Northwestern rolls past Doane in season home opener

Northwestern comfortably puts away Doane in their season home opener with a 51-7 win.
Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 12:10 AM CDT
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ORANGE CITY, Iowa (Dakota News Now) - The top-ranked Northwestern College football team (3-0, 2-0 GPAC) picked up a dominant home win to open the home portion of the season with a 51-7 victory over the Doane University Tigers (0-4, 0-3 GPAC) Saturday afternoon at De Valois Stadium.

Northwestern put up three scores in the first quarter to take total control of the game in the opening 15 minutes of play. After forcing a quick three-and-out from Doane, the Red Raiders put together a five-play, 84-yard drive with Konner McQuillan having 75 of the yards, including a 61-yard touchdown run up the middle for the first score of the game.

For the rest of the first quarter, the Tigers could not get anything going offensively. Following a Doane fumble, Jalyn Gramstad would find freshman Austyn Gerard who would bring down his first-career touchdown reception in a Red Raider uniform, making it 14-0 NWC. Towards the end of the first quarter, Eli Stader would hit his longest field goal of the game of 48 yards. McQuillan nearly had 100 yards in the first quarter, notching 93 of his 104 total yards on just seven carries.

The second quarter was a nearly a mirror image of first as Northwestern put up three more scores, this time all being touchdowns. McQuillan capped off a 11-play, 69-yard drive with his second rushing score of the day from two yards out, as Northwestern increased their lead up to 24-0. 

The following Red Raider drive saw Gramstad find his favorite target so far this season in senior Michael Storey for a six-yard score, tallying his second touchdown pass of the day. The final second quarter score would see Gramstad scamper from 26 yards out with just over a minute left in the half. 

The Red Raiders would take a dominant 38-0 lead into the locker room behind 378 first half yards and 20 first downs in the first 30 minutes of action. Gramstad had 212 yards at the break on 14-for-22 passing, while McQuillan had 104 yards on the ground on 11 carries.

The second half saw a lot of younger guys see their first action as Red Raiders, as McCarty and staff emptied the bench to get guys experience in a varsity contest. However, the starters got a few drives to begin the half and took full advantage of the opportunity. The first score of the second half saw freshman Cooper Spiess record his first-career touchdown catch from Gramstad, a nine-yard connection. Stader would hit a pair of field goals to end the scoring in the frame, hitting field goals from 27 and 47 yards. Northwestern would lead 51-0 heading to the final quarter of play. 

The Doane Tigers would score their lone touchdown of the day in the fourth quarter, but Northwestern proved to dominate from start to finish in the home opener, downing Doane 51-7.

The Red Raiders will hit the road again next week when they travel to Yankton, South Dakota for a clash with the Lancers of Mount Marty University (2-2, 1-2 GPAC) with kickoff slated for 7:00 p.m. from Crane-Youngworth Field.

Recap courtesy of Northwestern Athletics.