The Northwestern Red Raider football team earned its first win of the season last Saturday with a 42-6 victory over GPAC foe Briar Cliff.
The win was head coach Matt McCarty’s first win since taking over the job following last year’s season. McCarty was impressed with how his team performed against Briar Cliff.
“We executed really well on both sides of the ball,” McCarty said. “Offensively we had a lot of explosive plays. Overall we had a really strong team performance against Briar Cliff.”
The Red Raider offense was highlighted by big plays and big individual performances. Senior Jonathan Kodama completed 21 of 27 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns. It was the second time this season Kodama eclipsed the 300 yard mark.
The rushing attack was led by freshman Jacob Kalogonis who had 11 carries for 61 yards and one touchdown, his first as a Red Raider. Senior Paul Hutson added 53 yards on 12 carries and two touchdown runs.
Senior Levi Ettleman led the Raider receiving corps with seven catches for 122 yards followed by junior T.J. Spykstra with five catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Reggie Carter added 77 yards on six catches and sophomore Jared Nelson added a score, the first of his career.
The Red Raider defense dominated throughout the game, led by senior Josh Treybal, who recorded six tackles including one and a half tackles for loss, as well as a sack.
Fellow senior Sam Van Ginkel also recorded a sack, which made him the Northwestern career sack leader with 30.5 sacks and counting.
Freshman Tanner Machacek totaled four and a half tackles with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. The Red Raider defense also forced a safety and limited Briar Cliff to under 100 yards in the first half.
One area where NW struggled was special teams, where the team failed on a number of PAT and field goal attempts.
The Red Raiders improved to 1-1 in conference play, 1-3 overall. NW’s next game will be Homecoming Weekend, when the Red Raiders host Hastings on Oct. 1.