Cardiac 'Cats? Not on this day

It wasn't meant to be, I guess.

Course I'm biased. But when Northwest plays, I've learned over the years never to count them out until the last second has ticked away. Yesterday was no different. Sure they were down with just a couple minutes left in the game, but there were no reasons to believe the Bearcats couldn't upset the No. 1-ranked Lakers.

Josh Lamberson was playing the game of a lifetime, effortlessly tossing passes and moving the 'Cats up the field. Tight end Mike Peterson and the receiving corps were catching the passes and moving with them. Xavier Omon was mixing in some good runs. And the Northwest defense had kept Grand Valley State in check most of the day.

So when the Bearcats took the ball down 21-17 late in the fourth quarter, there was no doubt they'd end up at the end zone before the game was over. They did ... but a well-thrown Lamberson pass to back of the end zone was dropped with about 20 seconds left.

When it looked as though the winning pass would surely be caught, Kates and I jumped from out seats, shrieking in celebration ... then the pass was dropped and I ended up sprawled over our coffee table, sighing in agony.

A sack on Lamberson put the 'Cats back further and then Lamberson connected with Raphael Robinson with no time left the clock, but Robinson couldn't spin into the end zone and it was all over.

No, there's no use in crying over spilled milk. I called my dad, who also had been watching, to talk about the game. And then we went on with our nights. ... But thanks again, Mel Tjeerdsma and the Bearcats, for another thrilling game, a great season, bringing back some great memories and making me, once again, proud to be a Bearcat.

ALSO: Check out this story at the Kansas City Star about the Bearcats' week leading up to the championship game and a great set of photos by Mike Ransdell -- a former colleague, a Northwest alum and one of the best photographers I know. He also took the photo above.

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