Northwest Beats Lenoir-Rhyne 43-28 to Win Fourth National Championship

By Matt Tritten |

Published 12/21 2013 01:10PM

Updated 12/21 2013 11:35PM

(FLORENCE, Ala.) Northwest Missouri State scored 17 unanswered points out of the gate and never looked back, beating Lenoir-Ryne 43-28 to win the 2013 Division II National Championship, the fourth title in program history.

It's the first national championship under head coach Adam Dorrel as the Bearcats complete the program's second perfect season at 15-0.

Northwest stifled Lenoir-Rhyne's national-best rushing attack early on, forcing a pair of three-and-outs and a fumble on their first three drives. The Bearcats capitalized on the first stop with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Adams to Reuben Thomas. The transfer wide receiver finished with 92 yards on six catches with a pair of scores.

Simon Mathiesen knocked through the first of his two field goals to put the Bearcats up 10-0 before Bryant Hummel scooped up the Bears' fumble two plays later. Billy Creason cut through a seam for a four-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession.

Lenoir-Rhyne opened up the offense on their next series, driving down to the three-yard line before Chris Robinson punched in their first score.

Kevin Berg added to Northwest's lead in the second quarter, blocking a punt in the end zone for a safety with 5:56 to go in the first half.

Mathiesen booted through his second field goal to put the Bearcats up 22-7 at the break. 

Adams threw two more touchdown passes in the second half, hookimg up with Thomas again on a 30-yards out midway through the third quarter, before adding some insurance with a strike to Jason Jozaites with under three minutes left. Adams completed 15 of 25 passes for 277 yards.

The Bears (13-2) racked up 243 yards on the ground, passing Pittsburg State for the single-season team rushing record for all NCAA Divisions. Quarterbacks Josh Justice and Corron Boston lulled the Bearcats secondary to sleep on a pair of passing plays in the second half to pull within two scores.

Brady Bolles ran 13 times for 48 yards, including a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Billy Creason was the Bearcats' leading rusher with 76 yards on 13 carries.

This is the 28th and final Division II National Championship Game to be held in Florence, Ala. The game will move to Sporting Park in Kansas City, Mo. in 2014.

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