Sioux Center, Iowa — Tyson Kooima and Jacob Kalogonis both rushed for over 100 yards and the Raider D shut down the highly touted Defenders offense in leading No.7 Northwestern to a 35-6 road win over Dordt in front of a partisan home crowd at Open Space Park in Sioux Center, Iowa.
Northwestern improves its record to 4-0 in the GPAC, 5-0 overall; Dordt falls to 2-2 in the conference, 3-3 overall.
Kooima accounted for nearly 300 yards of total offense in the cold and blustery conditions and showcased his dual-threat capabilities. The junior rushed for a career-high 125 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns while also throwing for 162 yards and two scores. Kooima moved passed Kirk Maasdam (1987-90) and into second place in career passing yards (7,116).
Kalogonis complimented Kooima’s success on the ground, rushing for 104 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. Kalogonis moved past Brandon Smith (2009-12) into third place with 4,306 career rushing yards and has scored a rushing touchdown in all five games this season.
The Raider D lived up to its top 10 ranking in the NAIA, limiting the Defenders to their season low in total yards (254) and just 27 passing yards. On Dordt’s five second half possessions, Northwestern forced a pair of three-and-outs and three turnovers (interception, fumble and on downs), holding the Defenders to four first downs.
Both teams failed to score on their first two offensive series. Northwestern put the first points on the scoreboard late in the opening quarter when Kooima finished off a four-play, 63-yard drive with a five-yard run at the 1:37 mark. Kooima connected with Shane Solberg for a key 49-yard pass play to highlight the drive.
Dordt responded with its best offensive series of the game, an 11-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a one-yard scoring plunge by Carter Schiebout early in the second quarter. The point-after attempt was not successful and Northwestern still led 7-6 but was forced to punt on its next possession.
The Raider D stalled the Defenders on a fourth-and-one when Colin Snyder tackled Noah Clayberg for a loss of three yards, giving the ball back to its offense. Kooima then led Northwestern on a five-play, 64-yard scoring drive, finished off with a 48-yard run for a 14-6 lead. Head Coach Matt McCarty’s defense forced a Defenders three-and-out and the Red Raider offense took advantage, scoring one final time before the half on a seven-yard pass from Kooima to Josh Fakkema to make the score 21-6 heading into halftime.
Kalogonis was responsible for the lone touchdown in the third quarter, reaching the endzone on a one-yard run to finish off a 12-play, 76-yard drive that used nearly seven minutes of clock. Dylan Snyders intercepted a Clayberg pass early in the fourth quarter, giving the ball back to the Red Raider offense at their own 20-yard line. Northwestern sealed the win with a 12-play, 80-yard drive capped by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Kooima to Michael Storey, using over six minutes of clock.
Northwestern totaled 398 yards of offense, 229 rushing and 169 passing. Solberg and Cade Moser both totaled four catches for 72 and 45 yards, respectively. Solberg has now caught at least two passes in 21 straight games and moved into second place all-time with 148 career receptions (passed Gary Vetter).
Defensively, Tanner Machacek, Brett Moser and Sean Powell all had seven stops and Noah Van’t Hof totaled six. Ben Granstra recovered a fumble and Braxton Williams converted all five extra points.
Clayberg rushed 19 times for 96 yards and completed 2-of-16 passes for 27 yards for the hosts. Schiebout totaled 63 yards on 15 carries and scored the lone touchdown for the Defenders.