HASTINGS, NEB. – A battering ram’s force.
Top-ranked Morningside College covered Hastings College’s Lloyd Wilson Field to the tune of 637 offensive yards Saturday, Oct. 5. A large chunk of that came due to a relentless running trio that helped pile up a team total of 427 yards and lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 42 points (seven touchdowns).
Freshman Tupak Kpeayeh (FR/Sioux Falls, SD) (Sioux Falls, S.D.) had his best outing in a Maroon uniform to date carrying the ball 13 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns; senior Arnijae “AP” Ponder (Griffin, Ga.) continued his theme of 100-yard-plus efforts with his eighth straight going for 133 yards and two scores; and junior Anthony Sims (JR/Fort Lauderdale, FL) (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) registered his second collegiate career triple-digit rushing total, scoring three touchdowns due to 102 yards on just nine carries.
Head coach Steve Ryan‘s squad added to the program’s growing number of the successive regular season, Great Plains Athletic Conference and overall victories. They hit 33, 37 and 19 on those tote boards, finding the end zone three times on their first four drives and not looking back. The Maroon built a 41-0 halftime advantage behind four second-period paydirt strikes and were off to a 69-13 win.
The rushing attack wasn’t the only thing making headlines on a sun-splashed early October day. Sophomore quarterback Joe Dolincheck (SO/Bellevue, NE) (Bellevue, Neb.) was an efficient 11-of-16 for 210 yards and two touchdowns with the upperclassman wide receiver tandem of senior Bo Els (SR/Erie, CO) (Erie, Colo.) and junior Reid Jurgensmeier (JR/Wahoo, NE) (Wahoo, Neb.) hauling in all but one of the completions for 203 yards and two scores. Mside’s defensive unit didn’t allow many opportunities for the host Broncos to counter their guests, turning in five sacks and nine tackles for losses, highlighted by freshman defensive back Jamal Jones (FR/Adelanto, CA) (Adelanto, Calif.) racing to the house 95 yards with a pick-six. Senior defensive lineman Alex Paulson (SR/Buffalo Center, IA) (Buffalo Center, Iowa) registered two of the sacks; senior linebacker Joel Katzer (SR/Baldwin City, KS) (Baldwin City, Kan.) topped the tackle charts with nine; and fellow senior linebacker Chase Nelson (SR/Beatrice, NE) (Alliance, Neb.) tallied six tackles and one sack.
Morningside (4-0, 3-0 GPAC) remains on the road Saturday, Oct. 12. It’s The Battle of the Saddle when the Mustangs take on crosstown conference foe Briar Cliff University. Kickoff is 1 p.m. at Memorial Field.
EXTRA POINTS – Ryan’s team reeled off its fourth successive 50-point-plus outing. The four final digits collected have helped extend a spectacular string of having at least one such scoreboard blitz every year since 2005.