FREMONT, Neb. – While the 2018 football season is just getting started, the Midland University football team is running on all cylinder as they eclipsed the half-century mark with 56 points in their second game of the year. This coming after posting 49 points in their season opener a week ago.
Midland (2-0) took control in the second half and then cruised to a 56-20 victory over the Mayville State Comets (0-2) at Heedum Field.
“I really liked how we played that second half,” said Midland head coach Jeff Jamrog. “Overall, we were able to shut the run down for the most part. We had 238 (rushing yards)… 558 total yards, that’s pretty good.”
Midland opened the scoring on a 7-yard touchdown run from senior running back Lukas Vopnford. Mayville State answered with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Creighton Pfau to Trent Momon, tying the game at 7-7 after the first quarter.
The teams traded touchdowns again to start the second quarter. Midland took a 13-7 lead on a 21-yard touchdown grab from Jordan Jackson. Mayville State again found Momon for a 3-yard touchdown to tie the game at 13-13.
Junior linebacker Jason Martin blocked the Mayville State extra point attempt, leading to a run back from freshman cornerback Ray Rush, putting Midland up 15-13.
The Warriors found the end zone on each of their next two drives as junior quarterback Payton Nelson found Jackson again for a 22-yard strike. Then, Nelson connected with junior receiver Darrin Gentry for a 58-yard score, putting Midland up 29-13.
Mayville State scored in the last minute of the first half as Pfau found Jacob Hansen for a 14-yard touchdown reception, making it 29-20 Midland at the break.
That was the end of the fun for Mayville State. The Warriors owned the second half, with the defense pitching a shutout. It was attention detail from the secondary that made it possible.
“We were really aware of (Momon) in the second half,” said Jamrog. “I thought the secondary played a lot better in the second half.”
Momom finished with 11 catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns, most of his damage coming in the first half. It was a pair of newcomers who stepped up in the second half to take on one of the more dangerous receivers the Warriors could face all year.
“It was great to see Ray Rush and Crash Woodle, two freshmen, true freshman corners out there battling against that receiver,” said Jamrog.
The Warriors only let the Comets reach the red zone once in the second half, and they held on fourth-and-goal to force a turnover on downs.
On offense, four different Warriors found the end zone in the second half, all by way of rushing. In the third quarter, it was Vopnford (1-yard) and Nelson (29-yards) with the scores. Capping off the win in the fourth quarter were touchdown runs from juniors Garry Cannon (96-yards) and Adrian Kellogg (7-yards). Cannon’s run tied a Midland football record set by Willie Garrett (1988-92).
Midland was led on defense by a pair of senior linebackers. Wyatt Tremayne and Soga Eli were the anchors of the defense that was so stout in the second half. Tremayne led the Warriors with 7.5 tackles, plus an assisted tackle for loss. Eli added seven total tackles, 2.5 of which were for a loss.
Riding a pair of impressive victories into the bye week, the Warriors have a lot of good to build on as they prepare for their first GPAC game of 2018. Midland hits the road for the first time this season when it travels to Orange City, Iowa to face off with Northwestern College. Kickoff for the game on September 15 is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.