(via Morningside Mustangs Athletics)
Senior running back Arnijae “AP” Ponder’s assault on the Morningside College rushing record book continued Saturday, Oct. 10.
In front of an appreciative Homecoming 2020 crowd at Elwood Olsen Stadium, the Omaha, Neb., native helped lead an offensive attack for head coach Steve Ryan’s team that featured 68 points, 593 total yards, and 25 first downs among other headline-worthy numbers. He found the end zone four times, three of which occurred in a first half where the Maroon sprinted out to a 21-0 lead less than seven minutes into the opening quarter.
Ponder’s fourth score, early in the third quarter, made history, as he reached 59 career rushing touchdowns, surpassing former record holder Tyler Kavan who tallied 58 over his Morningside gridiron career. It was the senior’s fifth program record acquired over the last two seasons, part of a day in which he carried the ball 14 times for 89 yards.
There were plenty of other noteworthy offensive efforts from the home side of the field, as Mside picked up its 18th straight win over crosstown Great Plains Athletic Conference foe Briar Cliff University by a 68-3 count. Junior quarterback Joe Dolincheck (JR/Bellevue, Neb.) (Bellevue, Neb.) threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns, increasing a run of 200-yard-passing contests to 17 and moving into a selective society career-wise by becoming the fifth signal-caller in school history to reach the 60 passing touchdown mark; senior wide receiver Reid Jurgensmeier (SR/Wahoo, Neb.) (Wahoo, Neb.) continued to impress conference foes and Mustang fans with six receptions for 121 yards and three touchdowns, enabling him to hit double-digit scoring receptions for a third successive season; fellow upperclassman wideout Austin Johnson (JR/Sioux Falls, SD) (Sioux Falls, S.D.) was just off triple-digits in receiving yardage with four catches for 93 yards; the backfield combination of senior Anthony Sims (SR/Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and freshman Terrance Weah (FR/Denison, Iowa) (Denison, Iowa) each gained just shy of 70 yards to add to the ground attack; and freshman quarterback Kaden Ladwig (FR/Ida Grove, Iowa) (Ida Grove, Iowa) turned some heads by going six-of-seven for 111 yards and a touchdown in a second-half opportunity.
Morningside’s defense didn’t give the visiting Chargers much of a chance to try and keep up with their high-flying offensive teammates. They turned over BC six times, five coming on interceptions which included sophomore defensive back Jamal Jones (SO/Adelanto, Calif.) (Adelanto, Calif.) taking one back 85 yards for a touchdown. Co-coordinators Casey Jacobsen and Nathan Turner’s group also made themselves at home in the opposing back with seven sacks, as senior defensive linemen Niklas Gustav (SR/Hamburg, Germany) (Hamburg, Germany) and Seth Maitlen (SR/Creston, Iowa) (Creston, Iowa) and senior linebacker Tyler Wingert (SR/Holstein, Iowa) (Holstein, Iowa) each finished with one and a half, while Gustav’s sack count was part of a team-best two-and-a-half tackles for losses. The tackle chart was topped by junior defensive back Drew Bessey (JR/Palmyra, Neb.) (Palmyra, Neb.) and freshman linebacker Isaac Pingel (FR/Spencer, Iowa) (Spencer, Iowa) with seven apiece. Sophomore defensive back Joshua Miller (SO/Lincoln, Neb.) (Lincoln, Neb.) was next with six which included one for a loss, and Maitlen was third with five.
The Mustangs (3-0 overall, 3-0 GPAC) take to the road Saturday, Oct. 17, taking on the University of Jamestown. Kickoff against the Jimmies is 1 p.m. at Rollie Greeno Field.