MITCHELL, S.D. – Midland University won its straight game with a drubbing of Dakota Wesleyan University by a score of 50-14 on Saturday afternoon in Mitchell, South Dakota. The Warriors ran the opening kickoff back for a score as they scored the first 29 points of the afternoon for the road Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) victory.
Dalton Tremayne, the GPAC’s Special Teams Player-of-the-Week each of the past two weeks took the opening kickoff from Joe Quintal Field 87 yards for the score. Jared Quinonez’s point-after would put Midland up 7-0 with just 16 seconds off the clock.
Dakota Wesleyan nearly matched the Midland special teams opening on the ensuing kickoff as they returned it all the way back to the MU four-yard line. The Midland defense would get the ball back two plays later though as Theo Blum picked off a pass near the goal line and returned out to the 21.
The second score of the game near the end of the quarter after the Warriors took over near midfield after a Connor Smith forced fumble and recovery ended the Tigers’ third drive of the game. Four plays later, River Walker found Jordelle Lacy for a nine-yard pass and catch. Quinonez’s point after would push the MU lead to 14-0 with 1:17 left in the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, the Midland defense put up their first pair of points of the game as DWU’s punter saw the ball sail through his legs and was tackled in the end zone for a safety.
Midland’s offense would take possession after the free kick and on their first play of the drive Walker hooked up with Darin Gentry for a 49-yard touchdown extending the lead out even further. Quinonez’s kick was true once again as the Warriors led 23-0 with 9:54 left in the first half.
The Warriors’ ground game would get going on their next drive in a big way. Facing a third and five from their own 39-yard line, the offensive line freed up Maximus Wold for a 61-yard touchdown run with 5:41 left in the quarter. The Warriors’ two-point attempt would fail but they would increase their lead to 29-0.
Before the half, Dakota Wesleyan would go on an eight-play drive that would result in their first score of the day. An eight-yard run, followed by a P.A.T. kick to make the score 29-7 heading into the intermission.
After intermission, the Midland defense would keep the Tigers offense at bay while the Midland offense continued to have success on the ground and through the air. Keenan Smith would score on a two-yard run to make it 36-7 near the end of the third.
In the final quarter, DWU found the end zone for the second and final time of the day as they threw for a 22-yard touchdown with 8:29 left to play.
The Midland defense, who had already scored a safety earlier the game would come up with six points on the next DWU drive. Zach Acamo, who had a standout day, intercepted the Tigers’ pass and returned it 37 yards for the score to make it 43-14.
The Warriors would score one more time before the final buzzer. Ander Miller ran the ball in from 11 yards out with six seconds and Quinonez’s point-after would cap off a 50-14 road win.
“I was very proud of our effort today,” said head coach Jeff Jamrog afterward. “Guys were flying around, making plays, and playing together. They were having a lot of fun out there. We wanted to start fast and were able to execute the opening kickoff to perfection. We’ll need to clean up some things as far as mental mistakes and penalties this week, but we will definitely enjoy this one.”
Offensively the Warriors gained 513 yards to the Tigers’ 249. Midland had a balanced attack with 250 yards passing and 263 yards running the ball.
In the passing game, River Walker was 14 of 23 for 250 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Darin Gentry caught a team-high 4 balls for 135 yards and one touchdown. Dalton Tremayne had two catches for 56 yards and Jordelle Lacy had two catches for 26 total yards and a score.
On the ground, Walker led the team with 59 yards on 10 carries. Maximus Wold had two carries for 58 yards and a score. Andrew Miller had 51 yards on 4 carries and a score, and Keenan Smith added 37 yards on a team-high 14 carries with a score as well.
Defensively, Midland was led by Zach Acamo who had 14 tackles, 10 of which were solo. Two of his tackles were for a loss and he also broke up a pass and intercepted one for a pick-six. Theo Blum and Trevor Havlovic each had 6 tackles. Havlovic had the Warriors’ lone sack of the game.
“All three units made huge plays today and each unit scored. It’s great to see what the product looks like when the plan comes together. We’re going to enjoy this win today and start getting ready for Jamestown tomorrow.”
Midland (3-2) will look to extend their three-game winning streak this upcoming week at home when they host Jamestown (0-3). The Jimmies lost 54-7 at home to Morningside this week. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. in Fremont, Nebraska at Heedum Field. Tickets are sold out but the game will be available to watch on MidlandAthletics.com for fans still looking to support the Warriors.