University of Jamestown received its formal introduction to Great Plains Athletic Conference football Saturday at Rollie Greeno Field. It was also introduced to the NAIA's returning leader in interceptions: Northwestern College's Bryce Van Beek.
Van Beek picked off University of Jamestown quarterback Jordan Mann three times in the second quarter—taking one 49 yards and into the end zone—leading the seventh-ranked Red Raiders to a 49-7 victory over the Jimmies.
"It was a pretty good day, to say the least," said Van Beek, a senior free safety who led the nation with seven interceptions in 2017. "It helps that my d-line gets in (the quarterback's) face, he chucks it up and I get a chance to make a play. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, but today I made some plays."
Costly mistakes made by the Jimmies (1-2) thwarted almost any chance of an upset early. A botched snap on a first-quarter punt attempt gifted the Red Raiders the ball on the Jimmies' 9-yard line, resulting in Northwestern's Jacob Kalogonis strolling into the end zone from 5 yards out and putting the visitors ahead 13-0 with 6:36 left in quarter No. 1.
Jamestown's third three-and-out on offense to start the game followed, and the inability for the home team to get its defense off the field on third down ballooned the contest out of reach. A UJ pass interference penalty on a third-and-12 inside Jimmie territory kept Northwestern's next drive alive, which culminated with a 40-yard TD pass from Tyson Kooima to Shane Solberg on a third-and-19.
"Very similar to last week," said Jimmie head coach Josh Kittell, referring to UJ's 51-0 loss at Dickinson State University on Sept. 1. "Offensively, we've got to be able to move the ball to be able to protect our defense. Our defense was on the field way too much in that first quarter, and part of that was the offense's fault. Then we didn't get off the field when we had our opportunities defensively."
Northwestern led 19-0 after Solberg's reception in the end zone, and Van Beek would take over the baton from there. He ran his first interception of the second quarter to the house before robbing Mann and the Jimmies twice more over Jamestown's final four possessions of the half.
"Bryce had an awesome season last season for us. He's really a ball hawk back there," Northwestern head coach Matt McCarty said. "He does a nice job tracking the football and it's nice having a playmaker in the secondary like that."
Northwestern built a 40-0 lead at the half, limiting Jamestown to a pair of first downs and 52 total offensive yards. The Raiders tallied 293 of their 478 yards before the break.
"I felt offensively, defensively and special teams, we all kind of fed off of one another," said McCarty, whose Raiders (2-0) topped Valley City State 28-10 last week to open the season. "Once we got the ball rolling we kept building that momentum."
There were bright spots for the orange and black. Junior defensive back Cedric Terry hauled in Jamestown's first interception since 2016 when he got in front of a Kooima pass in the second quarter. Mann also hooked up with freshman receiver Barry Williams Jr. for a 24-yard passing strike early in the fourth quarter, setting up a 1-yard TD run by sophomore running back Tanner Mathern.
But the Jimmies were still held to 200 yards of offense and finished 4 of 14 on third down.
"We found some successes out there and some guys who can do some things," Kittell said. "But we've got to find a way to start better, and we've got to find a way to dig our heels in the ground when things get tough."
Solberg finished with five catches for 92 yards for the Raiders, while Kalogonis posted 97 rushing yards on 18 carries. Jimmy Hatch led Jamestown's backfield with 39 rushing yards on 13 attempts. Mathern, from nearby Edgeley, toted the rock six times for 31 yards.
The Jimmies host Concordia (Neb.) next Saturday, Sept. 15. The Bulldogs (1-0) will be coming off a 27-20 victory over Buena Vista (Iowa).
"We can't let the last two weeks define this program," Kittell said. "We've got another tough opponent next week, and we need to get back to work and find a way to be more productive."
(7) Northwestern 49, Jamestown 7
NW 19 21 3 6 -- 49
UJ 0 0 0 7 -- 7
NW: Cade Moser 35 run (kick failed), 8:42.
NW: Jacob Kalogonis 5 run (Braxton Williams kick), 6:36.
NW: Shane Solberg 40 pass from Tyson Kooima (kick failed), 2:00.
NW: Bryce Van Beek 49 interception return (Williams kick), 13:27.
NW: Kooima 24 run (Williams kick), 8:51.
NW: Jared Nelson 6 pass from Kooima (Williams kick), 1:43
NW: Williams 35 field goal, 1:54.
UJ: Tanner Mathern 1 run (Kai Madela kick), 11:14.
NW: Matt Williams 4 run (kick failed), 6:24.
TOTAL YARDS: NW 478 (243 passing); UJ 200 (93 passing).
RUSHING: NW, Kalogonis 18-95, Kooima 4-49, Williams 5-38, Moser 1-35, Leonardo Silveira 2-11, Graham Zomermaand 3-9. UJ, Jimmy Hatch 13-38, Mathern 6-31, Jordan Mann 4-23, Marcus Giles 1-15, Josiah Cage 8-11, Barry Williams Jr. 1-6, Isaak Myles 1-(-17).
PASSING: NW, Kooima 12-25-1 192, Blake Fryar 3-3-0 51. UJ, Mann 8-21-3 65, Cade Torgerson 1-2-0 28.
RECEIVING: NW, Solberg 5-92, Nelson 3-48, Moser 2-43, Kobe Lutjens 1-34, Brady Moser 1-14, Josh Fakkema 1-6, Blake Kamerman 1-3, Ross Van Heuvelen 1-3. UJ, Zeb Taber 1-28, Williams 1-24, Giles 3-18, Allen Jevning 1-10, James Hagen 2-8, Nick Thompson 1-5.
INTERCEPTIONS: NW, Van Beek 3. UJ, Cedric Terry.
TACKLES: NW, Noah Van't Hof 7, Justin Faber 7. UJ, Bisherie Steward 9, Ben Steinolfson 6, John Sullivan 6.
SACKS: NW, Conner Huss 1, Faber 1/2, Colin Snyder 1/2. UJ, Sullivan 1/2, Caleb Ellingson 1/2.
RECORDS: Northwestern 2-0. Jamestown 1-2.