NAIA FOOTBALL

Prep stars propel Morningside toward another shot at NAIA title

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Morningside senior Addison Ross poses with the NAIA national Championship football trophy after the Mustangs won the 2018 championship. Ross is one of several area athletes who have led the Mustangs to another undefeated regular season.

After winning the NAIA National title a season ago, the Morningside Mustangs seem to be on their way toward another championship.

This season Morningside again went undefeated in regular season play.

In the first week of the season the Mustangs were able to blank the University of Saint Francis (Illinois) 80-0. They then defeated Dordt University 56-14 in their first Great Plains Athletic Conference game of the season. To close out the month of September the Mustangs added a 51-29 triumph over Midland University.

In October the wins kept coming for the Mustangs. They first defeated Hastings College, 69-13. Then they were able to win 49-14 over Briar Cliff University.

The next two games in October were defensive masterpieces for the Mustangs. They were able to take down the University of Jamestown 61-0, and then bested Dakota Wesleyan University 69-0.

In November the Mustangs added a 42-10 win over Doane University. They then beat Concordia University 52-7 in their final regular season home game.

The last regular season football game featured Morningside squaring off against Northwestern College, who was ranked No. 5 and also undefeated going into the contest. The Mustangs were challenged for the first time all season, but still grabbed a 37-27 victory, and added another undefeated season to the record books.

On Saturday the Mustangs started post season play with a contest against No. 17 ranked Dickinson State University. That resulted in a 57-14 win for the Mustangs.

Morningside will return home this weekend when they play Saint Xavier University in the second round of the NAIA playoffs. Saint Xavier is ranked No. 9.

Several former prep stars from the Carroll area have become stars on the Mustangs this year.

Carroll High grad Addison Ross has one rush for 11 yards this year. In 11 games he has caught 23 passes for 277 yards He’s scored four touchdowns and he averages 12 yards a catch. Ross has also punted 13 times for a total of 484 yards with an average of 37.2 yards per punt. His longest punt of the year has been 46 yards.

Ross also has one assisted tackle this year.

Another area athlete, Colton Irlbeck has seen punting time for the Mustangs this year.

Irlbeck, the former Kuemper Catholic star, has punted the ball six times for 201 yards. He is averaging 33.5 yards per punt with a long of 45 yards.

Other area athletes that play for Morningside include offensive linemen Hunter Behrens who graduated from IKM-Manning and Brandyn Clair, an East Sac star.

Individual stats aren’t available on either, but the Mustangs have gained 2,820 yards on the ground and 3,624 total passing yards on the season. The Mustangs have scored 77 offensive touchdowns and gained 6,444 total yards.

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