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  • Writer's pictureMark Schlabach

Red Raiders run past St. Xavier and into fourth straight NAIA National Semifinal

The top-ranked Northwest college football team from Orange city, IA defeated the Saint Xavier Cougars 34 – 17 in the NAIA semifinal game played on 3rd December at Devalue Stadium. For the 10th time this season, Cody Moser set the single season program record for interceptions with one more to tie it up.


Eli Stader (Jr., Cedar Grove, Wis.) scored a 30-yard field goal for Northwestern that ended a 64-yard drive to be the first in today’s encounter. With a field goal of 37 yards that was made by Saint Xavier, the two teams were tied 0-0 at the end of the fist quarter.


In the 2nd quarter, Konner McQuillan (Sr., Leavenworth, Kan) would run in a 47 yard touchdown down field at the opposite side of the pitch for the game’s first score for the first play from scrimmage in the same They would hold on to the lead for almost seventy minutes. Finally, they would tie the score 10-10 with about seven minutes remaining. The first half ended without either team scoring, making it ten apiece going into the break.


The rest was a series of scores in the second part that culminated in 31 points by the two teams combined. The Cougars scored 9 out of them, but the Red Raiders scored 24 of those points and that helped them pull off from the Cougars.


Again, just as in the opening of the contest, the first score for the second half came from the leg of Stader. Second field goal he connected on was 40 yard which gave the Red Raiders the 13-10 score only 8 minutes prior to third quarter.


For example, Stuart Ross’ misplaced pass would be intercepted by Moser (Jr., Rock Valley, Iowa), leading to a Red Raider point and consequently transforming the entire game.


With under a minute in the fourth, the offense exploded for a score as Jalyn Gramstad (Jr., Lester, Iowa) found Austyn Gerard (Fr., Gilbert, Arizona) for a thirty-four yard passing touchdown, providing Northwestern with its first two possession lead


However, only one SXU score in the second period will occur soon after this last Red Raiders goal of the intermission. Justin Pringle of St. Xavier would then make the scoreline 20-17 with another field goal immediately after an ensuing kick.


The rest of the road, going northwestwards, would be completely in control of Northwestern. In the last frame’s fourth minute, Gramstad would locate Gerard for the second time in the break. The 29- yarder would end up being just what the needed space for the Red Raiders to run away with a win. In just 6 minutes remaining, Gramstad would run off a 12-yards scoring drive bringing the points up to 34 for Northwestern against 17 for PSU.


In the last period of their play, the red raider defense once more showed up strong. The last three quarters’ for Saint Xavier would end in three turnovers on downs. In fact, the team of the Northwestern held the Cougars only for 48 yards within the fourth quarter while conceding to not even one point.


GAME NOTES:

  • They currently enjoy a 26-game win streak, which represents their fourth straight NAIA Semifinals appearance.

  • Moser equals the single season program record by registering their 10^{th} interception of the season.

  • His two receiving touchdowns in the second half also became a career high for Austyn Gerard.

  • He now has 5 scoring receptions on the season.

  • The game’s running back, Kinner McQuillan scored his GPAC leading 18th touch down after gaining 99 yards on 21 attempts.

  • Jalyn Gramstad did it efficiently getting 14 out of 18 passes for 217 yards with two touchdowns.

  • It was Mike Storey who topped the team, scoring 72 receiving yards in making 6 catches.

  • SXU was limited to only 98 rush yards and it is the seventh opponent held under 100 rush yards by the Red Raiders in the current year.

  • The Cougars had no point scores for the fourth quarter and they gained only 48 yards under NCW’s control.

  • He recorded sacks in two out of the three sacks the team managed today, and he also forced a fumble.

  • The sophomore also scored his career best in sacks.

  • The team was headed by the eight tackles of Cb Kole Telford and eight of Clayton Bosma.

  • With today’s defeat of Grand View in NAIA, northwestern is the only remaining undefeated team.

  • The victory evened out north western’s all-time series against saint xavier (1-1).

Up Next: Next weekend, their final home game of the season will take place at Korver Field at De Valois Stadium versus Georgetown (Ky.) College at noon (6:00 a.m.).

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