4 play with 10 minutes remaining that gave Northwest a 30-20 advantage. The Bearcats later recovered an onside kick and stopped a final Laker drive before hoisting the trophy.
LaRon Council ran for 172 yards and two first-half touchdowns for Northwest. Soy caught nine passes for 118 yards. Northwest scored touchdowns on its first three possessions en route to the win.
2013 | Northwest 43, Lenoir-Rhyne 28 |
December 21, 2013 | Braly Municipal | Florence, Ala. | 6,543
The Bearcats scored the game’s first 17 points and never looked back as Northwest captured its fourth NCAA National Championship and first under head coach Adam Dorrel. Senior quarterback Trevor Adams threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns. Billy Creason and Brady Bolles each rushed for scores.
Facing an option offensive threat, the Northwest defense held strong, recording five tackles for loss, led by D.J. Gnader, who had 12 tackles and forced a fumble.