The 15th ranked Red Raiders fell 48-20 to the No. 4 Morningside Mustangs last Saturday in the NAIA game of the week. This took place during Homecoming weekend at Northwestern College. Both teams were undefeated going into the game.
The Raiders fell to 2-1 in conference play and 4- 1 overall. It was an offensive battle as both teams earned over 400 total offensive yards. However, NW turned the ball over five times compared to only one by the Mustangs, which greatly deterred the Raiders.
Freshman quarterback Tyson Kooima recorded 363 yards of offense. He was 20-47 in the air with one touchdown and also logged 95 rushing yards with one rushing touchdown. Senior J.C. Koerselman had a solid seven catches on the day with 140 yards. Senior Jared Nelson had 56 receiving yards, and senior Levi TeBrink had 36.
Morningside had an impressive first half as they scored touchdowns on their first four possessions. They were up 28-7 at halftime. Morningside was able to keep possession and drive down the field multiple times. Their third-down conversions helped push them ahead in that first half. NW’s score in the first half came from a four-yard touchdown pass to red-shirt freshman Josh Fakkema, which was the first of his collegiate career. That touchdown came on the Raiders’ third drive of the game.
In the second half, the Mustangs scored first with a 40-yard passing touchdown to make the score 35-7. NW countered with back-to-back touchdowns scoring drive to put themselves within striking distance making the score 35-20.
The Raider defense came up with a great stop forcing the punt from Morningside. A NW interception, though, would shift the momentum back in the Mustangs’ favor as they scored off the turnover. Morningside scored once more which totaled the game score at 48-20.
NW totaled 23 first downs and 406 yards of offense. Sophomore Jacob Kalogonis rushed 10 times for 38 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Tanner Machacek stood out defensively as he recorded a team-high 10 tackles and one sack.
The Raiders look to bounce back from their loss as they travel to Fremont, Neb., this Saturday to take on the Midland Warriors.