Morningside amassed a NAIA national record 916 yards total offense in a 76-14 blowout win at Hastings.
Morningside’s football team has been putting up video game type offensive numbers all season.
The No. 1-ranked Mustangs raised the bar to an even higher level when they amassed a NAIA national record 916 yards total offense in a 76-14 victory against Hastings College in Saturday’s Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) contest in Hastings, Neb. The victory put the Mustangs’ record at 5-0 at the midway point of their regular season.
Morningside rushed for 396 yards and passed for a school-record 520 yards to break the previous NAIA national record of 914 yards total offense set by Lenoir-Rhyne in a 1975 contest against Davidson.
The Mustangs’ record breaking total was almost 200 yards higher than their previous school-record of 729 yards total offense they set earlier this season in an 83-19 victory against Nebraska Wesleyan University. The Mustangs’ 520 yards passing broke their previous single-game standard of 514 yards set in a 2005 NAIA Quarterfinal Round playoff victory against Evangel University.
Ryan Kasdorf hurled six touchdown passes and Caleb Kluender came off the bench to toss a pair of TD passes to give the Mustangs a school-record tying eight touchdown passes. The Mustangs also had eight touchdown passes in a 2008 win against Hastings.
Morningside entered the contest as the NAIA national leader with averages of 69.8 points, 663.5 yards total offense, and 383.5 yards rushing per game. The record 916-yard onslaught against Hastings raised the Mustangs’ season’s average to an incredible 714.0 yards total offense per game.
Hastings also had one of the nation’s most productive offensive attacks with averages of 44.6 points and 443.6 yards total offense going into the game, but the Broncos were no match for a Morningside defense that limited them to 251 yards total offense and a paltry 10 first downs. The Broncos completed only 10 of 24 pass attempts, while their running game was stymied for 57 yards in 23 attempts for an average of 2.5 yards per carry.
The Mustangs scored touchdowns on their first seven offensive possessions on their way to a 56-7 lead at the intermission. Morningside scored a touchdown on its first possession of the second half to go up 63-7 before the offensive starters made their exits.
Kasdorf, a Beyond Sports Network second-team All-American last year, had his biggest game of the season as he picked the Broncos’ defense apart with 24 completions in 27 pass attempts for a career-high 468 yards and six touchdowns. His 468 yards passing was the fourth highest single-game total in Morningside history. Kasdorf, who also rushed for 12 yards to finish with 480 yards total offense, threw touchdown passes of 64, 24, and 30 yards to Devin Thomas, three yards to Trey Russell, 12 yards to Kendall Lindeman, and nine yards to Brandon Wegher.
Thomas finished with eight pass receptions for a career-high 235 yards for the fourth highest single-game yardage total in Morningside history.
Wegher, who entered the game as the leading rusher in the nation with an average of 182.5 yards per game, was held below 100 yards for the first time this season with 89 yards in 17 carries. However, three of his carries resulted in touchdowns with scoring runs of one, four, and five yards, to go along with a career-high six pass receptions for 91 yards.
The Mustangs had their most balanced rushing attack of the season with a team-high 91 yards from Tyler Kavan, 90 yards from Caleb Kluender, 89 yards from Wegher, and 86 yards from Nathan Gilligan. Morningside rushed for an average of 7.2 yards per carry.
Kluender, the Mustangs’ backup quarterback, completed five of eight passes for 52 yards to finish with 142 yards total offense. Two of Kluender’s completions went for touchdowns with scoring strikes of 14 yards to Jon Hauswald and 11 yards to Zach Knicky.
Zac Schleuger led the Mustangs’ defensive effort with five solos and four assists for nine total tackles, including 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage for losses of eight yards. With 15 tackles behind the line of scrimmage at the midway point of the regular season, Schleuger is quickly approaching the Morningside record of 20.5 tackles for a loss set by Marshall Barney in 2011.
Schleuger and Logan Gibbs combined for the Mustangs’ only quarterback sack of the contest after they had tied a school record with six sacks the previous Saturday in a 68-28 Homecoming win against Midland University.
The Mustangs will host Dakota Wesleyan University in a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday, Oct. 18.