Governors to wager on the D-II National Football Championship
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin Thursday challenged Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to a friendly wager on the matchup between the Shepherd University Rams and the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats in the Division II National Football Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 19.
“This year’s Shepherd University team personifies the best traits of the Mountain State,” Tomblin said. “When the Rams’ outstanding quarterback Jeff Ziemba was injured early in the semifinal game against Grand Valley State, backup Connor Jessop capably stepped in and led his team to a heart-stopping 34-32 victory. Whichever talented young man leads Shepherd against Northwest Missouri State on Saturday, I’m confident the Rams will capture their first national championship and bring it back to West Virginia.”
Unsurprisingly, Nixon’s confidence in the Bearcats is similarly high.
“Year in and year out, the Bearcats are among the elite teams of Division II football, and 2015 has been an exceptionally good year,” Nixon, who visited with Head Coach Adam Dorrel and members of the team in Maryville earlier this month, said. “Led by First Team All-Americans Shane Smith and Kevin Berg, I’m confident the Bearcats will bring the trophy back to the Northwest Missouri campus for the second time in three years. In the highly unlikely event the Rams prevail, I’ve wagered some barbecue from Maryville’s own award-winning Toad Hollar BBQ. But there’s no doubt in my mind that the experience and skill of the Northwest team will carry the day.”
Following a Rams victory, Nixon will send Tomblin barbecue from award-winning Toad Hollar BBQ in Maryville, Missouri. If the Bearcats prevail, Tomblin will send Nixon a selection of apples from the Eastern Panhandle, home of Shepherd University.
The Shepherd University Rams and the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats will battle it out for the Division II National Football Championship in Kansas City, Kansas at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19.