Game Time...23rd-ranked Northwestern goes for its third straight win as they head to Sioux Center to play Dordt College in a GPAC football match-up. Kickoff at Open Space Park is scheduled for 1pm. Northwestern is 3-2 in the GPAC, 4-2 overall while Dordt is 0-5 in conference play, 2-5 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the Dordt webcast at the following link: Watch Now! or listen to the game via the KSOU webcast at the following link: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern is 5-0 all-time against the Defenders, dating back to the 2008 season. The Red Raiders have outscored Dordt 225-41 in the series, averaging 45 points per game.
In 2012...14th-ranked Northwestern closed the 2012 regular season with a 55-7 win over Dordt on senior night at DeValois Stadium. The win assured the Red Raiders a spot in the NAIA Championship series.
The Red Raiders scored three touchdowns in both the first and second quarters to take a 41-0 halftime lead. Two more touchdowns in the third quarter made it 55-0 before Dordt scored its only touchdown with six minutes left in the third quarter.
Northwestern totaled 542 yards on offense, 303 on the ground and 239 through the air. Both Brandon Smith and Theo Bartman rushed for over 100 yards and Davis Bloemendaal threw for 239 yards and threee touchdowns. Smith scored three rushing touchdowns and Brice Byker caught seven passes for 99 yards and a score. The Raider D limited Dordt to 164 yards, forcing six turnovers. Nate Van Ginkel scored a defensive touchdown on a 30-yard fumble return.
Dordt was led by Josh Van Kempen with 12 carries for 50 yards while Lenard Manuel totaled 43 yards on seven attempts.
Scouting the Defenders...Dordt enters the weekend with an 0-5 league record, losing to Midland, Morningside, Briar Cliff, Concordia and Nebraska Wesleyan. The Defenders, however, have two non-conference wins and are 2-5 overall, matching their highest win total in the program's history (2011). They opened the season with a 14-13 win over Dakota State and then defeated Trinity Bible 56-27 win week six.
Greg Youngblood is in his second season as the Defenders head coach and is 3-15 during his tenure heading into the weekend. Youngblood previously served as the head coach at Waldorf for four years (2007-2011) and spent several years as an assistant coach at both Waldorf and Taylor. He returns 16 starters off a 2012 team that went 0-9 in the GPAC, 1-10 overall.
Dordt's offense ranks 10th in the GPAC in scoring, averaging nearly 17 points and 273 yards per game. The Defenders rely on a rush-based offense that churns out 205 yards per game, third best in the conference. Senior Lenard Manuel is the team's top rusher with 78 carries for 347 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Daniel Fennig returns in the Defenders backfield and has 40 carries for 290 yards and two scores. Erin Francis (40 carries/255 yards) and Trai Pickney, last year's leading rusher and all-conference selection, are the other top rushers. Sophomore Thomas Newman is in his first season under center for the Defenders and has over 400 yards of total offense. He has completed 18-of-44 passes for 280 yards and three scores while rushing for an additional 164 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Sam Verhulst returns in the receiving corps and leads the team with 16 catches for 293 yards. The Defenders' passing game ranks 10th in the league with 67 yards per game.
Dordt ranks 10th in the GPAC in scoring defense, giving up 36 points per game. They are sixth in total defense, giving up 419 yards per game, 188 on the ground and 231 through the air. Seven starters return from last year, including five players who earned all-conference honors. Senior Seth Vande Voort ranks second in the league with 74 tackles, six for a loss of 11 yards. Vande Voort is a three-time all-conference pick, including second team accolades in 2011. Junior safety Jake Atkinson is seventh in the GPAC with 59 tackles is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. Senior Micah Applegate and junior Brock Dominguez anchor the d-line with two sacks each.
Northwestern News and Notes...After back-to-back wins over Briar Cliff and then-#14 Concordia, Northwestern returns to the top 25 poll, coming in at #23 in the Oct. 21 rating. They are 3-2 in the conference, 4-2 overall, also owning wins over Bacone (Okla.) and Dakota Wesleyan. Northwestern has lost to Doane and Nebraska Wesleyan.
Northwestern averages 32 points per game, fourth best in the GPAC, and continue to feature one of the more balanced offenses in the conference with 199 rushing yards and 228 passing yards per game. Senior Davis Bloemendaal, a two-time all-conference player, directs the Red Raider offense under center for the third year. Bloemendaal ranks fourth in the league with 1,346 passing yards (224.3ypg) and has thrown for 13 touchdowns and just five interceptions. The senior ranks sixth all-time both in passing yards (5,535) and touchdowns (53), needing just 323 yards and two touchdowns to pas Jay McKinstrey (1982-85) for fifth all-time in those respective statistical categories. Ben Green is the top target for Bloemendaal this season, totaling 38 catches for 581 yards, the 10th highest total in a season since 1998. Green has eight touchdowns, tied for the fourth most in a season since 1998. Brice Byker ranks sixth in the league with 28 catches for 361 yards and three touchdowns. Jacey Hoegh (18 catches/189 yards) is the other top pass catcher. Theo Bartman ranks second in the league in rushing, averaging 92 yards per game despite missing the last game due to injury. Sophomore Jessie Riley has 52 carries for 324 yards and two scores, posting his second 100-yard game in last week's win over Concordia. Freshman Paul Hutson has 55 carries for 256 yards and two touchdowns and is coming off back-to-back 100-yard games. The Red Raiders o-line has given up just 12 sacks all season.
The Raider D is sixth in the GPAC in points allowed (30) and seventh in total yards given up (428). Isaiah Twitty leads the GPAC with 49 tackles, seven for a loss of 22 yards. Greg Hegstad is fourth in the GPAC with 44.5 tackles, including a career-high 12.5 in last week's win over Concordia. Northwestern leads the GPAC with 23 sacks, led by Sam Van Ginkel with 6.5 for a loss of 46 yards. Both Mitchell Janssen and Twitty have 3.5 sacks.
Up Next...Northwestern plays host to Hastings next Saturday, Nov. 2, at 1pm.
# 5 | Quarterback/Punter
Senior from Orange City, Iowa
# 8 | Safety
Senior from Rock Valley, Iowa
# 25 | Running Back
Senior from Rock Valley, Iowa
# 29 | Safety
Junior from Orange City, Iowa
# 34 | Linebacker
Senior from Chesapeake, Va.
# 15 | Wide Receiver
Senior from Sioux Center, Iowa
# 44 | Linebacker
Junior from Sanborn, Iowa
# 85 | Wide Receiver
Junior from Sioux Falls, S.D.
# 11 | Tight End
Senior from Elk Horn, Iowa
# 7 | Defensive End
Freshman from Rock Valley, Iowa
# 22 | Running Back
Freshman from Logan, Iowa