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Game Time...19th-ranked Northwestern plays host to top-ranked Morningside on Saturday, Nov. 9 in a GPAC football showdown for senior day. Northwestern comes in riding a four-game wins streak and is tied with Doane for second in the GPAC at 5-2, 6-2 overall. Morningside is a perfect 7-0 in the conference and already has clinched at least a tie for the conference title. They are 8-0 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now! or listen live to the KSOU broadcast at the following link: Listen Now! or follow the live stats at this link: Live Stats!
All-Time...Northwestern trails the all-time series 9-12 and is just 2-8 over the last 10 match-ups against Morningside. The Red Raiders have lost six straight games to Morningside, including a 34-7 defeat last year in Sioux City. The two teams first met in 1977 where Northwestern earned 12-7 win.
Last Year...The Mustangs cruised to a 34-7 week two win over Northwestern in a match-up of top 10 teams last year in Sioux City, Iowa.
Morningside surged to a 27-0 halftime lead and both teams scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter for the final points. Theo Bartman scored on a one-yard run for Northwestern's only score.
Northwestern totaled 264 yards on offense, led by Davis Bloemendaal who completed 21-of-43 passes for 196 yards and an interception. The Red Raiders were held to just 68 rushing yards. Nate Fischer and Jake Zylstra led the defense with 13 and 10.5 tackles, respectively.
Morningside gained 350 yards of offense, led by quarterback Joel Nixon who completed 16 passes for 160 yards and three scores. The senior also rushed for 64 yards on 14 carries. Defensively, Morningside forced three NWC turnovers and was led by Sean Elliott with 7.5 tackles.
Scouting Morningside...The top-ranked Mustangs have cruised to a perfect 7-0 conference record, 8-0 overall. They have outscored opponents by nearly 40 points per game and have been ranked first all season. Last week, they defeated Concordia on the road 48-31, actually trailing at the half before pulling away in a big second half.
Steve Ryan, in his 12th season as the Mustangs head coach, owns a 98-31 overall record during his tenure. Ryan has guided Morningside to nine straight NAIA playoff appearances and three GPAC titles. Last year, the Mustangs finished the year with a 13-1 record, losing to Marian (Ind.) in the national title game 30-27 in overtime. Ryan returns 66 players and 14 starters off last year's squad, nine on offense, three on defense and two on special teams.
Morningside boasts the top scoring offense in the NAIA, averaging 54.5 points and nearly 600 yards per game. They rank first in both the run (280ypg) and pass (314), led by junior quarterback Ryan Kasdorf, a transfer from College of the Canyons. Kasdorf has completed 168-of-238 pass attempts for an NAIA-best 2,456 yards and 33 touchdowns against four interceptions. He has a passer efficiency rating of 199.7, best in the NAIA. The Mustangs receiving corps is loaded, returning three All-Americans from 2012, led by seniors Kyle Schuck and Joel McCabe. Schuck has 50 catches for an NAIA leading 964 yards and 14 touchdowns while McCabe has 40 catches for 384 yards and eight scores. Senior tight end, another All-American, has eight catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns while also being an outstanding blocker. Newcomer Devin Thomas, another transfer, has 35 catches for 656 yards and seven touchdowns. The Mustangs also have an effective running game, featuring junior Jon Halvorson, who ranks second in the GPAC with 686 yards and 10 touchdowns. Sophomore Brandon Wegher, who played one season for Iowa and spent time at both Oklahoma and Iowa Western the last two years, is third in the GPAC with 619 yards and five scores.
The Mustangs also have the top-rated defense in the NAIA, giving up 15 points and 274 yards per game, despite the loss of eight starters from last year. Senior linebacker Aaron Roberg was the leading tackler in 2012 and ranks second on this year's squad with 58 stops. Sophomore Zac Schleuger leads the team with 64 tackles and Logan Gibbs leads the team with 3.5 sacks from the linebacker spot. The Mustangs have also had significant contributions from transfers Darrius McMullin (Butler Community College) and Chris Frierson (USD). McMullin has 28 tackles along the d-line while Frierson has 21 tackles as one of the defensive backs.
Northwestern News and Notes...With four straight wins, Northwestern has moved back into the top 20 with a 5-2 record, 6-2 overall. Ranked 19th in the Nov. 4 coaches' poll, Northwestern has wins over Concordia, Briar Cliff, Dordt and Hastings during their current streak.
Northwestern ranks third in the GPAC in both scoring (34ppg) and total offense (434ypg) while also being one of the more balanced offenses in the NAIA. Senior quarterback Davis Bloemendaal directs the offense for the third straight year and ranks fifth all-time with 6,112 career passing yards and 61 touchdowns. This year, Bloemendaal has completed 144-of-252 pass attempts for 1,923 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also has 117 yards rushing and four additional touchdowns. The Red Raiders boast two of the top receivers in the GPAC in Ben Green and Brice Byker. Green ranks fourth in the conference with 686 yards and 10 touchdowns while Byker is sixth in the conference with 581 yards and seven scores. Both Jacey Hoegh and Theo Bartman have 26 catches and multiple touchdown receptions. Bartman leads the rushing offense with 517 yards on 94 carries, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt. The senior ranks eight all-time with 2,448 rushing yards and ninth with 26 touchdowns. Paul Hutson has rushed for 424 yards and three touchdowns and Jessie Riley has 384 yards and two scores.
The Raider D is fifth in the GPAC in scoring, giving up 27 points per game. They are third in the league in rush defense, led by senior linebacker Isaiah Twitty with 63.5 tackles, ranking second in the GPAC. He also has 6.5 sacks this season. Junior Greg Hegstad has 50 tackles and Nate Van Ginkel has 41.5 stops this year. Freshman Sam Van Ginkel leads the team with 7.5 sacks while Northwestern leads the conference with 29 total sacks.
This marks the final regular season home game for the 16 seniors associated with the Red Raider football program. Collectively, the group has compiled an impressive 32-9 overall record, 27-8 within the conference. They have finished third or better in the conference as well as finishing with a top 20 ranking each season. Last year, this group of seniors were part of a Red Raider team that qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2006, losing to the eventual national champion in the first round.
2013: 5-2 GPAC (T2nd), 6-2 overall (currently ranked #19)
2012: 7-2 GPAC (2nd), 9-3 overall (ranked #13)
2011: 7-2 GPAC (T2nd), 9-2 overall (ranked #17)
2010: 8-2 GPAC (3rd), 8-2 overall (ranked #14)
Tony Austin-16 games; 25 rushes for 106 yards; 1 TD; 2 kick returns for 22yds
Davis Bloemendaal-39 games; 2-time all-conference; 463/797 for 6,112 passing yards and 61 TD; 254 rushes for 660 yards and 8 TD; ave. 38.4 yards per his 43 punt attempts; ranks fifth all-time in passing yards and TD’s
Josue Argueta-16 games; 5.5 tackles and one blocked kick; 1 punt return for 14yds
Vito Maffei-20 games; 21.5 tackles, 3 TFL for 8 yds; 1 pass defended.
Nathan Van Ginkel-33 games; 2-time all-conference; 106 tackles, 20.5 TFL for 95yds; 20 passes defended; 3 forced fumbles and fumble recoveries; 7 sacks; 1 TD
Jacey Hoegh-20 games; all-conference honors; 40 catches for 448 yards, 4 TD
Brice Byker-31 games; 92 catches for 1,162 yards; 16 TD
Jerel Kyles-40 games; 2-time all-conference; 73 tackles, 4 TFL for 14 yards; 24 passes defended; 6 INT and 2 fumble recoveries.
Theo Bartman-39 games; 2-time all-conference and BSN All-American; 384 carries for 2,448 yards and 26 TD; 90 catches for 943 yards and 7 TD; 4 punt returns for 35 yards and 1 TD; 52 kick returns for 1,098 yards; 4,524 all-purpose yds; ranks 8th in career rushing yards and 9th in rushing touchdowns.
Taylor Morris-40 games; 54.5 tackles, 10 TFL for 41yds; 2 fumble recoveries and forced fumbles; 5 sacks; 1 blocked kick.
Isaiah Twitty-39 games; 2-time all-conference; 168.5 tackles, 28.5 TFL for 99yds; 6 forced fumbles, 12.5 sacks and 1 blocked kick.
Gerard Fluellen-26 games; 42.5 tackles, 7.5 TFL for 17yds; 2 forced fumbles and fumble recoveries; 4 sacks, 1 pass defended.
Marcus Van Voorst-39 games along the Red Raiders o-line; all-conference honors.
Managers: Seth “Uncle Joe” Herning , Meredith Pennings
Student Coach: Lane Shaikoski
Up Next...Northwestern closes the regular season on the road against Midland in Fremont, Neb. on Nov. 16.
# 7 | Defensive End
Junior from Rock Valley, Iowa
# 22 | Running Back
Junior from Logan, Iowa