Hastings, NE -- With a Northwestern team coming to town on Saturday, fresh off a blown upset opportunity of No. 1 Morningside, the Hastings College football team looked to do what the Red Raiders could not; pull off the upset. The game went down to the wire, but it was the Broncos who were left with a bitter taste in their mouth, falling to the Red Raiders 39-29.
No. 6 Northwestern was able to get things going against the Broncos (4-5, 2-5 GPAC) in their first drive of the game, with their first play of the game being a 49-yard pass. This eventually set up the Red Raiders' Tyson Kooima for a 14-yard rushing touchdown to get ahead of the Broncos 7-0 2:12 into the game.
The Broncos were quick to answer the Red Raiders though, as they got downfield quickly on their first drive, capped by a 47-yard reception by Terrance McIntyre (FR/San Diego, CA). It was a 5-yard pass to Anthony Martinez (JR/Oceanside, CA) that got the Broncos back to a 7-7 tie with 10 minutes left in the first quarter.
The final scoring drive of the quarter came with 3:46 left on the clock, with NWIA starting on their own 40-yard line. Their first two plays resulted for only five yards, but the third play resulted in a 55-yard receiving touchdown for the Red Raiders, as well as a 14-7 lead.
Hastings found themselves deep in their own backfield on their first drive of the second quarter, going three-and-out, forcing Alex Stogdill (SR/Lincoln, NE) to punt. This punt would be blocked and roll through the back of the endzone for a safety and a 16-7 NWIA lead.
After the Red Raiders added a 15-yard passing touchdown to their score, the Broncos were able to fight back. Tahj Willingham (SR/Denver, CO) and Tyree Nesmith (SO/Baltimore, MD) were able to eat up 26 yards on six plays to get Hastings to the NWIA 49-yard line. A pass interference on the next play led to a 34-yard McIntyre receiving touchdown to make it a 23-14 NWIA lead.
The Red Raiders took only two plays to answer the Broncos, with an 18-yard carry and then a 52-yard passing touchdown. A failed two-point conversion though kept it a 29-14 lead for the Red Raiders.
With 6:23 left in the third quarter, Northwestern started another drive, hoping to pad their 29-14 lead. The Red Raiders were able to go 33-yards to the HC 38-yard line, but were met by Ross Ostendorf (SR/Gothenburg, NE) on the next play with an interception. Four plays later, Nesmith took a carry 35 yards for a touchdown, making it a one possession game.
Halfway through the third quarter, Northwestern was able to add a 34-yard field goal to make it 32-21 in their favor.
Hastings was able to finish the third quarter on a good note as Northwestern started with the ball at their 30-yard line, but on the first play, Wesley Jardim (SR/Beaver Crossing, NE) was able to intercept the deep pass. This interception by Jardim eventually led to another Nesmith touchdown, this time a 19-yard reception. Hastings went for a two-point conversion which Isaiah Jackson (JR/Compton, CA) took to the endzone himself, making it a 32-19 lead.
Northwestern was able to quiet the home crowd in their next possession, finishing the drive with a four-yard passing touchdown to go ahead 39-29.
Leading the Broncos were Jackson, Willingham, McIntyre and Nesmith. Jackson finished the day with 224 passing yards, with 135 of those going to McIntyre and 30 of those going to Nesmith. Nesmith also finished with 63 rushing yards where Willingham had a game-high 138 rushing yards.
As a team, the Broncos were able to get 425 total yards on offense and 22 first downs.
The Broncos will look to return to .500 on the season when the GPAC newcomers, Jamestown, arrive to town on Saturday. Kickoff against the Jimmies is set for 1 p.m. CST.