Midland pushed No. 2 Northwestern to its limit, but fell a play short of knocking off the defending national runner-up 35-29 in overtime Saturday at Heedum Field.
“As high as the high was last week, it’s low right now from a standpoint that they played their hearts out against a team that played for the national title last year,” said MIdland coach Jeff Jamrog. “It was right there on a platter for us. All we needed to make was one more big play before it got into overtime and we couldn’t do it.”
The Warriors caught the break they were looking for after surviving a 60 minute slugfest with the Raiders, heading into overtime tied at 29-29.
Northwestern scored on it first possession of OT, but missed the point after attempt, giving Midland a window to claim wins over ranked opponents in back-to-back weeks.
Midland struggled in overtime, picking up a first down only on a pass interference call on fourth down, which gave the Warriors an extra set of downs from the 10 yard line.
The Warriors once again were held stagnant with the final play of day resulting in a batted down pass on fourth down to allow the Raiders to sneak out of Fremont with a win for the fifth-straight year.
Midland falls to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference while Northwestern improves to 3-0 and 2-0.
The Warriors gave Northwestern everything it could handle in regulation.
Midland held a 3-0 advantage after one quarter of play. After forcing a fumble on Northwestern’s opening drive, the Warriors’ drive stalled at the 27-yard line. Jared Quinonez came on and took advantage of a slight breeze at his back and drilled a 43-yard field goal.
The Raiders’ next drive carried over into the second and yielded a nine-yard rushing touchdown by Michael Storey. The drive went 52 yards in just 4 plays.
Quinonez pulled the Warriors back within in a point with 1:36 left in the half as he connected on his second field goal of the game. The kick of 26 yards came after an interception by Brandon Wright was returned to the Northwestern 27-yard line.
Northwestern’s final drive of the half was fast and furious as they scrambled to move the ball into field goal range. They moved it all the way down to the Midland 30, setting up a 47-yard attempt on the final play of the half.
Eli Stader’s kick had more than enough on it as the Raiders put three points on the scoreboard and took a 10-6 lead into the locker room.
After the break, Midland’s offense struck with a big play as Jake Ashby connected with Kenneth Carr III from 50 yards to take the lead to retake the lead.
Ashby came on in relief of EJ Stewart, who started the game, but was injured during the first half.
Ashby is the third quarterback Midland has used this fall.
Stewart finished with 126 yards passing on 11-of-17 throwing with one interception. Ashby threw the ball 27 times, completing 10 throws for 227 yards. He has a pair of touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.
The Raiders responded with a field goal by Stader six minutes later to knot the game and then took a two-point lead at the 4:41 mark with a sack in the endzone for a safety to make it a 15-13 ball game.
Ashby hooked up with Carr for his second touchdown of the day on a 61-yard strike to tilt the score in favor of the Warriors. The two-point conversion failed, making the score 19-15 with 10:00 in regulation.
Northwestern answered with a big play of their own. Blake Fryar hit Cade Moser on a 41-yard score at 8:55, putting the Raiders back in front.
The Warriors tied the score up again with a third Quinonez field goal. It was all tied up at 22-22 with 5:18 remaining.
Travis Voight pushed Midland back in front, picking off Fryar’s pass a the 32-yard line, tipping it up into the air and then corralling it into his arms to give the Warriors a 29-22 lead.
The Raiders’ offense silenced the fans in orange and blue though less than two minutes later as Fryar found Brendan Zeutenhorst for an 11-yard pass and catch. Stader’s kick reset the game with just 3:32 on the game clock.
Midland (1-2, 1-1 GPAC) will stay at home next weekend when they host Dakota Wesleyan (1-1, 1-0 GPAC). The Tigers were idle this week coming off their 20-3 victory at Mount Marty. Kickoff for the homecoming game is set for 1 p.m. at Heedum Field on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Concordia 61, Briar Cliff 21
No. 14 Dordt 61, Hastings 10
Jamestown 35, Mount Mary 6
No. 3 Morningside 56, Doane 14
GPAC Players of the Week
Offense—Austin Johnson, Wide Receiver (Morningside University)
Defense—Tyler Wingert, Linebacker (Morningside University)
Special Teams—Jared Quinonez, Kicker (Midland University)
NAIA Rankings—Week One
1. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 
2. Northwestern (Iowa)
3. Morningside (Iowa)
4. Grand View (Iowa)
5. Concordia (Mich.)
6. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)
7. Reinhardt (Ga.)
8. Keiser (Fla.)
9. Marian (Ind.)
10. Bethel (Kan.)
11. Georgetown (Ky.)
12. Baker (Kan.)
13. Eastern Oregon
14. Saint Francis (Ind.)
15. Avila (Mo.)
16. Kansas Wesleyan
16. Roosevelt (Ill.)
18. Ottawa (Ariz.)
19. Dordt (Iowa)
20. Southwestern (Kan.)
21. Valley City State (N.D.)
22. Arizona Christian
23. Montana Western
24. Rocky Mountain (Mont.)
25. Indiana Wesleyan
Dropped from the poll: College of Idaho, Dickinson State (N.D.), Benedictine (Kan.)
Receiving Votes: Faulkner (Ala.) 35; College of Idaho 26; Texas Wesleyan 24; Cumberlands (Ky.) 15; Dickinson State (N.D.) 12; Benedictine (Kan.) 6; Waldorf (Iowa) 5; Culver-Stockton (Mo.) 4