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Deal: DWU football team still chasing Morningside

On Saturday, Morningside College showed once again how much of a gap there is between it and the Dakota Wesleyan University football team. The Mustangs opened up a commanding 42-0 lead over the Tigers and coasted to a 76-21 Great Plains Athletic ...

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On Saturday, Morningside College showed once again how much of a gap there is between it and the Dakota Wesleyan University football team.

The Mustangs opened up a commanding 42-0 lead over the Tigers and coasted to a 76-21 Great Plains Athletic Conference win in Sioux City, Iowa.

The score is almost indicative of how far ahead Morningside's football program is compared to DWU and the rest of the GPAC. The Mustangs have an all-time record of 142-38-3 against the members of the GPAC and have captured the GPAC championship seven times in the last 12 years with titles in 2005, 2011-2016.

Morningside, which is a former NCAA Division II member, has a 53-3 record in the GPAC since starting its current run of six consecutive league championships in the 2011 season.

The Tigers haven't been much of a slouch, either. They have posted five consecutive winning seasons and the program had been building momentum each season.

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And if there was a year for the Tigers to knock off the mighty Mustangs, this appeared to be it. DWU entered the contest ranked No. 1 in total offense with 615 yards per game. It was Dillon Turner's last crack at the Mustangs, but they never let the record-breaking quarterback and the Tiger offense get on track.

It was another missed opportunity for the Tigers to close the gap. DWU's struggling defense had no answer for Morningside's offense, which racked up 733 total yards and scored on all six first-half possessions.

With five games left, the Mustangs are now in good position again to the make the playoffs.

The Tigers are now in jeopardy of missing out on the postseason-yet again.

DWU is 4-3 and 2-2 in the GPAC, with a heart-breaking 68-67 loss against Doane University also working against it. Doane did lose against Dordt College last Saturday and DWU could get back in the playoff conversation with a win over Northwestern College this Saturday.

But the odds are still stacked against DWU, which went 9-2 in 2015, 8-3 in 2016 and didn't make the playoffs in either season.

The Tigers need to win out, but dates with Northwestern and Dordt in the season finale won't be easy. They need some help along the way, as well. DWU is no longer ranked or even receiving votes in the latest NAIA football poll.

Morningside, meanwhile, strengthened its grip on the conference and also won its 20th straight GPAC game last Saturday. The Mustangs have also now won 27 consecutive home games at Elwood Olsen Stadium.

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Even more widening the gap between them and the rest of the GPAC.

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