CB Duane Hawthorne Grabs Interception in Claymores' Narrow Loss
Two former MAC football playersboth from Northern Illinois made the
trip to Waldstadion in Frankfurt, Germany, for World Bowl 2000.
Receiver Deon Mitchell joined former NIU cover-man Duane Hawthorne on
the Scotland Claymores in their 13-10 loss to the Rhein Fire.
Scotland led for most of the game until Fire running back Pepe Pearson
scored with 1:12 remaining to give Rhein the win. However, with
Scotland winning 7-3 in the first quarter following a Claymore
touchdown, Rhein looked set to come right back and score themselves but
a productive drive ended when Hawthorne intercepted Danny Wuerffel at
his own 2-yard line. For Hawthorne, the interception was his
"That's tremendous for Duane and Deon," said Northern Illinois head
coach Joe Novak. "That's great that they are having success at that
level and the opportunity to play in the World Bowl. There's plenty of
young players who get some professional seasoning in Europe and then
find themselves on an NFL roster. It's good to see our kids playing at
the championship level."
Hawthorne accumulated 166 career tackles, 30 career starts, 22 pass
deflections, nine career pass thefts for 100 yards, and four varsity
letters in 36 appearances. As a senior, he was selected Second-Team
All-Mid-American Conference by the league coaches and tied for No. 37 in
NCAA Division I-A interceptions (four for 37 yards). As a starter for
the Cowboys in 1999, the 5-foot-10, 178-pounder finished second on the
team three pass interceptions, including one off Dan Marino of the
Miami Dolphins, and recorded 24 tackles (20 solo) last fall for coach
From 1995-98, Mitchell re-wrote the NIU Record Book with six school
records. The four-year NIU letterman finished his career ranked No. 1 in
career all-purpose yardage (4,732), No. 1 in kickoff return yardage
(2,349), and No. 1 in KO returns (100), No. 3 in catches (143), and No.
4 in reception yardage (1,951). Mitchell shared team MVP honors with
Hawthorne as a senior in 1998 under Coach Novak.
Hawthorne and Mitchell became the second and third Northern Illinois
performers to appear in a World Bowl. Former two-time All-MAC offensive
lineman Todd Peat played in the 1995 game as a member of World League of
American Football---the NFL Europe predecessor---champion Frankfurt