DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA (KCAU) – With the game winning pass from Trent Solsma to Connor Niles in December of 2018, the NAIA crowned Morningside football their first ever national title, giving the two Mustang legends a perfect ending to their illustrious careers.

“Trent and Niles man they had a special connecton, it was something just to watch and be amazed at,” Morningside senior quarterback Joe Dolincheck said.

“Those guys are outstanding football players,” Morningside senior wide receiver Reid Jurgensmeier said.

From Bishop Heelan to Daytona Beach, the quarterback-wide receiver duo did it all. But while the two were rewriting the Mustang record books, there was another QB-receiver combo who had the makings to reach similar marks, then freshman QB Joe Dolincheck and sophomore receiver Reid Jurgensmeier, two players who had that intagible play-making ability and wanted to learn all they could from the Solsma-Niles tandum.

“When I was a freshman and watching them play, and i was young, just seeing the leadership that they had and stuff like that it was something that I tried to envelop into my game when i got older,” Dolincheck said.

“All across the board everyone’s learning from the guys that are older than them,” Jurgensmeier said. “For me it was guys like Connor who kinda would just take younger guys under their wing and help them to be the next generation.”

It’s no easy task following up a one-two punch that many aren’t sure if they’ll ever see again. But they’ve exceeded expectations, with Joe now leading the nation in six categories and Reid atop the NAIA charts in receptions, along with winning two national championships, it’s ushered back in that electric combo Morningside had seen before.

“Joe and Reid are excellent and exciting players,” Morningside head football coach Steve Ryan said. “They’re very unique in terms of their combination, in terms of what we have.”

“To be even considered in the names of those guys is an incredible accomplishment in itself.”

And with the Mustangs once again in the NAIA title game, it’s one final chance for them to seek redemption from a year ago, and for Joe and Reid to cemet themselves as one of the all-time connections in program history.

“We got one more goal,” Dolincheck said. “We haven’t won a national championship yet, we gotta earn that and having guys like Reid, knowing it’s his last game ever as a Mustang.”

“Just knowing that this is the last game that I’ll ever play in a Morningside uniform, it’s pretty special,” Jurgensmeier said. “We’re gonna try to soak everything up and do the best we can to enjoy every step of the process.”