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The X files
December 08, 2007Former Lawrence resident, Xavier Omon, continues to rewrite the D2 football records books as Northwest Missouri State downs Grand Valley State 34-16 in semi-final game.I hate the cold. I'm such a pansy I've considered moving to Florida to avoid another Midwest winter. However, I sat in 17 degree freezing rain Saturday evening to watch as my favorite football player helped his Northwest Missouri State Bearcats become eligible for their third consecutive Division 2 national championship and I never felt warmer. I've written an article previously about former Lawrence resident, Xavier Omon's bid to set a new NCAA rushing record by gaining over 1500 yards in four straight years at Northwest Missouri State. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/nov/10/bearcat_brink_ncaa_record/?sportsOmon's team hosted the Grand Valley State Lakers Saturday night in Maryville, Mo. An estimated crowd of 7296 braved the elements to root for their Bearcats who had fallen to their Grand Valley Lakers counterparts the past two years in the D2 national championship game in Florence, Alabama by a combined total of seven points. As Bearcat coach Mel Tjeersdsma states, ""I'm glad number 2 [Omon] plays for us and not anyone else. We had tremendous effort on both sides of the ball tonight".The excitement at the nationally televised semifinal match was palpable in the frigid Maryville, Mo air. The task to upset the Lakers would not be easy. Grand Valley had won 40 straight games, their last loss coming at the hands of North Dakota in 2004.The game was hard fought from the coin toss Saturday night. Grand Valley scored first and took a 13-10 lead into half-time. The second half clearly belonged to Omon and the rest of the Bearcats. The Bearcats scored 24 points in the second half while holding their opponents to six points. Omon finished the game with 292 total rushing yards and 11 yards receiving. He has now rushed for over 7000 yards in his four years at Northwest Missouri State. Omon scored four touchdowns on the night with the longest being a 98 yard run after Grand Valley State punt pinned Northwest Missouri State down at their own two yard line. Here's a link to an ESPN video highlight of Omon's run, which made one of th Top Ten Plays of the Day on that network's Sportscenter show.http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?videoId=3147433&categoryId=2564308&n8pe6c=3After the goalposts came down at the Mel Tjeesdsma field in Maryville, elated fans stormed the field as the D2 semifinal championship award was handed down. Omon and his mother, Delorise Omon, embraced at midfield as tears of joy streamed down their faces. As has been customary, Omon shook hands and posed for pictures with many loyal Bearcat fans. As it also customary, Omon gave the credit for his prowess on the field to the offensive line. The stingy defense also held Grand Valley to only 16 points for the game while snagging a game changing interception in the second half.The Bearcats head to Florence, Alabama to take on the other semi-final champions, Valdosta State, who beat California (PA) 28-24 in a game earlier that day.