Despite the windy conditions this past Saturday, the Red Raiders were able to come out on top once again as they conquered Nebraska Wesleyan University, 43-21.
NWU put up a good fight during the first quarter and eventually scored a touchdown and extra point with four minutes to play.
The Raiders weren’t to be outscored for long. Senior Jon Paulsen scored a touchdown and junior Brad Cave added the extra point with two and a half minutes to play in the quarter, making the score 7-7.
The Raiders took control of the second quarter scoring a touchdown by senior Karlton Hector and a 51 yard field goal by Cave, setting a new school record and ranking him as the 5th best kicker in the NAIA this week.
On the defensive side, the Raiders were able to stop the Prairie Wolves on the goal line to end the first half 17-7, Raiders.
After half time the Raiders came back with more force than ever. They scored four touchdowns during the third quarter: junior Jeremy McAllister with one, Hector with two and senior Matt McCarty with one on a 22 yard interception return. The score at the end of the third quarter was 43-7.
During the fourth quarter the Raiders were unable to score because of excessive penalty flags. However, they were able to hold the Prairie Wolves to two touchdowns, thanks to a tight defense.
The Raider defense is currently ranked 15th for scoring and 11th in rushing defense in the NAIA.
For the Raiders, both sides of the ball rose to the occasion and so did the special teams.
“We are working more and more on playing a complete game, and it showed on Saturday,” said Coach Orv Otten. “We have really been working on playing as one team also, and it makes a difference.”
Throughout the first three quarters Travis Kooima took control of the offense from the quarterback position and tossed a total of 212 yards for the day. The Raiders are currently ranked 5th in the NAIA for scoring offense and 9th for rushing offense.
McAllister said, “There was a high level of intensity before the game, and we played at that level and did well.”
Coach Otten agreed, “The game on Saturday went very well for us.”
As for the rest of the season, competition is only getting tougher. According to McAllister, “Everyone in the conference is doing well this year.”
Currently the Raiders are ranked 1st in the GPAC and they have moved up to 10th from 14th in the NAIA.
Tomorrow the Raiders travel to Mitchell, South Dakota to take on Dakota Wesleyan at 1:30 p.m.