The Northwestern College football team handed previously unbeaten Concordia its first loss of the season with a 31-17 home victory in a game played today on Korver Field at De Valois Stadium. The Raiders improve to 3-1 this season while the Bulldogs drop to 4-1.
The Raiders explosive offense was on display once again as the home team compiled 557 total yards, their third 500+ yard game of the season. Tyson Kooima completed 24-of-39 pass attempts for 407 yards, his second 400-yard effort of the season. The senior quarterback tosses a pair of touchdowns to Shane Solberg and is now tied with Curtis Krull (1970-73) for first all-time with 84 career passing touchdowns.
Solberg had a near-record setting day, totaling 11 catches for 267 yards, two shy of matching the program’s record for receiving yards in a single game, which he set against Hastings in 2018. Solberg averaged over 20-yards per reception with a long of 70 yards this afternoon.
Defensively, the Raiders gave up 335 yards, a season-low 101 on the ground. They also forced two turnovers and registered their first two quarterback sacks of the season.
Northwestern opened the games scoring on its first drive when Konner McQuillan reached the endzone on an 18-yard run to cap a nine-play, 70-yard possession that lasted under four minutes. Following a Concordia three-and-out, the Raider offense scored again on a 35-yard field goal by Eli Stader for a 10-0 lead.
Stader converted a 23-yard attempt for the only points in the second quarter as Northwestern took a 13-0 lead into halftime.
Taking advantage of a Raider turnover, Concordia put its first points on the board when Blake Culbert connected with tight end Garrett Schardt for a 16-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. Northwestern drove down to the Bulldogs three-yard line on its next possession but had to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Stader and push the lead to 16-7. The scoring drive was aided by a 45-yard kickoff return by Michael Storey and a 41-yard completion from Kooima to Solberg.
Concordia made it a one score game when the duo of Culbert and Schardt hooked up for their second touchdown, this time from 34-yard out on fourth down, to make the score 16-14 with five minutes left in the third. The Raider offense had a quick answer on their next drive, going six plays, 75 yards and finished off with a Kooima to Solberg touchdown pass to close the third quarter, 23-14.
An early fourth quarter field goal by Concordia cut the lead to 23-17; Northwestern clinched the win with an impressive eight-play, 80-yard drive finished off by another Kooima to Solberg touchdown and two-point conversion.
Noah Van’t Hof led the Raider D with 10 tackles, two passes defended and an interception. Trevor Rozeboom as next with eight stops and both Brett Moser and Jessen Reinking totaled six stops. Reinking had 1.5 quarterback sacks and Tanner Oleson nabbed the other interception.
Culbert completed 17-of-40 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs.