The Red Raiders dropped their first game of the season Saturday as they fell to fifth-ranked Morningside by a score of 20-7.
“I was pleased with how we played,” said Head Coach Kyle Achterhoff. “There are a lot of positives that we are going to be able to build on throughout the rest of the season.”
The Raiders were able to move the ball well, totaling 327 total yards on offense, but were unable to match the big play ability of the Mustangs.
“This game against Morningside was a game of big plays, and they made more big plays than we did Saturday night,” said Achterhoff.
Leading the Raiders, junior Quarterback Ryan Morgan accumulated 274 yards of offense, going 17 of 33 for 194 yards and a touchdown, along with rushing the ball 14 times for 80 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Grant Hegstad led the way with 5.5 tackles, while Paul Lundgren followed close behind with five. Also with a noteworthy game, Caleb Van Otterloo had 2.5 tackles, one forced fumble and Northwestern’s lone interception.
“This week’s ball game against Nebraska Wesleyan will be a real challenge for us,” says Achterhoff. “They are a very good defensive team, so our offense will be tested, and they broke out offensively last weekend, so our defense will also have a tough test ahead of them.”
After the first loss of the year, the Raiders have an opportunity to learn from the game and improve early in the season.
“We need to do a better job of not hurting ourselves with penalties,” said Achterhoff. “Defensively we need to do a better job of tackling. We’re looking forward to playing Nebraska Wesleyan and improving as a team.”
The Red Raiders host Nebraska Wesleyan Saturday at 1 p.m.