It's a Division II playoff game between my former alma mater (well, one of them), as the Bearcats take on Pitt State. Here in Maryville. And we have tickets!!!
No driving down to KC for this one.
I must admit that the game should be interesting. I mean, Pitt has already lost to the 'Cats once this fall ... will this weekend be the 2nd time around? We'll find out this weekend.
EDIT 1: I've been "outed" as a Bearcat fan. Lauren and I were in Jock's Nitch this morning prior to the game, while on our way to the Bookstop (our local coffeehouse/antique store/used bookstore), and the owner of the Jock's Nitch chain (who had probably seen me in at the store at the Pittsburg mall and knew I was a Pitt grad), came up and good-naturedly asked me why I wasn't in Pitt crimson-and-gold? So the truth is out here in Maryville.
GAME NOTES EDIT: This game was a lot closer than expected: Pitt brought their A game, and we didn't. Even so, we were leading 31-13 at the half, but in the second half, Pitt reeled off a couple of touchdowns and managed to take the lead with a minute left to play. Of course, it didn't help that our normally solid defense simply couldn't stop the Pitt offense in the third quarter and the officiating in the game was quite possibly the worst (and blatantly one-sided) officiating we had ever seen from a referee crew, even to the point that Coach Mel, normally a very mild-mannered man, was chewing out the line judge over the spate of bad calls and missed calls, which included:
1)Multiple missed chop block and block in the back calls.
2)A ruled touchdown for Pitt by the back judge when nor the Pitt player or the ball broke the plane of the goal line and said player had been clearly stood up within a foot of the goal line. It was painfully obvious to everyone that it was a bad call.
3)Multiple lenient ball spots in favor of Pitt.
4)A couple of very questionable calls in the first half where Pitt receivers caught the ball out of bounds 2 or three times but were ruled in bounds.
Unfortunately, Div II playoffs do not feature replay, although they should feature vision checks for the refs in future years. I hope that in the future, we refuse to have a crew from that conference here ever again.
In the end, it came down in part to penalties called and not called, turnovers, and passing; NW got at least 10 defensive points off of Pitt turnovers early in the game, and Pitt committed a couple of really bad fouls early on. What sealed it, however, was the last drive at the end of the game. Joel Osborn became the hero of the day by throwing a drive (and game) -saving pass on 4th and 10, with 20 seconds left to go, to bring NW down to the 20, followed by a toss into the end-zone for the go-ahead touchdown to make it 38-35.
The defense then managed to force a 4 and out in the last few seconds, we got the ball back on downs, and the clock expired.
So, I'm glad we went, and it's rather sad: my alma mater played their hearts out, but Pitt lost, and the Bearcats move on to next week's game against Abilene Christian, the team that gave us our only loss during the season.
Given that Abilene scored 93 points in their 2nd round game to beat a West Texas A&M team that put up a more than respectable 68 points (almost a basketball score), I think we're going into next week's game as very questionable underdogs. I hope that the 'Cats win, and make it to the finals for a rematch against Grand Valley State, but it may take a few miracles from the 'Cats for that one.