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2017 NAIA Football Game of the Week No. 5

September 28, 2017
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – No. 15 Northwestern (Iowa) welcomes No. 4 Morningside (Iowa) to Orange City, Iowa, for a crucial mid-season Great Plains Athletic Conference showdown, as both clubs look to position themselves in the conference title race. Kick off between the two unbeaten teams is slated for 1:30 p.m. CDT.

The Mustangs escaped with a 14-13 victory in last year’s regular season finale, as the Red Raiders failed on a two-point conversion with less than two minutes remaining. The victory pushes Morningside’s advantage in the all-time series to 15-10. Northwestern last defeated the Mustangs in 2013 (38-28).

Saturday’s Game of the Week was chosen using a Facebook fan vote. Nominees are posted on Tuesday with the winner of the contest revealed Wednesday morning.

Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/northwestern/  
Live Stats – provided by Northwestern (Iowa)
Twitter: @nwcraiders and @MsideMustangs / @MsideFootball
Hashtag: #NAIAFootball

Morningside (Iowa) (4-0)
2017 Team Rankings (Top 15)
No. 1 - Field Goals Pct (1.000)
No. 1 - Pass Offense per Game (396.500)
No. 1 - Pass Efficiency (217.000)
No. 2 - 3rd Down Conv. (58.800)
No. 2 - Punt Returns Yds per Att (42.000)
No. 2 - Total Offense Yds per Game (616.800)
No. 3 - First Downs per Game (29.800)
No. 3 - Opponent Penalties (104)
No. 4 - Scoring Offense per Game (50.800)
No. 5 - Total Pass Offense (1586)
No. 7 - Sacks Against (0.800)
No. 7 - Total Sacks Against (3.000)
No. 7 - Total Scoring Offense (203)
No. 15 - Rushing Offense per Game (220.300)

Morningside (Iowa) Players to Watch
Offense – Connor Niles, WR … matched a career-high with three touchdown receptions in the Mustangs’ 62-23 victory against Dordt (Iowa) on Sept. 16 … has a team-best 29 receptions for 541 yards and six touchdowns … averages 18.7 yards per catch … leads the NAIA with 217.0 all-purpose yards per game … averages 135.3 receiving yards per game, which ranks No. 4 nationally … boasts seven 100-yard receiving games, including a career-high of 211 against Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) in 2015 … played in only one game last year due to injury …
Defense – Caden McDonald, LB … named Great Plains Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week after recording a team-best 11 tackles in the Mustangs’ win over Dordt … leads the team with 38 tackles this season, including five tackles for loss … tied for the team lead with two interceptions.

Northwestern (Iowa) (4-0)
2017 Team Rankings (Top 15)
No. 1 - Field Goals Pct (1.000)
No. 4 - Scoring Defense per Game (16.500)
No. 6 - Punt Returns Yds per Att (19.600)
No. 7 - Pass Efficiency (172.900)
No. 8 - Total Offense Yds per Game (523.500)
No. 11 - Total Scoring Offense (176)
No. 11 - Scoring Offense per Game (44.000)
No. 11 - Opponent Penalties (170)
No. 11 - Rushing Offense per Game (239.500)
No. 11 - Sacks Against (1.000)
No. 12 - First Downs per Game (25.500)
No. 13 - Total Sacks Against (4.000)
No. 14 - Pass Def Efficiency (108.900)
No. 14 - Total Rushing Offense (958)

Northwestern (Iowa) Players to Watch
Offense – Tyson Kooima, QB … named Great Plains Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week after accounting for 359 total yards in the Red Raiders 63-26 road win over Briar Cliff (Iowa) last Saturday … the freshman is completing 63.7 percent (72-of-113) of his passes this season, including 12 touchdowns … ranks No. 5 in the NAIA in pass efficiency (180.8) and No. 7 in total offense per game (351.5) … has thrown for at least three touchdowns in 3-of-4 games this season.
Defense – Sean Powell, LB … leads the team with 35 tackles, including 25 solo stops … second on the team with three tackles for loss … tallied a season-high 11 tackles on Sept. 9 against Dickinson State (N.D.)

Other Top 25 Contests*
Saturday, September 30
(1) Saint Francis (Ind.) at (8) Marian (Ind.)
(23) Peru State (Neb.) at (2) Baker (Kan.)
(3) Reinhardt (Ga.) at Point (Ga.)
(4) Morningside (Iowa) at (15) Northwestern (Iowa)
(6) Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at Cincinnati Christian (Ohio)
(7) Grand View (Iowa) at MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)
(RV) Rocky Mountain (Mont.) at (9) Southern Oregon
Texas Wesleyan at (11) Langston (Okla.)
(22) Cumberland (Tenn.) at (12) Georgetown (Ky.)
Taylor (Ind.) at (13) Saint Xavier (Ill.)
(14) Doane (Neb.) at Briar Cliff (Iowa)
Saint Mary (Kan.) at (17) Tabor (Kan.)
(18) Benedictine (Kan.) at Central Methodist (Mo.)
Friends (Kan.) at (19) Sterling (Kan.)
Presentation (S.D.) at (20) Dickinson State (N.D.)
Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) at (21) Concordia (Mich.)
(24) Midland (Neb.) at (25) Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)

*Schedule generated from institutional submission to the NAIA’s SIDHelp system.