Kooima Sets Career Passing Record In Win Over Briar Cliff

November 03, 2019 3:51pm

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Fifth-ranked Northwestern remains unbeaten as they cruised to a 38-7 road win over Briar Cliff in an afternoon match-up played today at Memorial Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa.

Tyson Kooima accounted for over 300 yards of total offense and four touchdowns while becoming the Red Raiders all-time career passing leader. The junior quarterback reached the career milestone on the first of his three passing touchdowns, an 11-yard strike to Shane Solberg on the Red Raiders opening drive. Kooima, now with 7,922 passing yards, moved ahead of Lee McKinstrey, who threw for 7,673 yards from 1980-83.

Already the all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, Solberg set his third record in as many weeks, totaling a record 16 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns. The junior wideout broke his own mark (13) set twice in 2018 (vs Hastings, vs Dordt).

The Raider D was outstanding once again, limiting the Chargers to under 300 total yards, forcing two turnovers and coming minutes away from their first shutout of the season.

A three-out by Briar Cliff on its opening possession gave the ball to the Red Raider offense at their own 35-yard line. Seven plays later, Northwestern went ahead 7-0 on the first of two Kooima to Solberg touchdown passes. With the Chargers forced to punt again on their next drive, Northwestern capped a nine-play, 43-yard drive with a 20-yard field goal by Braxton Williams for a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Northwestern's dominance continued into the second quarter as the Red Raiders reached the endone on both of its offensive series and the Raider D coming up with a pair of fourth down stops, forcing a turnover on downs on the Chargers two possessions. Faced with a fourth-and-six from the NWC 17-yard line, Briar Cliff threw an incomplete pass, aided by the quarterback hurry from Red Raider defensive end Jessen Reinking. Northwestern then marched down the field on a 10-play, 83 yard drive finished off with a Kooima three-yard touchdown run for a 17-0 lead.

Red Raider safety Devin Mouw stopped Diontre Collins-Jones on a fourth-and-one near midfield on the Chargers next series and Northwestern's offense took advantage with a six-play, 50 yard drive that ended with a Kooima-Solberg 15-yard touchdown pass and catch just before halftime.

Northwestern added to its lead early in the third quarter when Kooima completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to Canon Flores, his first scoring grab of the season, for a 31-0 lead. The Red Raiders scored its final touchdown when Paxton De Haan recovered a fumble in the endzone with 10 minutes left in the game.

Briar Cliff scored its only touchdown on a 73-yard run by Jordan Williams at the four-minute mark.

Head Coach Matt McCarty's squad gained 378 yards of total offense (73 rush, 305 passing) compared to 277 by Briar Cliff. Kooima completed 25-of-32 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 33 yards and a score. Coming off his first 100-yard rushing game in the win over Doane last week, Garrett Packer was held to 48 yards on 11 carries against the stingy Chargers run defense. Josh Fakkema totaled five catches for 67 yards and Flores caught a season-high three passes for 61 yards.

Mouw led the Raider D with six tackles, two for a loss, and Sean Powell totaled six stops and nabbed his third interception. Ben Granstra added five tackles and Brett Moser forced a fumble.

Briar Cliff was led by Williams with 117 rushing yards, 73 on the only play late in the game, and Stanton Lee added 46 yards on 10 carries.

The Red Raiders improve to 7-0 in the GPAC, 8-0 overall, with two home games left to play in the regular season. Briar Cliff drops to 4-3 in the GPAC, 5-4 overall.