Northwestern went on the road last weekend to face Dakota Wesleyan in the second Great Plains Athletic Conference football match of the season. No. 18 NW cruised past the No. 15 Tigers 35-7 to improve to 2-0 in the GPAC and 2-1 overall.
Dakota Wesleyan was the first to put points on the board when the Tigers’ quarterback ran for a 66-yard touchdown on the second play of the opening drive. The host team would be silenced by the Raider defense for the rest of the game.
NW would tie the game later in the first quarter on a 13-yard touchdown connection from sophomore quarterback Craig Bruinsma to senior receiver Ben Green to complete a six-play, 47-yard drive.
The Raiders took the lead in the second quarter when sophomore running back Paul Hutson ran 29 yards for a touchdown after a big completion from Bruinsma to Green the play prior. The score from Hutson gave NW a 14-7 lead as both teams headed into the locker room.
It was a defensive battle after the half as both offenses went scoreless in the third quarter. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, a short punt from the Tigers put the Raiders in good field position on the home teams’ 35-yardline. Two plays later, Hutson found the endzone again on a 23-yard run to extend the lead to 21-7 just 2:26 into the fourth quarter.
After NW was forced to punt on its next offensive series, Raider punter Levi Ettleman booted a 79-yard kick down to the Tiger 4-yardline. The host team gave the ball back quickly after the Tiger quarterback threw an interception to junior defensive back Justin Wohlert, who would return it 20-yards for another Raider score.
Despite holding a 28-7 advantage, the Raider scoring wasn’t finished yet. The stingy NW defense created another turnover late in the fourth quarter, and after four plays and 24 yards, the visiting team found themselves up 35-7 after an 8-yard, touchdown run by junior running back Jessie Riley.
NW will play Nebraska Wesleyan on Saturday, Sept. 27 in Lincoln, Neb. The game starts at 1 p.m.