Northwestern @ Briar Cliff 7 p.m. Saturday, October 12, Sioux City, Iowa

Schedule note: @ Vermillion, S.D.


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@ Briar Cliff
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@ Briar Cliff
@ Northwestern
@ Northwestern
@ Briar Cliff
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About BCC

Located in Sioux City, Iowa, Briar Cliff University is a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Red Raiders To Play Briar Cliff On Saturday Night

Game Time...Northwestern College resumes its 2013 season as they play Briar Cliff in a conference match-up on Saturday, Oct. 12. Kickoff scheduled at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion, S.D. at 7pm. Northwestern is 1-2 in the GPAC, 2-2 overall while Briar Cliff is 2-1 in the GPAC, 2-3 overall. Listen live to the game via the KSOU webcast at the following link: Listen Now

All-Time...Northwestern is 10-0 all-time against Briar Cliff in a rivalry that began in 2003. 

Last Year...Brandon Smith rushed for a career-high 247 yards in leading 18th-ranked Northwestern to a convincing 57-7 win over Briar Cliff last year at DeValois Stadium.

Smith rushed for the sixth highest total in the program's history and went over 200 yards for the second time in his career (216 yards vs Dordt in 2011). He also matched his career-high with four rushing touchdowns, including scoring runs of 53 and 76 yards. 

Theo Bartman went over 100-yards for the sixth time in his career, rushing for 117 yards on 12 carries. He also scored a pair of touchdowns and was the fourth time in 2012 and fifth overall that Bartman and Smith rushed for over 100 yards in the same game.

Northwestern totaled a school-record of 663 yards of total offense, breaking the record of 649 yards set earlier in the season in the win over Southwestern (Kan.). They also set the record with 475 rushing yards, breaking the old mark of 467 yards set in the win over Midland. Northwestern had over 500 yards by halftime and scored touchdowns on seven of its nine drives in the first half.

Bloemendaal completed 11-of-20 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown in just one half of play. Bartman was the top receiver with four catches for 53 yards and Hoegh caught two passes for 23 yards and a score.

Defensively, the Raider D was just as dominant, limiting Briar Cliff to four first downs and 34 yards in the first half and just 154 yards for the game. Northwestern registered six more sacks. Aaron Jansen led the Raider D with 5.5 tackles and a team-best 2.5 sacks for a loss of 16 yards. Greg Hegstad added 5.5 tackles and Jake Zylstra totaled 4.5 stops and one quarterback hurry.

Scouting Briar Cliff...After dropping its first three games of the 2013 season, Briar Cliff has won back-to-back games, defeating Dordt (54-14) and Hastings (12-7). The Chargers lost to Benedictine, Dakota Wesleyan and Nebraska Wesleyan. 

Tom Rethman is in his sixth season with the Chargers and returns 15 starters off a 2012 team that finished 1-8 in the GPAC, 1-10 overall. Rethman brought in its largest recruiting class in the history of the program with 54 players in their first year. 

Briar Cliff ranks sixth in the GPAC in scoring, averaging 19.4 points per game. They are also sixth in total yards (355ypg), ranking ninth in rushing yards (103ypg) and third in passing (253ypg). Sophomore Kevin Van Egdom returns under center after an injury-riddled 2012 season in which he started in just two games. Van Egdom has completed 44% of his passes for 926 yards and seven touchdowns against seven interceptions  in four games this season. The Chargers return a talented receiving corps, led by sophomore Bret Van Muyden with 16 catches for 347 yards and three scores. Matt Harshman also has 16 catches for 345 yards and a team-high four touchdowns. Another sophomore, Tyler McGhee, returns after earning second team all-GPAC honors in 2012 and has 14 catches for 338 yards and two scores. Mitch Heikes returns in the Chargers backfield and leads the team with 68 carries for 245 yards and a score. Kenny Thompson has 37 carries for 157 yards and a touchdown in relief of Heikes. The Chargers return four linemen up front, led by senior Wes Bell who earned all-conference honors last year. 

The Chargers defense will play a 3-4 alignment and are under their third defensive coordinator in as many seasons. They rank sixth in the GPAC in points (27.6) and ninth in yards (443ypg), ranking in the middle of the conference against both the run and pass. They have forced 19 turnovers this year and are +6 in turnover margin. Newcomer Kenny Hanes leads the Chargers with 38 tackles while Steven Trujillo, a returning starter in the secondary, has 35 tackles and leads the GPAC with three interceptions. Hoy Thompson leads the team with three sacks while Rasheed Tynes as two. 

Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders dropped out of the NAIA coaches' top 25 poll altogether this past week after earning votes in the Sept.30 poll. It marks the first time since the 2011 season (Sept. 26) that they have not appeared in the national poll. Northwestern is 1-2 in the GPAC, 2-2 overall, earning a win over Dakota Wesleyan in week three but losing to Doane (week two) and Nebraska Wesleyan (week four).

 Northwestern ranks third in the GPAC in scoring, averaging nearly 35 points per game. They are also third in the conference in total offense (447ypg), ranking sixth in the run (176.8ypg) and second in pass (270.5ypg). Davis Bloemendaal directs the Red Raiders under center, accounting for 290 total yards of offense, second most in the GPAC. The senior has completed 60% of his pass attempts (83-139-3) for 1,063 yards and 10 touchdowns. Bloemendaal ranks seventh in both career passing yards (5,252) and career touchdowns (50). Northwestern has three receivers that rank in the league's top 10 in receptions, led by Ben Green. The junior leads the conference with 29 catches for 474 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging over 16 yards per reception. Brice Byker is third in the GPAC with 21 catches for 288 yards and three scores while Theo Bartman is ninth with 15 catches for 149 yards and a score. Bartman shoulders the bulk of the work on the ground, averaging 83 rushing yards per game, fourth best in the conference. The senior ranks 11th all-time with 2,262 career rushing yards and is tied for ninth with 25 touchdowns. Jessie Riley has rushed for 193 yards on 34 carries, averaging a team-best 5.7 yards per game. 

The Raider D is giving up 33.8 points and 450 yards per game this season and has been very good against the run, ranking fifth in the GPAC at 142.2 yards per game. Opponents are averaging just 3.2 yards per carry against them. The group has forced just four turnovers this season, all fumbles, but ranks second in the league with 16 sacks. Isaiah Twitty leads the team with 31.5 tackles from his linebacker position while Greg Hegstad (23.5) and Nate Van Ginkel (21.5) are the other leading tacklers. Sam Van Ginkel is second in the GPAC with 4.5 sacks.

Up Next...Northwestern hosts #15 Concordia next Saturday, Oct. 19 at 1pm. 

Sam Van Ginkel

# 7 | Defensive End
Senior from Rock Valley, Iowa