Mike Millard caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hagge with 0:36 seconds remaining in the game to give Nebraska Wesleyan a thrilling 26-13 comeback victory over Midland Lutheran College on Homecoming Saturday (Oct. 31) in GPAC football action at Abel Stadium in Lincoln. NWU added a final TD on the last play of the game as Tony Terp ran in a fumble after the Warriors were attempting laterals as time expired.
The Prairie Wolves trailed 13-12 when they got the ball back with 1:36 to play on their own 39 yard line. Hagge led the Prairie Wolves down the field, including a key seven yard run on 4th & 5 to keep NWU drive alive. He completed a 20 yard pass on a slant to Bryce Weaver to give NWU the ball at the Midland 29 yard line. On second down, Hagge found Millard streaking across the middle and Millard did the rest stretching the ball over the goaline for the winning touchdown.
Terp's fumble recovery on the final play was after the Warriors had pitched the ball five times then Jake Riha knocked down the ball and Terp picked it up at the 20 and ran it in, making the final score 26-13.
The game started with a bang for Midland Lutheran as Darious Bentley took the opening kickoff 89 yards to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead after just one play. On the next drive, the Prairie Wolves marched 63 yards and Zach Egger capped the drive with a 27-yard field goal. Neither team would score the rest of the half as team's entered the locker room with the score 7-3.
NWU got their first touchdown of the game with just over three minutes left in the third quarter as Hagge hit Ben Iske on a diving TD catch from six yards out. The PAT was blocked and NWU led 9-7.
On the next drive, Lance Milner intercepted a John Faulkner pass giving the Prairie Wolves the ball inside Warriors territory. NWU had to settle on a field goal, but Egger connected from 35 yards to put NWU up 12-7.
Midland Lutheran would have their best drive of the game to end the third and start the fourth quarter as they marched 75 yards in 15 plays taking up 7:57. Faulkner put MLC ahead as he scrambled 13 yards for the TD as he dove for the pylon. The Warriors converted twice on fourth down to keep the drive alive.
Nebraska Wesleyan tried to rally on the next drive and got to the Warriors 31 yard line, but Egger's 48 yard field goal was blocked giving Midland the ball with the lead and just under three minutes to play. The Prairie Wolves forced the Warriors to punt and set up the game-winning drive.
Hagge finished the day 14-26 for 144 yards and two touchdowns for NWU as they had 310 yards of total offense. Kory Kahlandt had another big day as he rushed for 111 yards on 26 carries and had four catches for 26 yards, despite being injured most of the game. It marked the fifth straight game Kahlandt has gone over 100 yards. Garrett Rippen and Josh Kendle both had 10 total tackles to lead NWU, while Cameron Kolling had two tackles-for-loss with a sack.
Midland Lutheran had 208 yards of total offense, with 114 on the ground. Bentley led the team with 39 yards rushing with Khalid Waters adding 32. John Faulkner was 12-20 for 94 yards but was intercepted twice.
NWU will travel to rival Doane College next Saturday in Crete, Neb., before closing out the regular season with a home game against Briar Cliff on Nov. 14.