Courtesy of Midland Athletics
FREMONT, Neb. – It was a tale of two halves on Saturday as No. 17 Midland University hosted No. 1 Morningside University in a battle of unbeaten teams. The Warriors battled on both sides of the ball and utilized their special teams to lead the defending national champions 12-7 through two quarters. After halftime though, it was a stampede of misfortunes for Midland as the Mustangs scored 37-unanswered for the 47-10 victory. The loss drops Midland to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). Morningside extends its winning streak to 18 games and is now 4-0 overall and in the conference.
After Morningside struck first with a 77-yard touchdown pass near the end of the first quarter, Midland responded with four-straight field goals by Jared Quinonez in the second. He connected from 25, 40, 46, and 29 yards to make it 12-7. The 46-yard field goal set a new personal best for Quinonez.
Three plays before the second Warrior score, they appeared to get in the endzone for a touchdown. With the Mustangs jumping offsides, they took the shot to the endzone but the play was whistled dead.
Defensively, Midland held Morningside to just 146 yards in the opening half. The bulk of those came on their four-play, 88-yard touchdown drive.
After the break, the Warriors couldn’t catch a break. Morningside scored quickly with a 43-second drive to start the half. They then took advantage of the first turnover of the game, a fumble by Midland, converting that into a 42-yard field goal with 11:18 on the clock.
The flood gates opened with two more touchdown drives and one field goal by the Mustangs before the quarter’s end. They would tack on a final touchdown in the fourth as they held the Warriors in check offensively.
“As proud as I am of our guys in the first half, the second was just a debacle in all three phases,” commented head coach Jeff Jamrog during his postgame interview. “You’re up 12-10 at the half, feeling pretty good about how you’re playing, and then that third quarter seemed like it was forever. Two turnovers on offense, two fumbles that gave them short fields and they made plays. It woke their sideline up and unfortunately, we just couldn’t get anything going in the half. We’ve got to come back. We’ll go over the film and work on a game plan to get things corrected before Briar Cliff next Saturday.”
Garrison Beach threw for 198 yards on the day, completing 21 of 39 throws. On the receiving end of six of his completions was Preston Williams. He compiled 74 yards as the primary target in the passing game.
On the ground, Midland was held to just 23 yards rushing. Isaiah Tucker had 19 yards on six carries to lead the way.
Defensively, five different Warriors picked up five tackles each to share the team lead. Chase Lipsys, Gage McGill, Gunner Todorovich, Xavier Green, and Michael Sunclades were the quartet of defenders.
Midland (5-1, 4-1 GPAC) will look to bounce back from their first setback of the season next week with a road trip to take on Briar Cliff (1-5, 1-4 GPAC). They’ll travel to Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday, October 8 for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Field.