MITCHELL, S.D. – Limiting a second successive opponent to less than 125 yards and producing a sixth 50-points-or-more offensive attack, top-ranked American Football Coaches Association/National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Morningside College kept rolling Saturday, Oct. 26.
Spearheading a third overall and second straight shutout for the Maroon was the senior linebacking tandem of twin brothers Joel and Jacob Katzer (SR/Baldwin City, KS) (Baldwin City, Kan.). Joel gathered in an interception and shared the team’s tackle lead with Jacob (six apiece) to oversee a stout defensive effort at Dakota Wesleyan University’s Joe Quintal Field. The duo each had two tackles for losses with Jacob garnering a sack of Tiger signal-caller Anthony De La Torre Guglielmana. Mside also managed 12 tackles for losses, and sophomore defensive back Drew Bessey (SO/Palmyra, NE) (Palmyra, Neb.) recorded a pick-six for the final visiting points.
After a slow start in which the host defense kept the Mustangs’ high-octane offense off the field due to three early interceptions, head coach Steve Ryan‘s crew caught fire over the next three quarters. The spark was provided by senior wide receiver Bo Els (SR/Erie, CO).
The Erie, Colo., native took a punt at DWU’s 40 and worked his way down the field for six points late in the first period to give Morningside a two-score lead. He answered the call again with the clock running down in the second stanza, as sophomore quarterback Joe Dolincheck (SO/Bellevue, NE) (Bellevue, Neb.) hit him in the flat, and Els beat the defenders in a foot race 53 yards for a touchdown. His second visit to the end zone began a run of eight consecutive drives in which the Maroon scored touchdowns en route to a 69-point outing.
When the final seconds ticked off the clock with Morningside running its record to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, the offensive statistics proved impressive once more. Dolincheck, with a seventh straight 200-yards-plus effort, went over 2,000 yards for the season with a 13-of-23, 280-yard afternoon with three touchdowns to offset the three interceptions. Freshman quarterback Tate Robards (FR/Tulsa, OK) (Broken Arrow, Okla.) also had a strong Saturday, going three-for-three with one touchdown for 103 yards. The receiving trio of sophomore Austin Johnson (SO/Sioux Falls, SD) (Sioux Falls, S.D.), junior Reid Jurgensmeier (JR/Wahoo, NE) (Wahoo, Neb.) and Els proved a lot to handle, as Johnson took in four catches for 148 yards and two scores; Jurgensmeier continued his eye-popping junior campaign with six receptions for 102 yards and one touchdown and Els caught three passes for 92 yards with the one paydirt ending included. The running game also added to the highlight reel with 144 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns from junior Arnijae “AP” Ponder (Griffin, Ga.) who collected his 11th straight 100-yards-plus contest, as junior Anthony Sims (JR/Fort Lauderdale, FL) (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and senior Ethan Stratman (SR/Wahoo, NE) (Wahoo, Neb.) also registered touchdown carries.
The Mustangs conclude two in a row on the road Saturday, Nov. 2. Doane College hosts the conference co-leaders for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Al Papik Field in Crete, Neb.