ORANGE CITY, Iowa –Midland University’s football team’s stay in the top 25 will likely be short-lived after falling on the road in their Great Plains Athletic Conference opener on Saturday afternoon.
No. 24 Midland (2-1,0-1 GPAC) dropped their first conference and road game of the season at No. 5 Northwestern College (3-0, 1-0 GPAC) by a final of 49-20. After starting the year with electrifying offensive outings, the Warriors were held to their lowest offensive output of the season. The drop off was somewhat expected against a stout Red Raider defense that ranks among the best in the nation.
Northwestern responded on their first possession with a 21-yard touchdown run from Jacob Kalogonis. Their extra-point kick was successful and put them in front 7-6.
Trading blows again, Midland retook the lead on a four-yard run from Lukas Vopnfordbefore Northwestern took it right back on a 15-yard touchdown grab from Tyson Kooima to Cade Moser. Northwestern led 14-13 after the first quarter.
The Warriors’ 13 first quarter points were the most the Red Raiders had allowed in an entire game this season. Northwestern entered the game giving up just 7 and 10 points in its first two games.
In the second quarter both offenses turned stagnant. Northwestern made two trips to the red zone in the quarter, but neither resulted in points. Their first trip was ended on an interception in the end zone by the Warriors’ safety Brock Larson, the senior’s second on the season. Midland’s three second quarter possessions ended with an interception, on downs, and with a punt. Northwestern led 14-13 at the half.
After hanging tough in the first half, the Warriors failed to adjust to the changes made by the fifth-ranked Red Raiders after the intermission. Northwestern outscored Midland 35-7 in the second half, including 21 unanswered third quarter points.
Midland’s only score in the second half came early in the fourth quarter when backup quarterback Noah Oswald found wide receiver Jordan Jackson in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown reception with 10:19 left in the game.
“This one stings,” said Midland head coach Jeff Jamrog. “We are very disappointed in the outcome. We got up 13-6 in the first quarter. Get the ball back after they have a turnover on the kickoff and we get no points from it. Instead of being up 20-6, it ends up being a 13-14 game at half.”
“We played very poor in the second half with three turnovers on offense, two of which were pick-six touchdowns. We had too many drops, missed assignments, and missed tackles to beat a quality team today. We need to fix our mistakes as coaches and as players. I’m confident that we will come back strong next week.”
On offense, the Red Raiders out-gained the Warriors 486-338 on just 55 plays compared to Midland’s 74 offensive snaps. Midland converted on just three of 16 chances on third down and committed three turnovers.
Midland is on the road again next week to continue GPAC play. They’ll travel to Seward, Nebraska to take on the Concordia University (2-0, 1-0 GPAC). Kickoff on Saturday, September 22 at Bulldog Stadium is set for 1:00 p.m.