The fifth-ranked football squad from Northwestern came to Memorial Field on Saturday and spoiled the home finale for Briar Cliff with a 38-7 verdict.
The Red Raiders air attack put on a show as quarterback Tyson Kooima completed 25-of-32 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Kooima also added 33 rushing yards and another score.
Briar Cliff avoided the shutout thanks to a 73-yard touchdown run by Jordan Williams in the final quarter. Williams had a solid outing with 117 yards on the ground while also adding 37 kick return yards.
The BC defense kept the Northwestern run game in check all day as the Red Raiders finished with just 73 yards rushing. Garrett Packer was the team leader at 48 yards. The Chargers nearly had two backs surpass that total with Stanton Lee finishing with 46 yards. BC ran for 5.4 yards per rush as a team compared to just 2.4 yards per carry for Northwestern.
While the ground game was stalled, Shane Solberg had a huge outing from his wide receiver position. Solberg caught 16 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. He added one yard rushing on the day. Canon Flores caught the other Red Raider TD pass as he went for 61 yards on his three catches. Josh Fakkema hauled in five passes for 47 yards.
The leading receiver for the Cliff was Rashad Brown with five catches for 60 yards. Brown also had 21 yards on punt returns with his long return of the day going for 16 yards.
Defensively, Alexander Johnson Jr. led all players in tackles with eight. Seven of his stops were solo tackles as he had the only sack on the day for either team. Robert Robinson and Peyton Bailey each recorded six tackles, a total that matched Northwestern’s top total done by Devin Mouw and Sean Powell.
Kooima was not intercepted on the day, however his backup Blake Fryar did have a pass picked off by Khamren Davenport. Preston Mulligan started at QB for the Blue and Gold and was 5-for-9 with 55 yards and no interceptions thrown. Diontre Collins-Jones was also 5-for-9 passing as his completions went for 34 yards. Collins-Jones was intercepted twice, once by Powell and once by Trevor Rozeboom.
The win keeps Northwestern’s record perfect at 8-0 overall and 7-0 in the GPAC. Briar Cliff is now 5-4 this season with 4-3 mark in conference play. Briar Cliff still has a chance at finishing with a winning record in the GPAC for the first time in school history with one win. The Chargers have two games left on the schedule as they’ll travel to take on (RV) Dordt next week before finishing the season with a roadtrip to Jamestown.