Northwest Missouri’s last-minute rally falls short; Morningside rolls into the NAIA semifinals

Ferris State 27, Northwest Missouri State 21

Northwest Missouri’s last-minute rally fell short as second-ranked Ferris State held on in their second-round NCAA Division II playoff game. Trailing 27-14, the Bearcats drove 88 yards in 61 seconds to score with 14 seconds left. Elkhorn South grad Braden Wright was 5 of 7 for 88 yards on that drive. Northwest recovered the onside kick and drove to the Ferris 34, but on the game’s final play, Wright was sacked.

Ferris was in control most of the game as it outgained the Bearcats 608-300 in total yards. Northwest, which rushed for 356 yards last week, was held to 31 yards on 24 carries. Wright finished his freshman year going 28 of 43 for 269 yards and two touchdowns — he had 2,596 yards passing and 514 rushing for the season. Ben Althoff led Northwest’s defense with 16 tackles.

NW Missouri (10-3)……….0 7 7 7—21

At Ferris State (13-0)……14 6 7 0—27

FS: Marvin Campbell 2 run (Jackson Dieterle kick)

FS: Evan Cummins 8 run (Dieterle kick)

FS: FG Dieterle 45

FS: FG Dieterle 44

NW: Shawn Bane 19 pass from Braden Wright (Parker Sampson kick)

NW: Jack Richards 32 interception return (Sampson kick)

FS: Travis Russell 2 run (Dieterle kick)

NW: Alec Tatum 2 pass from Wright (Sampson kick)

Morningside 51, St. Xavier (ill.) 14

Top-ranked Morningside rolled into the NAIA semifinals behind another record-setting day by quarterback Trent Solsma. Solsma went 31 of 39 for 374 yards and five TDs — he was 24 of 30 for 288 yards and four TDs in the first half. Solsma, who set the NAIA single-season record for TD passes last week, broke the career passing TD mark Saturday — he has 64 this season and 157 for his career. Connor Niles finished with 13 catches for 181 yards and two TDs, while Wahoo Neumann grad Reid Jurgensmeier had six catches for 80 yards and two TDs, all in the first half. Omaha Burke grad Arnijae Ponder added 143 yards and two TDs on 24 carries, and he also had a TD reception. The Mustangs’ defense recorded five sacks, and Klayton Nordeen had nine tackles and an interception. It was the third time in the past four seasons that Morningside has defeated St. Xavier in the playoffs. Morningside will host a semifinal on Dec. 1.

St. Xavier, Ill. (9-4)…………0 7 7 0—14

At Morningside (13-0)……14 14 14 9—51

M: Arnijae Ponder 38 pass from Trent Solsma (Jared Amundson kick)

M: Reid Jurgensmeier 33 pass from Solsma (Amundson kick)

M: Connor Niles 17 pass from Solsma (Amundson kick)

SX: Vance McShane 8 pass from Justin Hunniford (Mike Itrube kick)

M: Jurgensmeier 4 pass from Solsma (Amundson kick)

M: Ponder 1 run (Amundson kick)

M: Niles 35 pass from Solsma (Amundson kick)

SX: Hunniford 1 run (Iturbe kick)

M: Ponder 11 run (Amundson kick)

M: Safety, Niklas Gustav sacks Hunniford in end zone

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