From MIAA’s Matt Newberry.

No. 25 Washburn (8-3, 7-2 MIAA) not only made its way back into the AFCA Division II Top 25, but will be making its second NCAA Division II Football Playoff appearance in three seasons with a trip Saturday (Nov. 17) to fourth-ranked West Texas A&M (11-0).

The Ichabods needed to win last weekend have a few things happen elsewhere — including a loss by Missouri Western (8-3, 6-3 MIAA) at Truman (6-5, 4-5 MIAA) — to have any hope of returning to the 24-team field.

WU defeated Southwest Baptist (0-11, 0-9 MIAA), the Bulldogs rallied to defeat the Bulldogs, and Tarleton (Texas) State lost to West Texas A&M in the Lone Star Conference to allow the Ichabods to crack the Southwest Region’s top six.

It will be the first football meeting between WU and the WTAMU Buffaloes.

No. 5 Northwest Missouri State (9-1, 9-0 MIAA) secured one of the two first-round byes by earning the region’s No. 2 seed — behind only second-ranked Chadron (Neb.) State — and the Bearcats will get the winner of the WU/WTAMU game in the second round of the playoffs.

It is the 10th time in 12 seasons the Bearcats have made the playoffs, and Northwest will be aiming to make its third championship game appearance in as many years.

Northwest and Pittsburg State (8-3, 6-3 MIAA) each have 19 of the MIAA’s 38 wins in the Division II Playoffs. WU will be trying to become just the third conference school to get a playoff victory.

Meanwhile, Missouri Western still has a game left to play, as the Griffons will represent the MIAA in the Mineral Water Bowl at Excelsior Springs, Mo., Dec. 1.

MWSU plays an old rival from the past, as Wayne (Neb.) State will be representing the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in the game. The Griffons and Wildcats played in the Central States Intercollegiate Conference as members of the NAIA from 1976-88.

It will be Western’s fifth appearance in the Mineral Water Bowl, fourth in the current MIAA/NSIC arrangement. The Griffons have a 3-1 record in the game.

SMART SETS ALL-DIVISIONS MARK: Southwest Baptist senior WR Nick Smart became the most-prolific pass catcher for a single NCAA football season in his last game with the Bearcats Saturday (Nov. 10).

With his 16 catches in SBU’s home loss to Washburn, he finished 2007 with 143 and surpassed the NCAA Collegiate (all divisions) record for pass receptions in a single season.

The mark of 142 was set in 1989 by Manny Hazzard of Division I-FBS-member Houston (Texas). Smart passed the Division II record of 119 in his previous game.

OMON MAKES IT 1500 TIMES FOUR: No rthwest Missouri State senior RB Xavier Omon became the first back in NCAA history with four 1,500-yard rushing seasons in a career in the Bearcats’ 49-14 win over Missouri Southern (6-5, 4-5 MIAA) last Saturday (Nov. 10).

Omon, the MIAA’s only regional candidate for the Harlon Hill Award, had 83 yards on 16 carries against MSSU. He needs 12 more yards to surpass Truman’s Jarrett Anderson (1993-96 — 6,313) for third on the MIAA’s career rushing list. He ended the 2007 regular season with 6,302 yards.

He scored two TDs against the Lions to give him 518 career points. Omon is 27 points from passing Emporia State’s Brian Shay (1995-98 — 544) for second on the MIAA’s career scoring list.

THE 80-WIN CLUB: Missouri Western’s Jerry Partridge will have to wait until the Mineral Water Bowl to get his next chance to reach 80 wins as Griffons head coach and become the ninth MIAA mentor to reach the milestone.

He passed former Central Missouri head coach Terry Noland (1983-96 — 78) for ninth on the MIAA’s coaching victories list with 79 after Western defeated UCM, 42-38, Nov. 3.

BRILL CLIMBS MIAA PASSING LIST: Washburn senior QB Jordan Brill climbed two spots on the MIAA’s career passing list with his efforts at Southwest Baptist last Saturday (Nov. 10).

He had 156 yards on 10-of-18 attempts to raise his career passing total to 6,774. He moved past Truman’s Jeff Frost (1987-90 — 6,676) and Emporia State’s Tad Hatfield (2001-04 — 6,697).

Brill needs 57 yards to pass Missouri Southern’s Matt Cook (1989-93 — 6,830) for seventh place.

MSSU junior QB Adam Hinspeter ended 2007 with 7,173 yards — currently No. 6 on the career list.

MIAA HAS 20 ON ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT LIST: The MIAA had 20 student-athletes on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VII College Division Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America and released Thursday (Nov. 8), including seven on the first team.

Three of the seven on the first-team came from Pittsburg State — junior RB Caleb Farabi (3.77 — management), senior OL Zac Robinson (3.60 — plastics engineering) and senior DB Nick Dellasega (3.97 — accounting).

The other MIAA first-team choices include Truman junior TE Ryan King (3.90 — physics), Washburn sophomore LB Zach Watkins (3.68 — business), Northwest Missouri State sophomore DL Sean Paddock (3.68 — business management) and Central Missouri senior P Matt Frankel (3.69 — accounting).

Northwest and Fort Hays State each had three second-team selections. The Bearcats listed were junior OL Matt Nelson (3.54 — corporate recreation & wellness), sophomore DB Myles Burnsides (3.87 — business management) and sophomore LB Evan Wilmes (4.00 — philosophy).

The FHSU Tigers had junior OL Jordan Stricker (3.79 — marketing), senior DB Adam Kotschwar (3.83 — criminal justice) and junior DL Ty Brunswig (3.43 — pre-veterinary medicine).
PSU had two second-teamers in senior TE Brian Barta (3.36 — management) and sophomore DL Brock Lohr (3.51 — communication).

Other MIAA second-team choices included Truman junior QB Matt Ticich (3.38 — biology/history [pre-dentistry]), Southwest Baptist senior WR Nick Smart (3.82 — accounting/economics & finance), Missouri Southern senior WR Colin Bado (3.83 — marketing), Central Missouri senior OL John Books (3.92 — physical education) and Missouri Western junior K Dustin Strickler (3.95 — business management).

The first-team choices are now eligible for the Academic All-America Team.

College Division District VII includes all non-NCAA Division I schools located in the states of Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana — as well as schools in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Team-by-Team Postseason Notes
Missouri Western: The Griffons dropped their regular season finale for the second time in as many seasons with the loss at Truman… The loss snapped a five-game winning streak fro Western… Freshman RB La’Darrian Page cracked the 1,000-yard plateau in the Truman game — his 124 yards vs. the Bulldogs raised his total to 1,114… The Griffons led, 28-14, before Truman scored 23 unanswered points… Sophomore QB Barron Bradshaw started against Truman, and was 11-of-22 passing for 136 yards and a TD, while freshman QB Drew Newhart came on in the fourth quarter and was 6-of-7 for 95 yards — his lone miss was intercepted in the Truman end zone late in the game.

Northwest Missouri State: The Bearcats trailed Missouri Southern after one quarter, 7-0, marking the first time Northwest was behind going into the second quarter of a game this season… It was the second time in as many games the ‘Cats had been held scoreless in the first quarter… Northwest rallied with 35 second-quarter points for a 28-point halftime lead… The win over Southern, a squad led by former assistant Bart Tatum, was the 200th of head coach Mel Tjeerdsma’s collegiate career (200-76-4 — .721)… The Bearcats didn’t commit a turnover vs. MSSU — a first for an entire game in 2007… The Northwest defense held the Lions to 29 net rushing yards.

Washburn: The Ichabods rushed for 362 of their 518 yards of total offense in the win over Southwest Baptist — freshman RB Terrence Lowe had a career-high 177 yards and a TD on 18 carries, while senior RB Ra’shawn Mosley finished with 145 on 20 totes with a score… Mosley became the second WU back with two 1,000-yard rushing seasons — his 1,106 yards are the third-most in school history… Senior WR Jake Lebahn cracked WU’s career top 10 in receving yards last week — he has 1,267… The Ichabods’ foe, West Texas A&M, last played an MIAA school in 2005 — losing to Pitt State, 41-3, in the second round of the playoffs.

Other notes from around the MIAA: SBU freshman QB Steven Gachette suffered a leg injury while making a tackle after tossing an interception on his first drive against WU — he did not return to the game… Southern senior WR Colin Bado had eight first-quarter receptions for 94 yards and a TD against Northwest, but had only three more for 21 yards the rest of the way… With the win over Western, Truman secured its 70th winning season of 100 played in school history… UCM senior FB Jeremy Braden scored three TDs in his final game to lead the Mules past Fort Hays State.

MIAA Football Players of the Week
For the week of play ending Nov. 11

Nick Smart, WR, Southwest Baptist University
Mark Smith, QB, Pittsburg State University &
Matt Ticich, QB, Truman State University
Smart, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior from Marionville, Mo., set the NCAA Collegiate (all divisions) record for single-season receptions in the Bearcats’ 37-14 loss to Washburn Saturday (Nov. 10).

He needed 16 catches entering the game to pass the mark of 142 set in 1989 by Manny Hazzard of Houston (Texas), and his final reception of the day gave him the record.

Smart had 124 yards on his 16 grabs with one touchdown.

He is a graduate of Marionville High School.


Smith, a 5-11, 183-pound junior from Pittsburg, Kan., set a PSU record with five touchdown passes and recorded career highs in passing yards and total offense in the Gorillas’ 62-0 win Saturday over Emporia State.

His 324 passing yards are the third-most in school history, and he added 61 rushing yards on 10 carries with a for 385 yards of offense — fourth-largest total in Pitt State history.

Smith was 19-of-24 through the air with the five scores and one interception.

He is a graduate of St. Mary’s-Colgan High School.


Ticich, a 6-0, 199-pound junior from Temecula, Calif., tossed five touchdown passes and accumulated 300 yards of offense as the Bulldogs upset Missouri Western, 37-28, Saturday afternoon.

The five TDs raised his 2007 total to 25, tied for second-most in school history for a season. He was 18-of-39 for 228 yards and no interceptions, and added 72 rushing yards on 21 carries.

He now has 40 career TD passes (third-best in Truman history) and 5,736 yards of career total offense (fifth all-time at Truman).

He is a graduate of Chaparral High School, and transferred to Truman from Mount San Jacinto (Calif.) College following his freshman season.

Others Nominated: Jeremy Braden, FB, UCM; Terrence Lowe, RB, WU; Joel Osborn, QB, NWMSU; La’Darrian Page, RB, MWSU.

Previous Winners: 8/27 — Mark Smith, QB, PSU; 9/3 — Caleb Farabi, TB, PSU; 9/10 — Matt Ticich, QB, TSU; 9/17 — Alley Broussard, RB, MSSU & Caleb Farabi, TB, PSU; 9/24 — Xavier Omon, RB, NWMSU; 10/1 — Chadd Snyder, QB, PSU; 10/8 — Xavier Omon, RB, NWMSU; 10/15 — Xavier Omon, RB, NWMSU; 10/22 — Drew Newhart, QB, MWSU; 10/29 — Xavier Omon, RB, NWMSU; 11/5 — Jake Lebahn, WR, WU.

Bruce Ringwood, LB
Washburn University
Ringwood, a 6-foot-0, 227-pound junior from Blue Springs, Mo., had seven tackles — including three for losses — in the Ichabods’ 37-14 win at Southwest Baptist Saturday (Nov. 10).

All of his tackles were solos. Of his three tackles for loss, two were quarterback sacks for a loss of 17 yards, as WU held the Bearcats to 41 rushing yards. He also added an interception.

Ringwood is a graduate of Blue Springs High School, and transferred to WU from the University of Kansas following his freshman season.

Others Nominated: Chris LeFlore, CB, NWMSU; Brett Shamblin, OLB, PSU; Randy Shepherd, CB, UCM; Joe Stamps, LB, MWSU; James Their, LB, TSU.

Previous Winners: 8/27 — Garret Feig, DB, TSU; 9/3 — Zach Watkins, ILB, WU; 9/10 — Emmanuel Howard, CB, ESU; 9/17 — Emmanuel Howard, CB, ESU; 9/24 — Jared Brawner, LB, MSSU; 10/1 — Kendall Ricketts, FS, UCM; 10/8 — Jared Erspamer, LB, NWMSU; 10/15 — Bruce Ringwood, LB, WU; 10/22 — John Wood, DE, UCM; 10/29 — Jared Erspamer, LB, NWMSU; 11/5 — Zach Watkins, LB, WU.

Matt Frankel, P/K
University of Central Missouri
Frankel, a 6-foot-0, 200-pound senior from Overland Park, Kan., dropped four of his six punts inside the 20-yard line as the Mules defeated Fort Hays State, 31-10, Saturday afternoon (Nov. 10).

He averaged 35.2 yards on his six kicks, the average line of scrimmage for his punts being the UCM 45. He had no touchbacks.

On kickoffs, he averaged 64.8 yards on six kicks. FHSU’s average starting field position aftre kickoffs was its own 22.

He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.

Others Nominated: Brian Shannon, RB, NWMSU.

Previous Winners: 8/27 — Bryan Haynes, KR, FHSU; 9/3 — Jared Witter, K/P, PSU; 9/10 — Marcelo Velazquez, K, UCM; 9/17 — Caleb Obert, KR/WR, NWMSU; 9/24 — Kendall Wright, KR/WR, NWMSU; 10/1 — Sydney Brisbane, KR/WR, NWMSU & Jared Witter, K/P, PSU; 10/8 — Cary Williams, KR/DB/WR, WU; 10/15 — Matt Frankel, P/K, UCM; 10/22 — Dustin Strickler, K, MWSU; 10/29 — Mickey Masucci, K/P, TSU; 11/5 — Jacob Schoonover, LB, MWSU.