HASTINGS, Neb. –Midland University’s football team bounced back this week and came away with a big victory on the road. The Warriors (5-2, 3-2 GPAC) defeated Hastings College (3-4, 1-4 GPAC) on Saturday by a final score of 36-15, meaning the Watchorn-McLaughlin Trophy will reside in Fremont for now the third year in a row.
“It was a great win for our football program today,” said Midland head coach Jeff Jamrog. “The Watchorn-McLaughlin Trophy means a great deal to us and it was great to win it for the third straight year.”
Midland retains the traveling rivalry trophy behind another solid team effort. While their offense has been balanced most of the season, it was a heavy dose of passing that got the job done Saturday for the Warriors.
Junior quarterback Payton Nelson went 16-28 for 298 yards with three touchdowns on the afternoon, with all three touchdown passes going to different players. The Warriors outgained the Broncos 357-341, and 298-179 through the air.
Midland’s first score came as Nelson found freshman Dalton Tremayne midway through the first quarter for a six-yard touchdown reception while sliding into the end zone. Capping off an eight-play, 70-yard drive.
Hastings would respond with a touchdown of their own mid-second quarter on a 17-yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Clark Livingston.
Midland retook the lead just before halftime on a big play as Nelson found junior Adrian Kellogg out of the backfield for a 65-yard touchdown.
The Warriors scored again quickly out of the halftime break, taking a 21-7 lead. This time it was junior Darrin Gentry on the receiving end from Nelson, as the scoring play went for 16 yards.
Hastings scored just once more in the contest, as a 43-yard run from Livingston set up an 11-yard touchdown run from Tyree Nesmith.
That was it for Hastings, as Midland controlled the clock and the scoreboard for the remainder of the game. The Warriors scored twice more on short rushes from Garry Cannon (two yards) and Kellogg (one yard), the latter being set up by a Jett Hampton interception.
The junior linebacker had two interceptions (45 total return yards) on the afternoon, while freshman Ray Rush and senior Brock Larsen each tallied one of their own.
Even though the passing offense was on display, the Midland defense was a huge factor in the win, holding the Broncos to just 15 points on two scores.
“Hats off to our defense today, coming up with four interceptions, and holding all-conference running back Tahj Williams to just 60 yards on 23 carries,” Jamrog said. “Our defense and special teams had some big plays today and we were able to break the game open in the fourth quarter.”
The Warriors won the turnover battled 4-2, as Kellogg and senior tailback Lukas Vopnford each lost fumbles on the afternoon.
In all, it’s exactly what the Warriors needed to flush last weekend’s loss to No. 1 Morningside. Winning a rivalry trophy will certainly help with that.
The Warriors will be back at Heedum Field next Saturday, October 20, to square off with Dakota Wesleyan (1-6, 0-5 GPAC). Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. in Fremont, Nebraska.