For the 17th straight season, the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcat football program has secured an NCAA Division II playoff bid.

Northwest ranks No. 1 all-time in Division II playoff appearances with 25.

Northwest, 9-1 overall, was pegged as the No. 3 seed in Super Region Three and earned a home playoff game. Northwest will play host to the Central Washington University Wildcats, 8-2 overall, at 1 pm, Saturday, November 20 at Bearcat Stadium in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division II playoffs.

The Bearcats captured the program’s 31st MIAA regular season title with a 35-7 win over Emporia State November 13. It is Northwest’s 21st outright MIAA and first one since 2016. Bearcat head coach Rich Wright claimed his third MIAA title and first outright league crown since taking over the program in 2017.

On the day of the competition, ticket sales and gates will open at 10:30 am for a 1 pm kickoff, and individual game tickets will be available at the following prices: adult, ages 3 and up, reserved, $15; adult, general admission, $10; and Northwest students, $5.

Northwest and Central Washington met once previously in the 2009 NCAA Division II playoffs. Northwest pulled out a 21-20 victory over CWU in the quarterfinals in Ellensburg, WA. Bearcat senior Tyler Roach blocked an extra point with six seconds left in the game to preserve Northwest’s one-point victory. Northwest would go on to win the 2009 NCAA Division II national championship with wins over California, PA, and Grand Valley State.