NAIA Football FirstDown PlayBook Top 25 Poll - Week Three (September 27)

September 28, 2021 8:58am

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After a 5-0 start to begin the season, the Northwestern College football team (5-0, 4-0 GPAC) checks in at No. 2 for the fourth-straight poll, garnering 425 points in this week's poll, as announced by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Defending national champions Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders (3-0, 0-0 MSC) remain in the top spot with 444 points and 18 of the 19 first-place votes.

Northwestern has one of the top defenses in the NAIA after the first five weeks of the football season, ranking inside the top-15 in multiple categories including being fourth in total yards given up per game at 218.6. Through the first five contests, no team has had real success running the ball on the Raiders as they rank 8th nationally only allowing 74.2 rushing yards per game. Teams have not had much more success through the air either, as the Raiders lead the nation in interceptions with 11 and are ranked 12th in passing yards allowed per game (218.6).

Not only are the Raiders stopping teams from scoring, they are also putting points on the board. Northwestern sits first in defensive touchdowns with three on the season, all three being interceptions returned for scores.

Jaden Snyder (R-So., Larchwood, Iowa/West Lyon) sits tied for first in individual interceptions nationally with his four picks on the season, including the two he returned for touchdowns against Presentation opening week. Linebacker Parker Fryar (So., Waukee, Iowa/Van Meter) sits top-5 in a five-way tie for third in tackles on the season with 26 to pace the Raider stout defense.

On the offensive side of the ball, junior quarterback Blake Fryar (Waukee, Iowa/Van Meter) sits fifth nationally with 12 passing touchdowns on the season. Cade Moser (Sr., Rock Valley, Iowa/Rock Valley Community) has been on the receiving end of seven of Fryar's touchdown passes, which ranks tied for fourth in the NAIA after this week.

Fryar has completed 61.3% of his passes this season (95-155) accounting for 14 touchdowns and 1,336 passing yards on the season. Moser and Michael Storey (Jr., Spencer, Iowa/Spencer) have been the top-2 targets for Fryar this season, as Moser has 31 receptions for 601 yards and a team-leading eight touchdowns and Storey has grabbed 25 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns.

GPAC in the rankings:

No. 2 Northwestern Red Raiders (5-0, 4-0 GPAC)

No. 3 Morningside Mustangs (3-0, 3-0 GPAC)

No. 21 Dordt Defenders (3-1, 3-1 GPAC)

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.