The Midland University defense stepped up in their first game of the year Saturday. The Warriors forced six turnovers including three interceptions and three fumbles as they marched to a 7-3 victory over Nebraska Wesleyan on Saturday. The Prairie Wolves out-gained the Warriors 211-92 in total yards but Midland was able to secure a win after a key touchdown and several defensive stops.
"I'm really proud of the team digging it out in the first contest," said Josh Gehring, Midland University football head coach. "Our defense was well prepared and played well. Our offense is still developing a system, but a lot of the issues were little that need to be sharpened up. We'll go back and fix what we need to."
Dominic Blood led the Midland ground attack with 36 yards on 13 carries while Kene Martin added 24 yards. Lee Horky made his first start of the year at quarterback finishing the day with 60 yards on four completions. Horky threw for one touchdown pass and one interception.
Kail Walker pulled in two receptions on the day for 64 yards to lead the Warriors. Kene Martin also had two catches on the day. Jesse Spangler had one reception on the day for four yards and the lone touchdown of the game.
Defensively, Josh Hutchinson stymied the NWU offense with one interception for 21 yards and one tackle for a one-yard loss. Clete Vrbka led the Warriors in total tackles with 6.5, followed by Blake Merritt with five total tackles, one interception and one broken-up pass. Nick Carlson also pulled down one interception.
After a scoreless first quarter, Midland put the first point on the board on their second drive of the second quarter. After taking the ball over on their own 27 yard line, the Warriors drove 73 yards in six plays, including a 36-yard Horky-to-Kail Walker connection. Horky hit Jesse Spangler on a 4-yard touchdown pass to cap the drive and put Midland ahead, 7-0.
Nebraska Wesleyan responded late in the first half, hitting a 22-yard field goal with 1:12 left in the half. The score cut Midland's lead to 7-3 going into halftime.
The Warriors held the lead throughout the second half of play. The Prairie Wolves threatened late in the fourth quarter taking the ball to Midland's 31 yard line, but Midland's Nick Carlson was able to seal the victory with an athletic sideline interception.
Midland University advances to 1-0 on the season. The Warriors will host the Dordt College Defenders Saturday, September 15. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.
Courtesy: Midland University Sports Information