Jordan Jacupke threw two touchdown passes, and Morningside College picked up a 17-3 GPAC football win over Concordia University on Saturday afternoon in Sioux City. The Mustangs, ranked No. 8 in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, improved to 7-1 overall and in the GPAC with the victory. Concordia slipped to 3-5 overall with a 2-5 mark in GPAC play with the loss.
Offense was tough to come by for both teams in the opening quarter. Morningside had the only lengthy drive of the quarter, moving 50 yards in 11 plays. However, CJ Gradoville hit the left upright with a 44-yard field goal attempt, and the score remained 0-0 heading into the second quarter.
Morningside took the lead with an impressive 13-play drive. The Mustangs marched 71 yards and took over four minutes off the clock in the process. Jacupke hit Kyle Christensen with a 4-yard touchdown pass to culminate the drive, and the extra point by Gradoville gave the Mustangs a 7-0 advantage.
Concordia put together a drive late in the first half. The Bulldogs moved the ball to the Morningside 34-yard line. However, the Mustang defense held on fourth down, and Morningside took over with just over 30 seconds remaining in the half. Jacupke used a quarterback draw for 14 yards to pick up a first down, and completions to Bradley Norwood (26 yards) and James Brooks (15 yards) took the ball all the way inside the Bulldog 10-yard line. Gradoville hit a 31-yard field goal to put the Mustangs in front by the score of 10-0 heading into halftime.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Concordia marched 64 yards in 12 plays to get on the board. The big play of the drive was a 24-yard completion from quarterback Cohl Tufford to Jamarcus Walker. The Bulldogs moved all the way to the Morningside 5-yard line, and Kenny Zoeller connected on a 22-yard field goal to cut the Mustang lead to seven at 10-3.
After the teams traded possessions, Morningside used 14 plays to move 58 yards for the final score of the game. The drive took over six minutes. Jacupke found Norwood on a 6-yard touchdown reception to boost the Morningside lead to 17-3 with over 12 minutes remaining in the game.
The Bulldog defense held Morningside down the rest of the way, but the Concordia offense was unable to put any points on the board down the stretch.
Morningside finished with 216 passing yards and 152 rushing yards for 368 total offensive yards. Concordia totaled 116 passing yards and just 63 rushing yards for 179 total offensive yards. The Bulldogs struggled mightily on third down, converting just 1-of-10 on the day. Morningside, on the other hand, was 10-of-19 on third down conversions in the game.
Tufford was 12-of-23 through the air for 116 yards with an interception. He also added 44 yards on the ground for Concordia. Heath Broekemeier totaled a game-high 13 tackles and added a forced fumble and interception for the Concordia defense. Ben Klein added 12 tackles for the Bulldogs. The Concordia defense held Morningside to their lowest point total since the 2007 playoffs.
Jacupke was 21-of-39 through the air for 216 yards with the two touchdowns and one interception. Mike McNulty carried the ball 21 times for 69 yards. Norwood and James Brooks each had five receptions on the day for Morningside. Jared Goforth totaled a team-high nine tackles, while Brice Buryanek had an interception for the Mustangs defensively.
Concordia hosts Dordt College on October 30. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 pm at Bulldog Stadium.