September 15, 2018 - 10:45 pm - Posted in Sports

Jacob Kalogonis rushed for two touchdowns and the Raider D added two more scores as No.5 Northwestern cruised to a 49-20 win over #24 Midland in the Red Raiders home opener.

The Red Raiders stay unbeaten on the year, improving to 2-0 in the GPAC, 3-0 overall, and Midland loses for the first time this season, falling to 2-1 on the year.

Kalogonis was the catalyst for the Red Raider offense, carrying the ball 18 times for 158 yards and two scores, averaging over eight yards per attempt. This was his second 100-yard game of the season and 14th for his career. Tyson Kooima was equally impressive as the dual threat quarterback rushed for a touchdown and threw for two more, accounting for over 300 yards of total offense.

The Raider D forced three Midland turnovers, leading to 21 points. Both Noah Van’t Hof and Liam Stubbe ran back interceptions for touchdowns and a forced fumble by Jed Van’t Hof and recovered by Ben Granstra turned into a long touchdown on the very next play as Kooima connected with Canon Flores for a 31-yard scoring strike.

Northwestern totaled nearly 500 yards of offense and showcased a balanced attack with 256 yards rushing and 230 through the air. Kooima completed 11-of-17 passes for 230 yards and two scores, competing passes to six different receivers. Shane Solberg made the most of his two catches, totaling 103 yards, and both Jared Nelson and Cade Moser totaled three catches for 51 and 41 yards, respectively.

Midland jumped out to an early lead, marching down the field on a nine-play, 77-yard drive finished off with a Payton Nelson two-yard pass to Jacob Ellis for a 6-0 lead. Northwestern responded immediately on its first drive as Kalogonis scored on a 21-yard run to cap a four-play, 62-yard drive and a 7-6 lead. Both teams would score again before the first quarter ended with Midland retaking its lead with a Lukas Vopnford four-yard scamper. The Warriors’ final lead was short-lived as Northwestern came back with its quick-strike offense, going 87 yards on four plays and finished off with a 15-yard pass to Moser.

The teams went scoreless in the second quarter and with Northwestern leading 14-13 at the break, Coach McCarty’s squad put another touchdown on the board with a 60-yard run by Kalogonis just moments into the third quarter. Following the quarterback sack and forced fumble by Van’t Hof, Kooima found Flores for a 31-yard score and 28-13 lead. On Midland’s next offensive series, Noah Van’t Hof intercepted a Nelson pass and ran it back 38 yards to put his team on top 35-13 at the end of the third quarter.

Midland scored its final touchdown early in fourth quarter when Noal Oswald connected with Jordan Jackson for a 12-yard scoring strike. The Red Raider offense scored its final touchown on a 12-yard scamper by Kooima and Stubbe capped the game’s scoring on his pick six, running it back from 35-yards out.

Sean Powell totaled a team-high eight stops on defense, followed by both Noah Van’t Hof and Bryce Van Beek with seven. Garrett Sayler added six tackles and Tanner Machacek registered five stops.

Nelson led the Midland offense with 234 yards combined rushing and passing. The dual-threat quarterback rushed 11 times for 65 yards and completed 14-of-32 passes for 169 yards and a score.

Northwestern will head to Mitchell, S.D. to play Dakota Wesleyan for a night game on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Joe Quintal Field.

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