Northwestern College wrapped up its football season with an upset attempt at No. 5 Morningside College. The Red Raiders ended up losing the game 13-14, but beat Morningside in most major statistical categories.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Morningside defense came up big and intercepted a Jonathan Kodama pass and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown. The score remained 7-0 until halfway through the fourth quarter, when one of the wildest plays in Red Raider football history happened.
Morningside running back Tyler Kavan fumbled after a 23 yard gain and the ball was recovered by senior Donavan Weldon, who returned it 39 yards before attempting a lateral to a teammate. His pitch was intercepted by Kavan, who ran 59 yards for the crazy touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
The play was the number one play on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 plays of Saturday. NW answered the momentum swing with a five play touchdown drive capped off by a 42 yard touchdown pass from Kodama to junior Levi TeBrink.
The Raider defense came up big on the next drive and gave NW the ball on the 44 yard line. Seven plays later, freshman Jacob Kalogonis punched the ball in from one yard out to make the score 14-13 with 1:43 left. NW elected to go for two, but failed to convert. Morningside ran out the clock after a failed onside kick by the Raiders.
NW outgained Morningside in total offensive yards by 90 yards (349-259) and held the advantage in first downs (18-11), as well as in time of possession (31-29). The Mustangs took advantage of six NW turnovers and scored all 14 points off of turnovers.
The Raider defense dominated Morningside the whole game. This limited the nation’s top scoring offense to 41 points and 400 yards below their per game average. NW registered four sacks, one each from seniors Sam Van Ginkel, Josh Treybal and Nick Acoba, and another from sophomore Jed Vant’ Hof. They also recorded three turnovers and forced Morningside into eight three-and-outs, along with forcing Morningside to punt a GPAC record 14 times.
Northwestern finished the season with a 4-4 GPAC record, and 4-6 overall.