Des Moines, Iowa — The Defender football team will travel to Des Moines on Saturday, April 17 for a NAIA Football Championship Series first-round game against Grand View with kickoff at 12:00 pm.
The Grand View Vikings are 6-0 this season and played three games against Heart of America Conference opponents. The Vikings are rated no. 2 in the nation and are coached by Joe Woodley. The Vikings have played football since 2008 and have one losing record in that span—a 2008 mark of 2-8. Grand View won the national title in 2013 with a 14-0 record and have qualified for the semifinals twice in 2014 and 2019. This is the eight straight playoff appearance for Grand View and its ninth overall.
This year’s edition of the Vikings last played on November 21 against Culver Stockton and secured a 44-28 win. The 16-point margin of victory was the slimmest of the year for Grand View and the Des Moines based school has outscored teams 302-55 this year or 50-9 on average.
The offense is led by a ground attack that averages 244.5 yards per game and a passing game that averages 218 yards in the air. All totaled the Vikings outgain opponents 462-158 and limit teams to 67 yards per game on the ground. Devon Pressley has run 56 times for 468 yards and seven touchdowns and Avery Gates has run for 260 yards on 47 carries with two scores.
The Defenders are 8-2 this season and in the GPAC with wins over Midland (22-14), Dakota Wesleyan (47-10), Jamestown (66-13), Doane (44-19), Concordia (41-14), Hastings (65-0), Briar Cliff (64-0) and Panhandle State (53-0). The losses for Dordt came on October 3 against Northwestern (48-40) and October 31 against Morningside (35-30).
The Defenders run for 337 yards per game on average and pass for 222. Dordt’s defense allows 112 yards per game on the ground and 158 in the air. Dordt is outscoring teams on average 47-15.
Noah Clayberg has completed 149-231 passes for 1834 yards and 16 touchdowns with six interceptions. He has also run 156 times for 1185 yards—a 7.6 yards per carry average and has 17 rushing touchdowns. Carter Schiebout has 622 yards rushing on 116 attempts with a 5.4 yards per carry average with six touchdowns. Michael Sondermann has run 99 times for 501 yards and a 5.1 yards per carry average.
Levi Jungling has caught 60 passes for a 14.2 yards per catch average and has nine touchdown catches. Ben Heuvelhorst has a 9.5 yards per catch average with two touchdowns and 28 snags. Jayden Huisman has 29 catches for 12.6 yards per catch and Raphael Carr has an 11.4 yards per catch average on 11 catches. Hayden Large became more of a threat as the season progressed and has 2 catches for 10.7 yards per catch and five touchdowns.
Brett Zachman has converted 46-52 point after tries and is 11-11 on field goal attempts with a long of 43. Clayberg has punted 21 times for a 36.9 yards per punt average and Blade Koons has punted eight times with a 40.4 average.
Josh Mrazek has 63 tackles and Brayton Van Kekerix has 51. Nathan Kabongo has 47 tackles with two interceptions and Jalen Placide had three interceptions but will not be playing this semester. Colyn Oostenink had 8.5 quarterback sacks but will not see action due to an injury. David Kacmarynski has 6.5 sacks and an interception this season . Dordt has 41 total sacks this season.
Dordt had no trouble with Panhandle State on March 27 with a 53-0 win over the Aggies behind 551 rushing yards and a 662-145 total yardage advantage. Michael Sondermann ran 14 times for 185 yards and Noah Clayberg ran 13 times for 131 yards. Anthony Trojahn had 11 carries for 90 yards and Clayberg completed six passes with two completions each to Jayden Huisman and Hayden Large.
Grand View has not played since beating Culver Stockton on November 21 by a 44-28 margin after trailing 21-16 at halftime. Culver Stockton ran for 175 yards and passed for 133 but gave up 264 yards in the air. Jensen Gates had 114 yards rushing on 11 tries and Johnny Sullivan had 13 competions for 264 yards and two interceptions. Anthony Turner had three catches for 83 yards and Brandon Martin had two catches for 70 yards.
The winner of this game advances to the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Series on Saturday, April 24.