Missouri Western vs. Northwest Missouri

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The rematch is set, and both teams are ready for the game.

Missouri Western defeated Northwest Missouri State 31-28 less than two weeks ago. The game is still fresh in both teams’ memories, but for two different reasons.

The loss moved Northwest from a potential No. 2 seed down to bottom No. 6. A win last Saturday jumped it above Abilene Christian, but the Bearcats still have to travel on the road for two straight weeks, possibly all three if they continue to win.

Western, on the other hand, have been playing every game since week four like it’s a playoff game, and they had to.

After starting the season 2-2, Western has won seven straight games. Perhaps an underrated statistic in the wins is the fact that the Griffons pulled out several wins on the road, and they did well in the second half. Unlike Northwest, Western has been in a fight for four quarters in almost every game, and although it is great to defeat every team by 50 points, it may not help a team in the end. The Griffons know if the game is close in the fourth quarter, they can pull out the win, because they have done so several times this season.

The Griffons defeated the Bearcats on Nov. 5 by a slim three-point margin. With the win, they put themselves in the playoffs and a home game. Had they lost, they would have probably played in the Mineral Water Bowl. Saturday another win sends them to Wichita Falls, Texas to play Midwestern State. A loss sends Northwest to Wichita Falls. What will it be?

Yes, the Griffons are the underdog, and yes they did beat the Bearcats. But does it really matter at this point? The winner out of this game will probably be the favorite to play in the Super Region 4 final. Opposite is Pittsburg State, Washburn and Abilene. If everything plays out like it’s supposed to, perhaps the Griffons can rematch the Gorillas. Anybody remember week one?

Well, forget it. That was a long time ago.

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