Warriors Pick Off Prairie Wolves 49-25
17th-ranked Midland University recorded seven interceptions in the game and forced nine total turnovers as the Warriors jumped out to a 36-0 lead and cruised to a 49-25 victory over Nebraska Wesleyan in the GPAC opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 10) in front of 1,149 fans at the home opener at Abel Stadium in Lincoln.
It was a nightmare of a start for the Prairie Wolves offense, who had scored 58 points in week one. NWU threw five interceptions on the first seven possessions and never got anything started.
Midland used a balanced offensive attack to jump ahead 9-0 at the end of the first quarter and led 29-0 at halftime, but it could have been much worse. The Prairie Wolves defense forced the Warriors into two field goals, but did allow three touchdowns. Derrick Middleton caught a 23-yard TD pass from quarterback Greg Panelli with 2:29 left in the first quarter. Panelli then scored on a quarterback sneak to put Midland up 16-0. The Warriors added another TD in the second quarter as Antonyo Johnson scored from eight yards out.
At halftime, NWU had just 35 yards of total offense, compared to 230 for the Warriors.
To start the third quarter Tanner Jones made his third field goal of the game to put Midland up 29-0. NWU looked to get on the board in the third period as Steven Anderson attempted a 43-yard field goal, but it was blocked by Ron McLaughlin and he took it 67 yards for a touchdown.
NWU finally got on the board with 1:33 left in the third quarter as Cody Eiler returned a punt 71 yards for a TD. The PAT was no good to make the score 36-6. On the first play of Midland's possession, Johnson broke through several tackles and rumbled 52 yards to paydirt.
The Prairie Wolves were able to tack on three fourth quarter TDs to make the score appear closer than it was. Nate Hauptman scored on a 1-yard QB sneak, Blake Koehn ran in from four yards out, and Taylor Stockamp had a 2-yard TDrun.
On the onside kick attempt after Stockamp's score, the Warriors put a stamp on the game as Scott Campbell recovered the kick and took it back 40 yards for a touchdown.
Midland finished with 390 yards of total offense, with 170 on the ground and 220 through the air. Quarterback Greg Panelli was 17-34 for 195 yards with a TD and had 45 rushing yards. It was the first start of the year for Panelli, who just became eligible the day before the game.
After his best performance of his career in the opener, NWU quarterback Nate Hauptman really struggled on Saturday. Hauptman was 17-33 for 166 yards, but had six interceptions. He was replaced by Ethan Myers in the second quarter, but Myers was only 1-6 with an interception of his own.
NWU had 85 yards on the ground led by Stockamp with 31 yards and a TD, and he also caught four passes for 31 yards. Matt Edwards also had four receptions.
Brett Kaczor led the NWU defense with 11 total tackles, while Russell Walton added nine.