Plenty on line in Javelinas rematch with NW Missouri St. - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
KINGSVILLE — Football coaches are fond of saying that the road to a national title must go through the defending champions.
If that is to be the case for Texas A&M-Kingsville, the Javelinas must travel that path twice.
This time, fourth-ranked Javelinas get No. 3 Northwest Missouri State at home. A&M-Kingsville (10-1) hosts the 10-1 Bearcats at 1 p.m. Saturday at Javelina Stadium in a Super Region Four semifinal of the NCAA Division II playoffs. The winner earns a shot at either No. 2 Abilene Christian or No. 8 Central Missouri, the region’s Nos. 1 and 4 seeds, respectively, in next week’s regional final.
In the season opener, A&M-Kingsville shut down the defending champs’ vaunted offense to 189 yards in the 16-7 win in Maryville, setting a defensive tone that has carried the Javelinas throughout the season. While it was a big win, to be sure, it loomed larger as the season progressed and the Javelinas were able to secure a first-round bye last week as the region’s No. 2 seed. But avoiding a rematch with the third-seeded Bearcats simply wasn’t possible.
“I think this matchup for us, based on what we wanted to do this year, we kind of expected that we were going to have to play them again at some point, considering who they are and what they’ve done and what their plans were,” A&M-Kingsville coach Bo Atterberry said. “Obviously, we’re excited about it being at our stadium, for sure.
“I don’t put a whole lot of stock into playing teams twice, once, five times,” Atterberry said. “We just prepare to put our best product out there on Saturday regardless of who the opponent might be.”
Bearcats Try To Avenge First Loss Of Season In Next Playoff Game - Missourinet.com
Mules Hit The Road To Take On The Wildcats - Missourinet.com
ACU opens playoffs with national title hopes - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
There was a time when just getting to the playoffs was a big deal for the Abilene Christian football team.
The Wildcats, who ended a 29-year playoff drought in 2006, are preparing for their eighth NCAA Division II playoff game in five years. It’s the seventh playoff game for some of the seniors on the team. This time, however, they won’t be happy with anything less than a national title. which would be a first since an NAIA championship in 1977.
“When you’ve been five years in a row, your guys get a different expectation of what they want,” ACU coach Chris Thomsen said. “It’s no longer good enough just to get into the playoffs. They want to progress and take steps toward getting to a national championship level.”
Bryson Lewis, a starting defensive end, is one of eight seniors on the team who have been part of four playoff runs. ACU has not failed to win least one playoff game since their freshman season — including a national quarterfinal berth in 2008.
“We definitely want to win it all,” Lewis said. “Even though we won conference this year and in ’08, at this point, that’s not enough for us. We want that national championship title.”
http://www.reporternews.com/news/2010/nov/26/no-2-wildcats-open-playoffs-against-explosive/ - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
No. 8 Central Missouri (11-1) at No. 2 Abilene Christian (11-0)
Noon today * shotwell Stadium * KULL 92.5-FM
n What’s riding on this game: The winner advances to play the No. 3 Northwest Missouri State (10-1) vs. No. 4 Texas A&M-Kingsville (10-1) winner in the Super Four Regional final next week. If ACU wins, it would host the game at Shotwell. Northwest Missouri plays Kingsville at 1 p.m. today in Kingsville. This is the first meeting between ACU and Central Missouri.
n Last week: Central Missouri scored four touchdowns — three in the opening quarter — before West Texas A&M even got on the board in the Mules’ 55-35 victory in Warrensburg, Mo., at Audrey J. Walton Stadium. The Wildcats, the No. 1 seed in the region, had a first-round bye.
n Scouting Central Missouri: The Mules are averaging 490 yards and 40.6 points a game — both good for fifth in the nation. The Mules are led by quarterback Eric Czerniewski, who has thrown for 4,518 yards (3rd in nation) and 38 touchdowns this season. He’s also thrown 12 interceptions. He has plenty of weapons around him in running back Anthony Stewart, receiver Jamorris Warren and tight end DeMarco Cosby. Stewart, a 5-9, 190-pound senior, is a dual threat, who leads the Mules in rushing (986 yards, 13 touchdowns on 185 carries), and he’s second on the team in receiving (69-781, 4 TDs). Then there’s Warren, a 6-1, 195 senior, who’s No. 8 in the nation in receiving yards (94-1,248, 17 TDs). Cosby, a 6-4, 230-pound senior, is third on the team in receiving (59-772 yards, 9 TDs). Paul Stephens, a 5-9, 170-pound senior cornerback, has four of his team’s 13 interceptions, including two of three Mules’ picks in last week’s game. The Mules are giving up 400.5 yards (137th in nation) and 26 points (75th in nation) per game. The Mules’ lone loss was a 17-16 decision against Northwest Missouri on Nov. 6 in Warrensburg.