Northwestern defense Shines in 31-7 Victory Over Concordia

September 25, 2021 8:50pm

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SEWARD, Neb. – The No. 2-ranked Northwestern College football team (5-0, 4-0 GPAC) remains unbeaten on the season with a 31-7 victory over the Concordia (Neb.) Bulldogs (1-3, 1-3 GPAC) as the defense made its presence felt forcing four turnovers and holding the Bulldogs to 200 yards of total offense.

For the third time this season, the Raider defense put points on board via a pick six. This time the honors to senior linebacker Tanner Oleson (Larchwood, Iowa/West Lyon) returning it 19 yards in the second quarter.

The Northwestern defense held Concordia to only 200-yards of total offense, with exactly one hundred rushing and passing yards on the day. The Bulldogs could only muster eight first downs while turning the rock over four times.

"Our defensive staff put together a great game plan for today," said head coach Matt McCarty. "Our defense continues to play extremely well as a unit."

The first quarter Eli Stader (So., Cedar Grove, Wis./Oostburg) converted a 37-yard field goal to give Northwestern the early 3-0 lead. The Raiders held possession for nearly 12 minutes in the first quarter. The defense showed up to play from the start as the first two Bulldog possessions of the contest started inside the Northwestern 30-yard line. Both times the stout Northwestern defense held them to field goal attempts, as Concordia could not convert either one.

The Raiders erupted in the second quarter with three of the four touchdowns in the game. The first touchdown of the day would feature Blake Fryar (Jr., Waukee, Iowa/Van Meter) finding Michael Storey (Jr., Spencer, Iowa/Spencer) for a 32-yard score. Oleson's pick six tacked on the second score of the quarter with 8:42 remaining.

Three plays later, on the next Concordia possession, Jaden Snyder (R-So., Larchwood, Iowa/West Lyon) picked off his team-leading fourth pass of the season. The pick led to the third Northwestern touchdown of the quarter – and the second 30+ yard touchdown pass from Fryar – as he found Cade Moser (Sr., Rock Valley, Iowa/Rock Valley Community) from 36-yards out.

As the half ended, the Raiders would give up the only Bulldog score of the afternoon and Northwestern took a 24-7 lead into the locker room.

Neither team was able to put any points on the board in the third quarter, in the fourth quarter, the Northwestern rushing game came through with a score as the Raiders were content to work the clock and take back the victory from Seward. Konner McQuillan (Jr., Leavenworth, Kan./Lansing) capped off a drive that began at the Concordia 49-yard line with a six-yard touchdown run to extend the Raider lead to 31-7 early in the fourth quarter.

Fryar threw for just shy of 200 yards through the air (199 yards), throwing for two touchdowns and one interception. Moser and Storey were on the receiving end of the touchdown tosses as Moser picks up his team-leading eighth touchdown reception. He currently sits tied for second in receiving touchdowns in the NAIA.

Oleson led the hard-nosed Raider defense on the afternoon tallying five tackles, one interception, and one pass break-up. Brett Moser (Sr., Rock Valley, Iowa/Rock Valley Community) led the squad with six tackles. Parker Fryar (So., Waukee, Iowa/Van Meter) also had five tackles and an interception.

The Northwestern defense leads the NAIA with 11 interceptions on the season, three of which have been returned for scores. The Raiders are the only team with double-digit picks. Additionally, the squad sits fourth in the nation, only allowing 218.6 points per game. The Raider defense ranks 8th nationally in rushing yards per game (74.2ypg) and 12th in passing (144.4ypg).

Up Next: The Raiders will travel to Yankton, S.D. for the first time ever to play a football game with the Lancers of Mount Marty (0-4, 0-4 GPAC) who are in their first full season of football.