Schedule note: Homecoming
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@ Nebraska Wesleyan
@ Nebraska Wesleyan
@ Nebraska Wesleyan
@ Nebraska Wesleyan
Game Time...17th-ranked Northwestern plays host to Nebraska Wesleyan in its annual homecoming game on Saturday, Sept. 28. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30pm. The Red Raiders are 1-1 in the GPAC, 2-1 overall, while Nebraska Wesleyan is 1-1 in the GPAC, 1-2 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern owns a 20-6 all-time record against Nebraska Wesleyan in a rivalry that started in 1987. They have won the last 13 match-ups against the Prairie Wolves, dating back to the 1999 season. Eight of those 13 wins, however, have been by six points or less, including a 33-27 overtime win last year.
Last year...The Red Raiders defeated Nebraska Wesleyan 33-27 in overtime last year in Lincoln, Neb. Northwestern never trailed and led 27-17 heading into the fourth quarter before the Wolves came back and tied the game after an Aaron Lorraine 39-yard field goal with 43 seconds left to go. The Raider D stopped NWU on its first overtime possession, coming up with back-to-back sacks by Jordan Carlson and Nate Fischer. The Northwestern offense took over and scored the game-winner four plays later on a three-yard run by Brandon Smith.
Northwestern held a 360-236 advantage in total yards, led by Davis Bloemendaal who passed for 250 yards and two scores. Theo Bartman rushed 16 times for 74 yards and a score while Smith added 56 yards and two scores. Nate Fischer led the defense with 9.5 tackles and Northwestern registered sacks.
Tyler Francis passed for 164 yards, completing 19-of-28 passes, to lead the Prairie Wolves offense. NWU was limited to just 22 yards rushing, led by Dustin Bryant with 21 yards on 14 carries.
Last Time Out...NWU defeated Briar Cliff last week 31-7 for its first win of the season. The host Wolves took a 7-0 halftime lead after Dustin Bryant scored on a 7-yard run in the opening quarter. NWU made it 14-0 after a 4-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Francis to Brooks Erhart midway through the third quarter. Leading 14-0, NWU put the game away with 17 points in the final quarter, all scored within the first seven minutes of the final frame. A late BCU touchdown in the final minute made the final 31-7.
NWU held a 436-252 advantage in total yards, led by Francis who completed 23-of-32 passes and a touchdown. Bryant led the ground game with 18 carries for 115 yards and two scores and Joey Jones added 65 yards on 15 carries and a score.
Northwestern defeated Dakota Wesleyan 49-42 in its home opener played last weekend at DeValois Stadium. Leading 49-28, the Red Raiders fended off a huge DWU rally, stopping the Tigers at the one-yard line as time expired to secure the win.
The Red Raiders totaled 31 first downs and 529 yards of offense, led by Theo Bartman with 22 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown. Davis Bloemendaal added 13 carries for 50 yards and a score while Jessie Riley totaled 12 carries for 34 yards. Bloemendaal completed 21-of-34 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns, accounting for over 300 yards of total offense. Brice Byker set a career high with eight catches for 129 yards and a score while Ben Green had five catches for 74 yards and two more touchdowns. Green also threw for a score, completing a 19-yard touchdown pass to Byker in the second quarter.
The Raider D forced two DWU turnovers and registered three sacks. Isaiah Twitty led the defense with nine tackles and Nate Van Ginkel totaled 5.5 tackles. Sam Van Ginkel registered two more sacks and scored a defensive touchdown.
Scouting Nebraska Wesleyan...After losing its first two games of the season to ranked teams Tabor (10-9) and Morningside (48-10), Nebraska Wesleyan earned its first win of the 2013 season last week against Briar Cliff. Brian Keller, the dean of the GPAC football coaches who is in his 17th season at NWU, is 95-79 during his tenure heading into the weekend. He returns 43 letterwinners and 20 starters off a 2012 team that won its final five games and earned votes in the final NAIA coaches' poll with a 6-4 overall record. They tied for fourth place in the GPAC with a 5-4 mark.
The Prairie Wolves offense averages 17 points and just over 300 yards per game. Junior Tyler Francis returns under center after posting a 5-0 record after taking over the starting job midway through the 2012 season. He was an all-conference selection in 2012 and has completed 55% of his pass attempts for 514 yards and a touchdown this year. Senior Dustin Bryant returns in the backfield after earning second team all-GPAC honors rushing for 633 yards and five scores. Bryant once again leads the team in rushing, totaling 228 yards and two touchdowns while also catching six passes for 34 yards. Joey Jones has 28 carries for 130 yards and a score as a complimentary back to Bryant. Brooks Erhart is the top receiver for the NWU offense, catching 10 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. The Wolves return two all-conference linemen up front, tackles Jack Barteldes and Ryan Beebe.
Defensively, NWU is giving up 21 points per game and has been very good against the run, ranking fourth in the GPAC in giving up 150 yards per game. Two returning linemen, Phil Latimer and Taylor TeKolste, are the catalysts of the defense and both earned all-conference accolades last year. TeKolste is tied for the team lead with 22 tackles and leads the team with 2.5 sacks. Latimer earned first team honors in 2012 and has 14 tackles and an interception this year. Linebackers Hunter Hand (22) and Brandon Reeves (16) are among the leaders in the middle while safety Seth Wardyn, a returning all-conference player, anchors the secondary with 13 tackles and in interception. The Prairie Wolves special team are among the NAIA's best with kicker Aaron Lorraine (5/5 EP, 5/5 FG) and punter Kelby Vandenberg (44ypa).
Scouting Northwestern...The Red Raiders average nearly 44 points per game, ninth highest in the NAIA and second best in the GPAC. They feature one of the more balanced offenses in the nation, ranking third in the conference in rushing (221ypg) and passing (287ypg). Senior Davis Bloemendaal directs the offense under center, accounting for 315 yards of offense, ninth most in the NAIA. He has completed 64% of his passes (63/99) for 843 yards and nine touchdowns while rushing for 102 yards and three scores. Bloemendaal is just the eighth Red Raider quarterback to throw for over 5,000 yards in his career (5.032) and needs just four more touchdowns passes to pass Adam Tyrrell for sixth place all-time. Both Ben Green and Brice Byker rank among the GPAC's best in receiving yards, totaling 353 (3rd) and 233 (5th) yards, respectively. Green leads the GPAC with seven touchdowns. Theo Bartman leads the rushing offense, averaging 104 yards per game to go with three touchdowns. Bartman has 11 100-yard games in his career and has 25 rushing touchdowns, tied for ninth most all-time. Jessie Riley is 10th in the GPAC with 193 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.
The Raider D is giving up 38 points and 481 yards per game. They have been very good against the run, ranking third in the GPAC in giving up 119 yards on the ground per game. Isaiah Twitty is fourth in the GPAC with 21 tackles while Greg Hegstad (15), Lawton De Jong (14.5) and Nate Van Ginkel (14.5) are the other top tacklers. Northwestern leads the GPAC with 15 sacks, led by Sam Van Ginkel with a GPAC-best 4.5 for a loss of 21 yards.
Up Next...Northwestern has its bye next week and will then play Briar Cliff in Vermillion, S.D. on Oct. 12 at 7pm.
# 21 | Running Back
Senior from San Bernardino, Calif.
# 7 | Defensive End
Junior from Rock Valley, Iowa