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Northwest Missouri State wins in front of record crowd

2015 Division II Football

Jordan Grove (32) of Northwest Missouri State celebrates one of his two touchdowns in the championship game. JUSTIN TAFOYA / NCAA PHOTOS

The Results

CHAMPIONSHIP

Northwest Missouri State 34, Shepherd 7

SEMINFINALS

Northwest Missouri State 38, West Georgia 23

Shepherd 34, Grand Valley State 32

ELITE 90 HONOREE

Kevin Cook, Shepherd

In 2014, the Division II Football Championship moved to Kansas City, Kansas, only 90 miles from Northwest Missouri State University’s campus.

So when the Bearcats reached the championship game a year later, more than 16,000 people – a record for the Division II Football Championship – flocked to Kansas City’s Sporting Park to watch them roll to a 34-7 victory over Shepherd University on Dec. 19.

Northwest Missouri State Director of Athletics Mel Tjeerdsma took seven Bearcat teams to the championship game at its old home in Florence, Alabama, and was proud to see the sea of green Northwest Missouri State gear enliven the atmosphere in Kansas City.

The day before the championship game, Bearcats senior quarterback Brady Bolles knew he and teammates would garner special support. “I always like to say we have the best fans in
Division II,” he said. 

The win gave Northwest Missouri State its fifth NCAA Division II football title, and ties North Dakota State University, which now plays in Division I, for the most in Division II history.