Two takeaways from Kansas Wesleyan football's loss to Morningside in NAIA quarterfinals

·3 min read

The Morningside Mustangs are the No. 2-ranked team in the NAIA for a reason.

And they flexed their muscles and proved their ranking Saturday afternoon against Kansas Wesleyan.

Morningside defeated the Coyotes, 58-21, at Elwood Olsen Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa. The Mustangs improved to 12-0 while the Coyotes finished their season at 11-2.

KWU was making its third appearance in the NAIA Football Championship Series quarterfinals in the last four years and sought a second appearance in the semifinals, but it would be a difficult task.

Here are two takeaways from the Coyotes' season-ending loss:

Morningside's offense showed why it is ranked No. 1 in the NAIA

Morningside's offense was ranked No. 1 in the NAIA for a reason.

And it showed why early and often by scoring the game's first 21 points in the first quarter. The Mustangs finished with 554 yards of total offense.

Quarterback Joe Dolincheck was the main reason the Mustangs got off to a fast start. He went 31 of 45 for 417 yards passing for the game with five touchdowns.

Dolincheck threw touchdown passes of 35 and 28 yards to Austin Johnson to go with a 2-yard scoring run by Ryan Cole, giving Morningside a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After Isaiah Randalle's 10-yard touchdown run with 12:09 left in the second quarter, Dolincheck threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Reid Jurgensmeier with 9 minutes left to play. The Coyotes then fumbled the ball and Dolincheck and company capitalize with him throwing a 29-yard touchdown pass to Cole with 7:23 left before halftime.

Previously: Kansas Wesleyan football advances to NAIA quarterfinals after Indiana Wesleyan withdraws from postseason

Chase Carter added a 33-yard field goal with just four seconds left before halftime to make it 38-7.

In the third quarter, Cole added a 2-yard touchdown run and Dolincheck found Sione Tuifua for a 4-yard touchdown pass.

Morningside got its final offensive score with its backups in with 4:40 left in the game with Matt Strecker's 1-yard touchdown run after the Coyotes turned it over on downs for the second time in the game.

Stevie Williams becomes all-time leading receiver at Kansas Wesleyan

Kansas Wesleyan senior receiver Stevie Williams ended his career by adding his name in the Coyote record book.

Williams finished with the most career catches in Wesleyan history with 176 and most receivin yards with 3,423 yards. He also recorded his 43rd career receiving touchdown on a 12-yard pass from Isaiah Randalle with 2:12 left in the game.

Williams' second catch of the day passed Zach McClain, who had 172 catches in his Coyote career.

More: Kansas Wesleyan's Stevie Williams has 42 receiving touchdowns in his career. He's not finished yet.

Randalle finished the game going 21 of 41 for 311 yards and two touchdowns. His other touchdown pass was a 54-yard strike to Drevon Macon with 3:36 left in the third quarter.

Randalle and the Coyotes avoided the shutout in the second quarter with a 10-yard touchdown run with 12:09 left in the second.

The Coyotes finished with 325 yards of total offense.

Dylan Sherwood has been a sports reporter for the Salina Journal since August 2019. He can be reached at dsherwood@salina.com or on Twitter @DSherwoodSJ

This article originally appeared on Salina Journal: Kansas Wesleyan football falls to Morningside in NAIA quarterfinals

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