Dordt College News

Dordt Football Hosts Top Ranked Morningside

September 19, 2013

ON THE DOCKET… Dordt College faces the Morningside Mustangs at home Saturday, September 21 at 1:00.  You can hear the game on KDCR 88.5 FM and on the internet at Results at the end of the game can be found online at ; and you can follow us on Twitter at

THE FOE… The Morningside Mustangs are off to a 2-0 start this season and 1-0 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference while holding the no. 1 spot in the most recent NAIA Coaches’ Poll.

The Mustangs have wins over Valley City State and Nebraska Wesleyan to their credit this season by scores of 58-28 and 48-10.  Steve Ryan’s offensive unit is averaging nearly 309 yards on the ground  and they are passing for another 316 yards per game.  The numbers the offense put up are over double that allowed by the Mustang defense with the Sioux City based school giving up 145 yards per game on the ground and 153 yards through the air.  Morningside converts nearly two-thirds of its third conversion tries but have been penalized 24 times through two games for 194 yards.

Brandon Wegher is averaging 124 yards on the ground for the Mustangs with a 5.4 yards per carry average.  Jon Halvorson has 29 carries for 84 yards per game and has four touchdowns with a 5.8 yards per carry average.  Ryan Kasdorf has completed 50-70 passes for 632 yards this season with seven touchdowns and two interceptions.  Kasdorf’s favorite receiver is Kyle Schuck who has caught 19 passes for a 16.4 yards per catch average and he has three receptions for touchdowns.  Joel McCabe and Devin Thomas have 11 and 10 catches respectively and average just under ten yards per snag.  Kasdorf also has 16 carries this season for 105 yards.

Morningside’s tackle leader is Trevor Strong with 17 stops and Aaron Roberg is at 13 tackles through two games.  Logan Gibbs has a sack and a half and Morningside has yet to intercept a pass.  Jordan Sitzmann has punted four times for a 32.5 yards per punt average and Zach Decker has converted 14-15 point after attempts.

THE DEFENDERS… Dordt College is 0-1 in the league and 1-1 in the GPAC after a 21-18 loss to Midland on Saturday.  Dordt has been outgained slightly by an average of 299.5-307 per game.  Dordt has gained 209 yards on average on the ground  while opponents have rushed for 203 yards per game on average.  The Defender average nearly 33 minutes of possession time and have turned the ball over five times while forcing six turnovers.

Courtney Samuel has netted 92 yards on the ground on 23 carries for a 4.0 average while Lenard Manuel has 18 carries and has 91 yards so far this season.  Trai Pickney has 89 yards of rushing and Thomas Newman has 60 so far.  Newman, who replaces the injured Bryce Rusler at quarterback, completed 4-9 passes for 59 yards in the Midland loss.  Sam Verhulst has four catches for a 26.3 average with two touchdowns.  Darryl Van Grouw has three catches for a 12.0 per catch average and Daniel Fennig has two grabs for 23 yards.

Seth Vande Voort tops the team with 26 tackles—two for loss.  Cole McClain has 16 stops and a fumble recovery and Micah Applegate has 15 tackles.  Camren Pitre has Dordt’s lone interception this season and Sean Quinlan has a quarterback sack.  Heath Bonestroo has 14 punts this season for a 39.3 yard average with a long of 57.  Barry Dykstra is 3-4 on point after attempts and hit a 49 yard field goal in the loss to Midland.

PREVIOUSLY…The Defenders lost a 21-18 gut-wrencher to Midland last week.  The Defenders led most of the fourth quarter but allowed a late drive by Midland that gave the visitors the eventual win that was sealed when Dordt’s last drive ended at midfield with an interception.  Dordt’s first score came on a Thomas Newman two yard plunge and Barry Dykstra hit a school record 49 yard field goal midway through the third quarter.  Dordt took the lead on a Sam Verhulst 47 pass catch late in the third quarter.  Dordt’s last two points came on a safety.

Morningside handed Nebraska Wesleyan a 48-10 loss on September 14, scoring 28 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 28-3 halftime lead.  The kept the flood of points coming with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter and rolled up 611 yards of total offense with 380 in the air and 231 on the ground.  Wesleyan was limited to two yards on the ground as the Prairie Wolves abandoned the running game after 17 attempts.  Brandon Wegher ran for 90 yards on 21 carries and Kasdorf had 69 and Halvorson 50.  Kasdorf completed 26-39 passes for 380 yards and four scores.  Schuck caught 12 passes for 202 yards and McCabe had 88 yards in receptions on seven catches.  Strong had six tackles for the Mustangs and Gibbs had 1.5 quarterback sacks.

HISTORY… This will be the sixth meeting in the series between the Defenders and Morningside with Morningside prevailing in the previous five match ups.  Morningside won a 41-0 decision on October 27, 2012 after leading 14-0 at halftime. 

Morningside gained 224 yards on the ground to Dordt’s 93 to lead the way.  Justin Masterson had 14 rushes for 63 yards and Joel Nixon had 60.  Dordt’s Daniel Fennig had 37 yards and Lenard Manuel 33 in the loss.  Fennig had two pass catches for short gains as Caleb Leuzinger was 5-10 in the air for the Defenders.  Morningside’s Nixon was 14-22 passing for 160 yards and four touchdowns—all to Kyle Schuck.  

Seth Vande Voort and Sam Ashmore had 17 and 12 tackles respectively for the Defenders and Jon Gardner had seven along with Vanoy Harris.  Chris Calvillo notched 13 tackles to lead the Mustangs.

PIZZA RANCH PLAYERS OF THE GAME…Each week the Defender football program is naming Pizza Ranch Players of the Game for the most recent game.  This past week the honors went to:
Offense:  Lenard Manuel (Senior; Running Back)
Defense:  Seth Vande Voort (Senior; Linebacker)
Special Teams:  Heath Bonestroo (Sophomore; Punter)

Scout Offense:  Jason Miller (Freshman; Wide Receiver)
Scout Defense:  David Aldeman (Freshman; Linebacker)
Scout special Teams:  James VanderSchaaf (Freshman; Linebacker)

AROUND THE CORNER… Morningside will travel to Midland on October 5 after having a bye week next week.
Dordt College will travel to Vermillion, South Dakota to face the Briar Cliff Chargers at the DakotaDome on Saturday, September 28 at 1:00.

Concordia  1-0/2-0
Midland 1-0/2-0
Morningside 1-0/2-0
Dakota Wesleyan 1-0/1-1
Doane  1-0/1-1
Dordt College 0-1/1-1
Northwestern 0-1/1-1
Hastings 0-1/1-1
Nebraska Wesleyan 0-1/0-2
Briar Cliff 0-1/0-2

August 31
Midland def. Mayville State 31-27
Benedictine def. Briar Cliff 30-9

September 5
Concordia def. William Jewell 30-15

September 7
Tabor College 10, Nebraska Wesleyan University 9
Wisconsin-Stout 35, Dakota Wesleyan University 20
Hastings College 38, Kansas Wesleyan University 20
Dordt College 14, Dakota State University 13
Northwestern College 55, Bacone College 37
Morningside College 56, Valley City State University 28
Friends University 24, Doane College 21 (OT)

September 14
Midland University 21, Dordt College 18
Doane College 34, Northwestern College 27
Dakota Wesleyan University 56, Briar Cliff University 15
Concordia University 26, Hastings College 21
Morningside College 48, Nebraska Wesleyan University 10

September 21
Morningside @ Dordt
Concordia @ Midland
Briar Cliff @ Nebraska Wesleyan
Dakota Wesleyan @ Northwestern
Doane @ Hastings

September 28
Dordt @ Briar Cliff
Hastings @ Dakota Wesleyan
Midland @ Doane
Nebraska Wesleyan @ Northwestern
Concordia @ Dakota State

Media Access: Download Word Version | High Resolution Image: 1