2016 NCAA DII NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP DECEMBER 17, 2016 | CHILDREN'S MERCY PARK | KANSAS CITY

There was only one way the top-ranked Bearcats would allow themselves to leave the field of the 2016 National Championship game. As champions. And that's exactly what they did, putting a cap on the careers of a senior class that was legendary. With an overall career record of 52-2, the seniors left with more championship rings than L's.

The snow-storm that encapsulated the game only added to the lore of the sixth chapter of national champions for Bearcat Football. In temperatures that brought a -3 windchill, the snow hurled from the sky as if to create a proper legendary setting for a scene of this magnitude.

This was more than a game. It was the final step on the journey for two straight seasons of perfection. 30-0. Undisputed champs.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Bearcats added the sixth national championship to the program's resume.
  • The senior class finished their careers 52-2, winning more National Championships (3) than L's took (2).
  • The Bearcats beat every opponent faced in the 2016 season by double digits.
  • The team extended their win streak to 30 games in a row. A program record.
  • Chama Pierre (DB) set the national championship game record for passes defended, knocking down 3 attempts where he was targeted.
  • The Bearcats defeated the #10, #5, #3, and #2 ranked teams in the nation, and in that order, during their 2016 playoff run.

GAME RECAP

1st Quarter

Both teams took a bit of time to adjust accordingly to the snowy and slick field conditions. Offenses on both sides couldn't must much for drives, while defenses were trying to figure out how to gain leverage. The Bearcats suffered an injury to key-dawg, Eddie Richey (DB), early in the first-quarter. Chama Pierre (DB) came in for the injured Richey and would step up in the key moments later in the game.

2ND QUARTER

North Alabama was able to put together a point-threatening drive mid-way through the second-quarter, but #5 put an end to that. Jack Young (DB) picked off a North Alabama pass in the the end-zone to stifle the Lions offense and rally the Bearcats.

The 'Cat offense finally got on the board as they marched down the field on their final possession of the half, scoring on a 7-yard pass from Randy Schmidt to Jordan Grove with just under a minute left before half.

North Alabama answered quickly, advancing downfield after a pass interference penalty against Northwest. But a huge goal line stand by the Bearcat defense held the Lions to only a field goal, making the Bearcat lead 7-3 at halftime.

3RD QUARTER

The Bearcats came out ready to finish the job in the second half and the defense set the tone early. Cass Weitl (DL) led the way recording 4.5 tackles for loss as the Bearcat defense held North Alabama to only 20 total yards of offense in the entire half.

A SportsCenter Top 10 catch by Randy Schmidt (ATH) sent the Bearcats into a frenzy and the Lions never stood a chance to regain the momentum.

Phil Jackson scored on a 2-yard run to put the 'Cats up 14-3 with only one quarter left to play.

4TH QUARTER

Midway through the final period the Bearcat Special Forces kicked the energy level up to a new level when the punt block team pressured a fumbled punt by North Alabama into a safety.

After receiving the free kick, the Bearcat offense marched down the field in four plays, scoring on a 13-yard pass from Kyle Zimmerman to Shane Williams.

With the end all but decided, senior Phil Jackson put a cap on the day, scoring on his final rush from scrimmage.

FINAL SCORE

NORTHWEST 29 - NORTH ALABAMA 3

PHOTO GALLERY

BEARCAT FOOTBALL

SIX-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

1998 - 1999 - 2009 - 2013 - 2015 - 2016

#NeverSettle

Credits:

Bria Creeden

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