ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Top offenses set for GPAC battle

Expect offensive fireworks today in Sioux City, Iowa. Both No. 22 Dakota Wesleyan University and No. 4-ranked Morningside College boast high-powered offenses, which will be on full display at 1:30 p.m. in today's critical Great Plains Athletic Co...

Dakota Wesleyan University's Luke Loudenburg carries the ball against Midland University on Sept. 30 at Joe Quintal Field. (Ryan Deal / Republic)
Dakota Wesleyan University's Luke Loudenburg carries the ball against Midland University on Sept. 30 at Joe Quintal Field. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

Expect offensive fireworks today in Sioux City, Iowa.

Both No. 22 Dakota Wesleyan University and No. 4-ranked Morningside College boast high-powered offenses, which will be on full display at 1:30 p.m. in today's critical Great Plains Athletic Conference college football game.

DWU is ranked No. 1 nationally in total offense with 615.3 yards per game. Morningside is third nationally with 587.4 yards per game.

"It's one of those games where you definitely want to get enough popcorn where you can watch everything that's going on in this game-with the offenses especially," DWU coach Ross Cimpl said.

DWU scores 51 points per game and Morningside averages 50 points an outing. The Mustangs put up an NAIA-best 838 yards against Tabor College earlier this season. The Tigers piled up a school-record 798 yards against Doane University this season.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Two outstanding offenses to this point of the year in terms of yards, points and the things that they have been able to do," Morningside College coach Steve Ryan said. "It definitely presents a challenge to the defensive ball clubs, but sometimes you get into these games and they turn into defensive ballgames. It's just the nature of football that you have to play each and every week."

This week, the GPAC game holds major conference and playoff implications. The Mustangs are the lone undefeated team at 5-0 overall and 2-0 in league play. The Tigers are 4-2 overall and 2-1 in GPAC games.

"It is a big game," Ryan said. "It's the one that will kind of decide where we are in terms of the conference and DWU has got an outstanding team. They have the ability to win each and every week. They definitely have the ability to win the games that they have left on their schedule. It's important for us to come away with a victory."

DWU is one of four teams with a 2-1 mark in the GPAC, with Doane, Midland University and Northwestern College also sharing the same league record. In the big picture, a win over the Mustangs would go a long ways toward DWU's playoff hopes. But the Tigers are worried more about the task at hand.

"We are just kind of focusing on Morningside and what they are going to give us and not worried about the future," DWU quarterback Dillon Turner said.

Turner leads the nation in total offense with 409.5 yards per game. In last week's 55-21 win against Midland, Turner broke the school record for most career passing yards with 9,321.

The Tigers also have a strong rushing attack, with Luke Loudenburg at seventh in the nation in rushing yards (632). Turner also has 440 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

Morningside's offense almost mirrors DWU's offensive unit. Trent Solsma is also a dual-threat quarterback and is fourth in the nation in total offense with 371 yards per game. Running back Bubba Jenkins (661 rushing yards/nine touchdowns) and wide receiver Connor Niles (663 receiving yards/eight touchdowns) add to the potent offensive attack.

ADVERTISEMENT

It will be another tough test for a DWU defense that is coming off one of its best performances of the season. The Tigers held Midland to a season-low for points and gave up just 287 yards.

What To Read Next
Lieber poured in a game-high 29 points, including 17 in the first half in the win.
Prep basketball action from around the state for Monday, Feb. 6.
Members Only
Sizing up the GPAC playoff picture with four games to go in the season
Three classes maintained identical top fives compared to last week, as only one new team entered the rankings across all six classes.