SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Top-ranked Morningside dominated Rocky Mountain College on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NAIA playoffs from Sioux City, blowing out the Bears 49-20.
Morningside jumped all over Rocky in the first quarter, grabbing a 21-0 lead before the end of the frame. All three touchdowns were the result of Trent Solsma finding receiver Connor Niles.
Rocky cut into the Morningside deficit just before halftime, as Mason Melby plowed into the end zone from 2 yards out to make Morningside’s lead 21-6.
However, things spiraled out of control for Rocky in the third quarter. Solsma scored just three plays in to the half on a 6-yard run. After a quick punt by Rocky, Morningside marched right down the field again, scoring on a 19-yard run by Arnijae Ponder to go up 35-6. Arnijae’s second touchdown run gave the Mustangs a 42-6 lead after three quarters.
Solsma found Bo Els from 23 yards out to put Morningside up 49-6 just minutes in to the fourth quarter. Max Gray scored on a 32-yard pass from Drew Korf, and Darneil Jenkins had a 29-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter to finish the scoring.
The Mustangs were the the nation’s top-ranked offense entering the contest and torched the Rocky defense to the tune of 505 total yards. Solsma was 28 of 38 passing for 368 yards and four touchdowns. Connor Niles had 13 receptions for 190 yards and three touchdowns.
Morningside moves on to the NAIA quarterfinals with the win.