Northwestern won its first playoff game since the 2017 playoffs after taking down Dickinson State 31-7 at home on Saturday. In the past two playoffs, the Red Raiders were bounced in the first round by a lower seed, and they were determined to not let that happen again.
QB Tyson Kooima made sure of it with three touchdowns, two on the ground and one through the air to Shane Solberg. As a senior, Kooima was on the team when the last two seasons ended in heartbreak, so he let those failures motivate him, and so did the rest of the team.
“Not getting rattled when something goes bad. I think us as seniors being in the playoffs four times really helps us out in our leadership,” Kooima said. “It definitely motivates us losing two times in the first round. It was nice getting the win out here”
“Those losses really helped us as we prepared for this game. We have a viewpoint that everything that happens to us, something good is gonna come from it,” said Matt McCarty, Northwestern’s head coach. “And those losses the last few years have really helped us have a great game today, it helped us prepare, and I knew the guys were gonna play great today.”
Northwestern will now travel to Des Moines to take on #2 Grand View in the second round of the playoffs.