Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nemo on a Crash Course with Pittsburg St

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nemo on a Crash Course with Pittsburg St

Article excerpt

As Mizzou toiled Saturday against powerful Nebraska in Columbia, Mo., fans 90 miles to the north in Kirksville, kept their ears close to their radios.

Listening to a Missouri broadcast - that's Missouri-Rolla football - may not carry the statewide appeal of Ol' Mizzou.

Transfixed Northeast Missouri fans were happy, nonetheless.

Their Bulldogs defeated host Rolla 38-7 in a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association game.

Northeast improved to 7-0, marking its best start since 1936.

"Anytime you go undefeated, I think it's special," Northeast Missouri head coach Eric Holm said.

NEMO, ranked No. 8 in NCAA Division II, is tied with fifth-ranked Pittsburg State atop the MIAA standings, each at 6-0.

The teams are scheduled to play Nov. 5 in Pittsburg, Kan.

"It's exciting around here," Holm said. "I get letters from all over the state, and the attendance at games has been tremendous."

NEMO's homecoming - and home finale - is Saturday against Southwest Baptist at James S. Stokes Stadium. A capacity crowd is expected for the 2 p.m. kickoff.

Fan interest has peaked at Northeast, but success isn't a novelty. In 1990, NEMO was 9-2 in Holm's inaugural season. In '92, the Bulldogs finished 9-3. Last year, NEMO was 6-5 and fifth in the MIAA.

This team, however, may be Holm's best.

"This team has a special quality about it," Holm said. "We're winning in lots of different ways. We're winning with big plays and we're winning with defense. It might be our most exciting team."

Excitement is running back Jarrett Anderson, a sophomore from Chicago, who, at 5 feet 9, 198 pounds, runs like a tank.

Anderson has sparked Northeast's offense, which leads the MIAA at 452 yards per game (NEMO's defense is third at 306 points per game).

At Rolla, Anderson rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns. It was his ninth consecutive game of 100 yards rushing or more.

A candidate for the Harlon Hill Trophy, awarded to the nation's top player in NCAA Division II, Anderson has been nothing short of spectacular.

Through seven games, Anderson has gained 1,111 yards on 176 carries, an average of 158.7 per game. That ranks eighth nationally. …

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