by Scott DCamp
It was business as usual for the Northland football team Saturday, as the Pioneers racked up 512 yards of offense in a 42-14 win over visiting M-State Fergus Falls.
Coach Jim Cox admittted that it wasn’t the Pioneers most polished performance. The team was penalized 12 times for 106 yards and some missed assignments led to some big plays in the passing game for M-State.
“We could have played better,” Cox said. “We did a lot of things well but we want to continue to get beter at all the little things.”
M-State appeared to be on its way to an early lead when it marched 55 yards in 10 plays before its drive stalled on a fourth and one at the Northland three-yard-line. The Spartans opted to kick a field goal on fourth and one, and the kick was blocked and rolled into the endzone for a touchback.
The Pioneers responded by putting together a nine-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Shannon Patrick to Malik Williams.
The Pioneers added two more first half scoring drives – a six-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 33-yard pass from Patrick to Kris King – and 10-play, 53-yard drive that was capped by a one-yard touchdown pass from Patirck to Joe Cash.
M-State got on the board shortly before the half when Travion Broadwater hauled in a 70-yard reception from Matt Lovine.
Northland’s first points of the second half came on a six-play, 53-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard connection between Patrick and King to make it 28-6 in favor of the Pioneers.
The Pioneers needed just one play on their next possession, with Patrick throwing to Williams for a 49-yard touchown catch and run.
Much like the first half, M-State’s only second half score came on a big play when Jamar Howard – one of four Spartans to line up at quarterback on the day – threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Broadwater.
Rounding out the scoring for the Pioneers was a Dakari Highsmith eight-yard touchdown run that capped a six-play, 47-yard drive.
Northland kicker Donte Ensley was a perfect six-for-six in PATs.
Patrick, who entered the game as the nation’s top passer in yards per game at 360, continues to lead the nation with an average of 374.3 after completing 32-of-44 passes for 416 yards, with five touchdowns and one interception.
Northland is also the top-ranked passing offense in the nation, with 1,497 yards.
1 2 3 4 T
M-State 0 6 0 8 14
Northland 7 14 14 7 42
Northland – Malik Williams 23-yard pass from Shannon Patrick, Donte Ensley kick.
Northland – Kris King 33-yard pass from Patrick, Ensley kick.
Northland – Joe Cash 1-yard pass from Patrick, Ensley kick.
M-State – Travion Broadwater 70-yard pass from Matt Lovine, run failed.
Northland – King 10-yard pass from Patrick, Ensley kick.
Northland – Williams 49 yard pass from Patrick, Ensley kick.
M-State – Broadwater 45-yard pass from Jamar Howard, Howard run.
Northland – Dakari Highsmith 8-yard run, Ensely kick.
n First downs – NCTC 25; M-State 17 14.
n Penalties (number-yards) – NCTC 12-106; M-State 10-89.
n Punts (number-averge) – NCTC 3-35.6; M-State 6-33.1.
n Rushing (attempts-yards) – NCTC 30-96; M-State 38-138.
n Passing – NCTC 32-for-44, 416 yards, 5 touchdowns, 1 interception; M-State 10-of-27, 190 yards, 2 touchdowns.
n Total yards – NCTC 512; M-State 328.
n Rushing – (NCTC) Joe Cash 13-66; Deion Hogan 6-18; Dakari Highsmith 3-10, touchdown; (M-State) Marcus Davis 10-44.
n Passing – (NCTC) Shannon Patrick 32-for-44, 416 yards, 5 touchdowns, 1 interception; (M-State) Marcus Davis 5-for-19, 44 yards; Matt Lovine 2-for-3, 78 yards, touchdown; Jamar Howard 1-for-1, 53 yards, touchdown; Keegan McCormack-Reamer 2-for-4, 15 yards.
n Receiving – (NCTC) Malik Williams 10-175, 2 touchdowns; Ishmil Mitchel 5-71; Dakari Highsmith 4-66; Kris King 2-42, 2 touchdowns; Dwayne Taylero 3-29; Joe Cash 3-10, touchdown; (M-State) Travion Broadwater 4-124, 2 touchdowns.