Joe Dolincheck to Reid Jurgensmeier. For opposing defenses this season, those are the saddest words possible.
The Morningside University football team ended their season on a high Saturday night in Durham, North Carolina.
With 9 minutes and 22 seconds left in the NAIA National Championship game against Grand View University, Dolincheck and Jurgensmeier connected for a 34-yard touchdown pass that broke a tie in the fourth quarter and put the Mustangs on top. of the Vikings, 35-28.
After a pair of defensive saves and a field goal by Mustangs kicker Chase Carter with 1:10 remaining, the Mustangs won their third national title in the past four seasons with a 38-28 victory over the Vikings.
Mustangs senior quarterback Dolincheck finished Saturday’s game with 29 passes for 405 yards and two passing TDs. His most reliable target on the night was Jurgensmeier, who had 13 receptions, a team-high, for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
People also read …
“Amazing,” said Morningside head coach Steve Ryan. “I knew (Jurgensmeier) was having a big game, but I didn’t know it was that big. I just looked at the stats about three minutes ago, and it was like, “Oh my God, he was over 200 yards in the game.” His last touchdown was a phenomenal catch, and he just played amazingly.
For a pair like Dolincheck and Jurgensmeier, who have teamed up to deliver so many memorable moments to Morningside fans over the past few years, it seemed only fitting that they were the ones who provided the boost needed to win a championship. national.
Having already won two titles together, Jurgensmeier and Dolincheck knew it would likely be up to them to bring the trophy back to Sioux City.
“Towards the end of the third quarter I think it was, I went over to Joe and said ‘It’s going to be up to you and me playing,’ Jurgensmeier said. that it ended. He’s had a great career, he still has a year left and it’s fun to have him in the center for us.
The game was a screen pass, designed to put the 6-foot-3 Jurgensmeier in one-on-one cover against the Vikings. Prior to the start of the game, Grand View had not allowed any receiver to finish with more than 95 receiving yards in a game. Against Jurgensmeier and Dolincheck however, the Vikings had no answer.
“We put together a great game plan against these guys,” Jurgensmeier said. “Our coaches did a great job with it. Joe and I were just clicking, and if he was in trouble he knew he could trust me to come up there and do a play for him. That’s kind of what we’ve been relying on in this fourth quarter, in particular. “
Jurgensmeier has been Dolincheck’s go-to receiver throughout the season and most of their four seasons together. The fifth-year senior finished with 17 touchdowns this year, with 105 catches for 1,609 yards, good enough to be named to the NAIA All-American Second Team.
The winning touchdown was the 71st and final touchdown in the Jurgensmeier Mustangs’ five-year career, just two touchdowns off the career program record set by Connor Niles. Saturday was also the second time in his career in which Jurgensmeier finished with over 200 receiving yards, with the other instance taking place on September 21, 2019 against Midland.
“He played the lights, and that’s all you can expect from this kid every time he ties up his crampons and touches the grass,” Dolincheck said. “He’s going to make the difference. Not having it next year is going to be sad.
While Jurgensmeier had one of the best performances of his career, he wasn’t the only one with big numbers against the Vikings.
Senior running back Anthony Sims had 28 carries for 161 yards with three rushing touchdowns while playing with a painful lower leg injury. In defense, cornerback Jamal Jones had three break-ups and held Grand View wide receiver Anthony Turner at zero catches after the game’s first practice.
At quarterback, Dolincheck rebounded from a pair of first-half interceptions to complete 29 passes and cross the 400-yard mark for the third time this season, while playing under more pressure than usual.
Dolincheck was sacked twice in the game, the first two he had picked up throughout the season.
“They had a good pressure on him and we returned the ball,” said Ryan. “Things were frustrating and things weren’t going the way we had planned. He just kept playing and competing, and he did. Part of what makes him a great player is that he just kept competing and chasing after. “
With the championship victory, the venerable Morningside duo of Dolincheck and Jurgensmeier, whose names will remain on the program for decades, has come to an end. Dolincheck will return for his fifth and final season in 2022, as Jurgensmeier’s eligibility for college ends.
It was a bittersweet moment for Jurgensmeier. After five productive years, it’s a strange feeling that you have no more movies to watch and no more games to prepare.
“I don’t know if he has completely sunk into the fact that there won’t be a next year yet,” Jurgensmeier said. “But it’s been a hell of a ride here at Morningside. I enjoyed every moment. I’m just trying to make the most of every moment with the team here.
Early Sunday afternoon, the Mustangs returned to campus with their hard-earned championship trophy. It might be over for the seniors at Morningside, but it’s hard to think of a better way out.
“It’s not improving for me,” Jurgensmeier said. “It’s a dream come true to finish in the lead. Three titles in the past four years, five years in total for me is more than I could have asked for when I came to Morningside five years ago.