Morningside pulls away for 35-point win over DWU

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- Dakota Wesleyan University didn’t capitalize on its first-half chances, opening the door for Morningside (Iowa).

Even as the Tigers hung with the Mustangs in the first half, Morningside eventually found a groove in a convincing 56-21 Great Plains Athletic Conference win on Saturday. The Tigers (1-5) dropped their second straight game, as it has allowed at least 45 points in all five losses this year.

DWU trailed 21-7 at halftime, but it had chances to make it a one-score game at the break. Even as Morningside (5-0) struggled to stop Zachary Lester and Mitchell native Spencer Neugebauer, the Tigers left points on the field.

Trevor Lambert missed a 35-yard field goal on the opening drive after DWU picked up three first downs. Lester also threw one of his two interceptions in the first half, and then was sacked on 4th-and-2 at the Morningside 7-yard line near the end of the half.

Lester did throw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Neugebauer, but even with two fumble recoveries giving the offense extra chances, the Tigers failed to break the Morningside defense. Lester finished 29-for-50 for 305 yards and two touchdowns, including 10 passes for 149 yards to Neugebauer.


The Mustangs changed its coverage on Neugebauer in the second half, leading to only two receptions after the break. It led to a stalled offense for much of the half, though Lester did connect with Preston Emerson for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Morningside’s chunk-yardage plays became more frequent. Joe Dolincheck threw a pick-6 to Nate Rupprecht, but otherwise had an efficient outing. He completed 18 of 23 passes for 343 yards and three scores, as Reid Jurgensmeier (122) and Jamal Albousafi (105) each topped 100 yards and caught a touchdown.

The Tigers also struggled to slow down Morningside’s two-headed rushing attack Arnijae Ponder and Anthony Sims. Ponder rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns, while Sims gained 59 yards. They combined to gain 8.4 yards per carry.

The more efficient offensive attack led to a 21-point third quarter for the Mustangs, extending their lead to 42-7. DWU had two quick touchdowns, but the Mustangs answered with two scores of their own.

DWU hosts Briar Cliff (Iowa) at 1 p.m. on Oct. 31 at Joe Quintal Field.

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