SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Midland University’s football team capped off an up-and-down season with a win over a nationally-ranked team on Saturday to end the season on a six-game winning streak.
A 24-yard field goal from junior kicker Camdon Griffiths lifted the Warriors (7-4 overall, 6-3 GPAC) to a 31-28 victory over the No. 24 Dordt University Defenders (7-4 overall, 6-3 GPAC) on Saturday afternoon.
“Our guys played lights out. All three units were pivotal in the win,” said Midland head coach Jeff Jamrog. “Offense was solid all day, special teams made some big plays, and the defense played perhaps its best game against a really good offense.”
Griffiths’ field goal put the finishing touches on a back-and-forth game as 14-point quarters were the norm. The teams alternated 14-point scoring runs throughout the game until Griffith’s kick broke the mold. The win landed Midland in third place in the conference standings in 2019, which seemed unlikely after a 1-4 start to the season.
“To start out 1-4 and lose three games by 10 points, and with all the injuries we had, to rattle off six straight wins with four of them on the road is quite an accomplishment,” Jamrog said.
Midland controlled the first quarter and started the scoring on its first possession as senior quarterback Noah Oswald connected with senior wide receiver Austan Daniels for a 59-yard touchdown. The catch was one of four for Daniels on the day as he totaled 88 yards and finished his senior season with 50 catches and seven touchdowns.
After the defense forced a three-and-out, the Warriors struck again as freshman running back Maximus Wold capped a 53-yard drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown to give Midland a 14-0 lead.
The Defenders rallied back and scored 14 points of their own in the second quarter as Levi Schoonhoven’s one-yard rush put Dordt on the board. A turnover on downs set up the Defenders’ next possession and a three-yard rushing touchdown for Noah Clayberg to tie the score at 14-14 before halftime.
Midland snatched momentum to start the second half as senior defensive back Christian Harmon picked off a pass from Kaleb Maresh to set his offense up at Dordt’s 11-yard line. Wold rushed for a six-yard touchdown to take advantage of the good field position and give Midland a seven-point lead.
Later in the quarter, Wold notched his third rushing touchdown of the day on a two-yard score as Midland went up 28-14. Wold finished his breakout season with seven touchdowns and 596 rushing yards in nine games played.
In the fourth quarter, the Defenders came back again thanks to a Levi Jungling touchdown reception and another rushing touchdown from Clayberg. Clayberg’s score was set up by a Midland fumble that was recovered by Connor Bosma at Midland’s 38-yard line.
The Defenders seemed to have momentum and were setting up another potential scoring drive, but again it was Harmon who made a game-changing interception at Dordt’s 35-yard line that ultimately set up Griffith’s game-winning field goal.
Senior linebacker Jett Hampton picked off a pass from Clayberg on Dordt’s final possession to put the finishing touches on Midland’s upset victory.
“We ran the ball for twice as many yards as Dordt and won the turnover battle by three,” Jamrog said. “All three units stepped up in the last two minutes of the game.”
Oswald led the Warrior offense in his final game and totaled 146 passing yards on nine completions. Daniels totaled 88 receiving yards and 108 rushing yards to lead Midland in both categories while Wold totaled 80 yards on the ground.
Sophomore Trevor Havlovic led the way on defense with 10 total tackles, including 1.5 total tackles for loss that contributed to six on the day for the Warriors. Harmon notched three interceptions to cap off a great second half of the season for Midland’s secondary and defensive unit as a whole.
For Midland’s seniors, their careers end with another winning season and a third-place finish in the conference standings. Jamrog’s first recruiting class has been instrumental in establishing one of the most consistent and fastest-improving football teams across the country in their time as Warriors. The contributions of the 2019 team to Midland football should leave some lasting impressions.
“Our hats go off to our seniors, our first class,” Jamrog said. “They left a great legacy and foundation to build on. We have a great nucleus coming back to build on this momentum from this season. The future looks bright for our football program.”