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Game Time...21st-ranked Northwestern College goes for its fourth straight win as they play host to Hastings in a GPAC football match-up on Saturday, Nov. 2. The Red Raiders are 4-2 in the GPAC, 5-2 overall while Hastings is 0-6 in conference play, 1-6 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now! or listen live to the game via the KSOU broadcast at the following link: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern leads the all-time series 14-10 and has won the last six match-ups, dating back to the 2005 season.
Last Year...17th-ranked Northwestern defeated #25 Hastings 45-6 in a match-up of ranked teams played last year in Hastings, Neb.
Northwestern scored on its first three possessions and opened up a 31-6 halftime lead while outscoring the Broncos 14-0 in the second half. The Red Raiders totaled 525 yards of offense, led by the running back duo of Brandon Smith and Theo Bartman who both rushed for over 100 yards. Davis Bloemendaal directed the passing game, throwing for 292 yards and three touchdowns, completing scoring passes to Eli Groenendyk, Brice Byker and Tyler Walker. The Raider D registered three sacks and accounted for three Broncos' turnovers.
John Dostal led Hastings with 136 yards passing and 38 yards rushing.
Scouting Hastings...After a season opening win over Kansas Wesleyan in non-conference play, Hastings has dropped six straight games, all within the conference. Before its bye last weekend, the Broncos lost to Midland 61-35 on Oct. 19.
Tony Harper is in his third season as the Broncos head coach and returns 15 starters off a 2012 team that was ranked most of the season and finished tied for fourth in the GPAC at 5-4, 6-4 overall.
The Broncos offense averages 18 points and 317 yards per game, eighth most in the league. Their passing attack ranks fifth in the conference, averaging 226 yards through the air. Both A.J. Palazzolo and Matt Overmiller have seen significant time under center for the Broncos, replacing John Dostal who graduated last spring. Palazzolo has completed 46% of his pass attempts for 866 yards and six touchdowns while Overmiller, who saw limited field time last year, has completed 53% of his passes for 715 yards and three scores. The duo has combined for 15 interceptions this season. Junior Nate Arlt, who redshirted last season, is the top target for the quarterbacks, catching 28 passes for 335 yards and three touchdowns. Junior tight end Jordan Wallman has 23 catches for 240 yards while Austin Curlee averages a team-best 15 yards per catch and also has three touchdowns. Sean Robnett returns as the top rusher in the Broncos backfield, gaining 208 yards on 47 carries and a touchdown. Ramiro Flores has 32 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Hastings ranks 10th in the GPAC with 91 rushing yards per game. Four of the five starters along the Broncos o-line return from last year, led by Tanner Paxton who earned first team all-conference honors.
Defensively, the Broncos are ninth in the GPAC in both scoring (36.1ppg) and total defense (457ypg). Junior linebacker Erik Wylie is third in the GPAC with 71 tackles, 4.5 for a loss. Jeremiah Reed has 48 tackles while Alex Gildon, a second team all-conference pick in 2012, has 33 tackles and ranks third in the GPAC with three interceptions. Junior placekicker Owain Hickey is a perfect 16-for-16 in extrapoints, and has made four field goals.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders have won three straight games since beginning the year with a 2-2 record. They continue to climb in the NAIA coaches' poll, reaching 21st in the Oct. 28 rating. Northwestern defeated Briar Cliff, then-#14 Concordia and Dordt College during its win streak.
Northwestern continues to have one of the top offenses in the GPAC, ranking second in scoring (34.4) and third in yards (429). They feature remarkable balance on the offensive side, ranking fourth in both the run (200ypg) and pass (229ypg). Davis Bloemendaal, a two-time all-GPAC selection under center for NWC, has completed 57% of his pass attempts for 1,581 yards and 18 touchdowns against just five interceptions. The senior ranks sixth all-time with 5,770 career passing yards and fifth all-time with 58 career touchdowns. Both Ben Green and Brice Byker are among the top receivers in the GPAC, ranking in the top 10 in both receptions and yards. Green has 41 catches for 645 yards and 10 touchdowns, the third most scores since the 1997 season. Byker has 31 catches for 463 yards and five scores. Jacey Hoegh adds 20 catches for 241 yards and two scores. Theo Bartman ranks seventh in the GPAC with 461 yards rushing and anchors the running game, despite missing the last two games due to injury. Paul Hutson is coming off his third straight 100-yard game and has 68 carries for 381 yards and three touchdowns. Jessie Riley has 60 carries for 359 yards and two scores.
Defensively, Northwestern is giving up 27 points per game, fifth best in the GPAC. They have been very tough against the run, giving up 131 yards per game. Linebacker Isaiah Twitty leads the GPAC with 56.5 tackles, 10 for a loss of 38 yards. The senior is tied with Sam Van Ginkel for the team lead with 6.5 sacks. Greg Hegstad ranks fourth in the league with 50 tackles and has an interception to go with a forced fumble. The Raider D has forced 11 turnovers this season, nabbing four interceptions to go with seven fumble recoveries.
Up Next...Northwestern will host top-ranked Morningside on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1pm for senior day.
# 44 | Linebacker
Senior from Sanborn, Iowa
# 85 | Wide Receiver
Senior from Sioux Falls, S.D.
# 7 | Defensive End
Sophomore from Rock Valley, Iowa
# 22 | Running Back
Sophomore from Logan, Iowa