Christian Zylstra-Staff Writer
The Defenders hung around early, but in the end, quarterback Davis Bloemendaal and Northwestern proved to be too much for Dordt College as the Red Raiders won 48-10 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference contest on Oct. 26.
“We had things going early, but they’re just a good team,” said Dordt head coach Greg Youngblood.
Northwestern jumped out to an early 14-0 lead after running only five plays. Running back Paul Hutson broke one for 51 yards all the way to the end zone within the game’s first three minutes. On the next Northwestern possession, Bloemendaal took one up the middle from six yards out.
Dordt fought back and cut the lead to seven on the first play of the second quarter. Senior Lenard Manuel darted into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown, capping a 75-yard drive.
Barry Dykstra then put the score at 14-10 with a 20-yard field goal at the 7:35 mark of the second quarter.
After that, it was all Northwestern.
The Red Raiders would score two more times before the half, both on touchdown passes by Bloemendaal. The first was for 17 yards to a wide-open Brice Byker; the next, a 19-yarder to Jacey Hoegh. Northwestern led 28-10 at halftime.
Things did not go much smoother for Dordt in the second half. After a Dordt fumble, Northwestern’s Bloemendaal threw another touchdown pass, this one to Ben Green, for 15 yards. The extra point was no good, but the Red Raiders still led 34-10.
It was not long before Bloemendaal hooked up with Green again, this time for a 41-yard touchdown. An extra point put Northwestern up by 31.
The Red Raiders would score one more time before the game’s end, once again through the air. Bloemendaal connected with Byker, who took it 71 yards to the house for the game’s final score.
“We competed today. We’re not a team looking to fold. We came for a fight and got just that,” Youngblood said.
Bloemendaal led the passing attack for the Red Raiders, going 10-for-18 with 235 yards and five touchdowns. Byker led the Northwestern receiving corps with three receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Green added three receptions for 64 yards and two touchdowns, while Hoegh caught two passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Hutson led Northwestern’s ground game with 13 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Freshman Zach Barker did the passing for Dordt, going 10-for-18 with 148 yards and an interception.
“For a true freshman in his first start, [Barker] did a lot of good things,” Youngblood said.
Senior Darryl Van Grouw caught five passes for 84 yards, and senior Sam Verhulst grabbed four receptions for 53 yards. Manuel had 12 rushes for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore Vanoy Harris led the Defenders’ defense with five solo tackles and five assists. Senior Seth Vande Voort tacked on five solos and three assists.
Dordt, 2-6 overall and 0-6 in the GPAC, will travel to Crete, Neb., this Saturday to square off against Doane, 4-3 overall and 4-2 in the conference.
“We just need to keep getting better and progressing,” Youngblood said. “Doane’s a good team.”