No. 3 NWC Breezes Past Dakota Wesleyan in Home Opener
September 11, 2022 1:40pm
ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The No. 3-ranked Northwestern College football team (1-1, 1-1 GPAC) picked up their first win of the 2022 season with a convincing 54-7 win over the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers (0-3, 0-2 GPAC) in front of the Raider faithful, behind three touchdown passes and nearly 300 passing yards from Blake Fryar.
"Blake was very efficient today and did a great job of spreading the ball around," noted head football coach Matt McCarty. "I thought our offensive line did a tremendous job of keeping (Fryar) clean, and our wide receivers did an outstanding job blocking on the perimeter to spring big plays!"
The Raiders started out fast this afternoon in front of the home crowd for the first time this season, taking a commanding 20-0 lead after the first quarter. The Raiders would find the end zone in the game's opening-drive with an eight play, 79-yard touchdown drive capped off with a five-yard score by Logan Meyer (So., Alvord, Iowa). Konner McQuillan (Jr., Leavenworth, Kan.) would break off a massive 29-yard touchdown run near the end of the quarter. With just seconds left on the clock, Fryar (Sr., Waukee, Iowa) threw first touchdown toss of the day to Blake Anderson (Sr., Oakland, Neb.) with a beautiful over the shoulder throw that left the Tiger defensive back with no play from 24 yards out.
Dakota Wesleyan picked up their only points on the day with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Austin Lee to Kiel Nelson, but the Red Raiders would still dominate the quarter putting up two touchdowns of their own. A flick pass to Kole Telford (So., Rock Rapids, Iowa) was executed to perfection, as the athletic ability of Telford was put on display as he took it 82 yards to the house. In the final minute of the half, Meyer capped off a six-play, 48-yard drive that started with just over a minute in Tiger territory.
"Kole is such an explosive athlete," said McCarty on his two receiving touchdown performance. "We have to find ways to get him touches because big things can happen."
At the halftime break, the Red Raiders had the game all but wrapped up, leading 33-7. Northwestern had put up an impressive 356 yards of offense, while converting on two of their three third downs. Fryar had two of this three touchdown passes in the first half, throwing for 241 yards.
The dominance continued in the second half, as the Raiders – with a combined starter and second-string effort – kept Dakota Wesleyan off the scoreboard. Early in the third, Fryar found Telford in the flat, as the two connected for a second time that resulted in a score, this time from seven yards out. Backup quarterback Jalyn Gramstad (So., Lester, Iowa) would find the end zone for the final two Red Raider scores of the afternoon, as the red and white won big, 54-7.
"The defense did a great job controlling the line of scrimmage and played steady throughout the game," concluded McCarty. The Red Raiders forced two turnovers (interception and fumble recovery), as Jaden Snyder (Sr., Larchwood, Iowa) returned his pick 40 yards down the near sideline. The defense also notched five tackles for loss in the contest.
Raiders win their sixth-straight home opener.
NWC has also won six-straight against DWU, picking up the 19th in all-time over the Tigers.
Jaden Snyder picked off his first pass of the season, returning it for 40 yards.
For the second-straight game, the Raider defense forced two turnovers; improving their record with 2+ turnovers to 32-4 since 2017.
Freshman kicker Jackson Olsen converted on 5-of-7 PATs, and handled the Raider kickoff duties.
Blake Fryar was 13-for-17 with 287 yards and three touchdowns.
Konner McQuillan was the team's leading rusher with 65 yards and a touchdown.
Logan Meyer, getting the start at running back, tallied two touchdowns.
Tight end Blake Anderson was the team's leading receiver with four receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Kole Telford had just two receptions, both resulting in touchdowns, for 89 yards.
Noah Van't Hof led the defense with six tackles.
The NWC defense notched five tackles for loss in the victory.
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