Sports

Dominant First Half Helps Raiders Stay Unbeaten

Orange City, Iowa — No.5 Northwestern College stayed unbeaten with a dominate 44-17 home win over Hastings in a GPAC match-up played Saturday afternoon on Korver Field at DeValois Stadium.

The Red Raiders improve to 8-0 in the GPAC, 9-0 overall, heading into next weekend’s regular season finale against No.1 Morningside.

Northwestern raced out to a 37-0 halftime lead in a near flawless first half in all three phases. Head Coach Matt McCarty’s squad reached the endzone on their first four possessions, added a field goal on its fifth series and also scored a defensive touchdown over the first 30 minutes. The Red Raiders scored another touchdown on their first possession of the second half, pushing their lead to 44-0 with 11 minutes left in the third quarter.

Tyson Kooima matched his career-high with four touchdown passes, all to junior wideout Shane Solberg, and 279 yards. Kooima added a four-yard touchdown run and rushed for 28 yards. He moved up to fourth all-time with 66 career passing touchdowns, overtaking Craig Hector with his second touchdown pass of the day. Solberg totaled six catches for 101 yards, his second straight 100-yard game and fifth of the season, and matched his career-best with four touchdowns.

Garrett Packer was the catalyst in the Northwestern rushing offense, totaling 15 carries for 81 yards, averaging over five yards per attempt.

The Raider D limited Hastings to 179 total yards for the game, just three first downs in the first half and tallied a score when Ben Granstra returned a 26-yard interception to the house in the first quarter. Northwestern’s defense registered three quarterback sacks, one each by Jessen Reinking, Korbyn Gramstad and Colin Snyder.

Hastings was forced into a three-and-out on the games opening possession and Northwestern’s offense got right to work, marching down the field with a five-play, 56-yard drive finished off with a Kooima to Solberg 24-yard touchdown.

Granstra then intercepted a Isaiah Jackson pass on the Broncos’ third play and returned it to the endzone for a 13-0 lead at the 10-minute mark. Another Hastings punt followed and Head Coach Matt McCarty’s squad added to its lead with an 11-play, 68 yard touchdown drive finished off with a Kooima run.

The second Kooima-to-Solberg touchdown on the fifth play of the second quarter pushed the Northwestern lead to 27-0 at the 12:59 mark of the second quarter. The duo connected again for their third score just three minutes later, this time from 29 yards out, giving the Red Raiders a 34-0 lead. Braxton Williams capped the first half scoring with a 28-yard field goal with 4:25 left in the half.

Kooima and Solberg completed the Red Raider scoring on the first possession of the third quarter, hooking up for a two-yard score to finish off a seven-play 55-yard drive.

Hastings scored the final 17 points on a pair of touchdown passes from Jackson and a 33-yard field goal by Jason Bachle.

Northwestern totaled 398 yards on offense, 119 rushing and 279 passing, averaging 6.3 yards per play. Michael Storey caught four passes for 75 yards and both Packer and Josh Fakkema recorded two catches each.

Sean Powell led the Raider D with nine tackles and both Noah Van’t Hof and Tanner Machacek recorded seven stops each.

Jackson completed 16-of-36 passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns, one each to Griffin Roberts and Riley Ostendorf.

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