Taylor James gained 56 yards on five carries for Morningside College and scored his first collegiate touchdown in the Mustangs’ 67-0 domination of Briar Cliff Oct. 26 at the Mustangs’ Elwood Olsen Stadium in a Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) contest,
James, a freshman from Westfield, scored from two yards out in the fourth quarter for a 60-0 Morningside lead. James is an Akron-Westfield Community School alumni. James also had three tackles. Morningside is at Concordia in Seward, Neb., at 1 p.m., Nov. 2 for a league game.
The Mustangs (7-0 overall record, 6-0 Great Plains Athletic Conference) amassed 712 yards total offense to break their former school record of 695 yards set in a 49-27 win against former Dana College during the 2005 season. The No. 1-ranked Mustangs passed for 391 yards and rushed for 321. Morningside already had 467 yards total offense when it took a 47-0 lead into the intermission and the Mustangs’ starters played only one series in the second half.
While the Mustangs’ starters moved the ball at will the Morningside defense pitched its first shutout of the season. It was the Mustangs’ first shutout since a 62-0 whitewashing of the Chargers in last year’s regular season finale.
Briar Cliff finished with 191 yards total offense. The Mustangs held Charger quarterbacks Kevin Van Egdom and Alec Durtko to a combined only 12 completions in 37 attempts. Six of those completions went to Bret Van Muyden, a junior from Hawarden, and a West Sioux alumni, who had 65 yards in catches.
Morningside had three interceptions in its first six games and matched that figure by picking off Van Egdom three times.
It was a record setting day for Morningside senior wide receiver Kyle Schuck, who tied a school record with four touchdown catches to become Morningside’s all-time leader with 39. Schuck broke the former Morningside record of 36 career touchdowns set by Beau Kildow from 2006-2009. Shuck’s first touchdown catch came on a 39-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Kasdorf with 7:49 left in the first quarter. They hooked up for three more touchdowns in the second quarter from distances of 40, 36 and three yards.
Schuck finished with six catches for 162 yards. Kasdorf passed for 384 yards and six touchdowns in a little over one half. Kasdorf, who finished just one shy of a school record with his six touchdown passes also rushed for 18 yards to finish with 402 yards total offense. Aside from his four touchdown passes to Schuck, Kasdorf also hurled scoring strikes of five yards to Devin Thomas and 14 yards to Austin Klett. Thomas finished with five catches for 122 yards for his third 100-yard game of the season. Schuck went over the 100-yard mark for the fourth time with his 162 yards.
Going to the bench early in the second half gave several of the Mustangs’ reserves an opportunity to show their talents. In addition to James, backup quarterback Derrick Dison rushed for a game-high 97 yards in 11 carries.
Jon Halvorson led the Mustangs’ starters with 87 yards rushing in 18 carries.
Briar Cliff had the game’s first scoring opportunity when the Chargers began their first drive from the Mustangs’ 28-yard line but the drive stalled and their attempt at a 25-yard filed goal backfired when the Mustangs’ Zac Schlueger blocked Alex Pijado’s kick and Darius Hicks returned the blocked 77 yards to the Chargers’ 11-yard line.
The Mustangs eventually had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Zach Dunker but the field goal started a stretch where the Mustangs scored on nine consecutive possessions to turn the game into an early blowout.
All three of Morningside’s second half touchdowns came on runs of one yard by Halvorson, two yards by James and 13 yards by Dison.
Reserve linebacker Dirk Schmitt led the Mustangs with a season’s high eight tackles, while Cole Boger was right behind with six tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. Ethan Stofferan and Billy Awtry also had interceptions, while Stofferan and Tony Heimer each had quarterback sacks.
Morningside claimed a two-game lead in the GPAC standings with the win.