SIOUX CITY — The Mount Marty University football program wants to one day be just as successful as Morningside.
The Mustangs taught the Lancers on Saturday at Elwood Olsen Stadium what it takes to be at that elite level.
Morningside defeated Mount Marty 56-7 in what was the first meeting between the Mustangs and a college football program in 99 years.
The Lancers are a new program, and dropped to 0-3 on the season.
When the last meeting occurred, Yankton College beat the Mustangs 3-0 on a dropkick.
Saturday’s contest was much different than the game almost a century ago.
The Mustangs scored 28 points in the first half, then they amped up the production in the second half for 28 more to secure the win.
Anthony Sims had a hand in four of those touchdowns, as he had two rushing touchdowns in each half.
Sims talled 158 yards on 16 carries. He averaged nearly 10 yards per carry.
“We run by tempo, and it was up to me to get the tempo going,” Sims said. “It’s important to finish strong (going into the bye week). We wanted to go into the bye week with a win.”
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Slms’ longest touchdown run happened during his first visit to the end zone.
Sims ran for 54 yards, and the offensive line made him a hole right up the middle that the senior running back sprinted through.
After he went through that big hole, the Lancers found it difficult to catch up with Sims.
Sims also had touchdown runs of 10, 35 and 6 yards.
Sims credited the Mustangs’ offensive line, and he said that those holes that the big men made up front were some of the most impressive he’s had all season.
“It was a nice hole, and our offensive line did very well,” Sims said. “I saw it and I hit it and I ran as fast as I could. We’ve played a couple games where they focused on our run game, but I think we’ve played really good.”
After Sims scored his first two touchdowns, Morningside scored thanks to a special teams play and a defensive touchdown.
The Lancers punted the ball with 22 seconds left in the first half, and they kicked it to 5-foot-10 senior Caleb Schweigart.
Schweigart knows that he has success when his first few steps are vertical, and that helped him return the ball 72 yards for the Mustangs special teams TD.
Much like Sims, Schweigart credited his teammates up field for giving him a lane to run through.
“I just got to give credit to the guys blocking, all I did was run,” Schweigart said. “I just saw the crease and went. Every week, they’re doing a great job. I mean, a lot of us worked together all summer.”
Then, with 2:17 left in the second quarter, Jamal Jones picked up his fourth-career pick-6 as a college football player in the secondary.
He didn’t collect an interception return as a prep player in Adelanto, Calif., but Sioux City has treated him well.
Jones saw the Mount Marty receiver leaning one way and that was Jones’ queue to step in and pick off the pass from Torren Devericks.
“(MMU receiver Rex Ryken) gave me a hard lean and I cut off the route,” Jones said. “At this point, it was time to get it on. The whole way, I was like, ‘I got me another one.’”
The passing game got going for the Mustangs in the second half.
Reid Jurgensmeier caught two TD passes from quarterback Joe Dolincheck, who struggled in the first half.
In the first half, the seasoned Mustangs quarterback was 10-for-23 with two interceptions.
On the night, Dolincheck ended up 19 for 35 for 310 yards.
The second half turned out much better for the whole offense.
“The guys played much better in the second half after sputtering a little bit in the first half,” Morningside coach Steve Ryan said. “We have a lot of things that we have to clean up. We just didn’t value the ball. We were just sloppy with the football.”
Lancers made some progress
The Lancers announced back in April 2019 that the fellow GPAC school was launching football.
Mike Woodley created the program from scratch, but announced his retirement before the Lancers even played a game.
The announcement didn’t catch Michaletti off-guard, and he turns to Woodley for advice.
“I still talk to him every day, probably and ask him questions, certain things like that,” Michaletti said. “So he is an unbelievable resource, a great friend and I'm glad to be able to work with him for the year and a half that I was with him.”
The biggest piece of advice Woodley has given to Michaletti is how to enjoy the season, even with the road bumps.
John MIchaletti was on the staff, and Woodley had a hunch when he stepped down that Michaletti was ready to take over the farm.
Michaletti likes to use the analogy of being a farmer.
The farmer can’t just plant seeds in the ground and expect to have a great yield putting in minimum work.
It takes work, and it takes time.
“So these guys understand that when you invest in something and you put the time in for that long, you're going to be able to reap the benefits,” Michaletti said. “That's what Morningside is doing right now and that's what they've done for quite a bit of time. They've had those guys, let those guys build up in the program so they're all in, bought in, and then by the time they're junior or seniors ready to play they have a good product in the field.”
Michaletti believes the Lancers have bought into that analogy and are eager to build that foundation.
“Even though you might not see direct feedback right now, or the direct positive feedback that in the end, you got to focus on the process and in the end, then that you'll be able to eat and cherish the rewards,” Michaletti said.
The Lancers have adapted well to that, and have played fairly well in the early history of the Lancers.
The Lancers scored their first touchdown in program history last week, and on Saturday, the program scored its first passing TD.
It happened with 29 seconds left in the second quarter.
Davian Guajardo threw the ball to Jonah Miyazawa down the right sideline. Miyazawa made the catch in traffic, and when he landed, Miyazawa turned and dashed for the west end zone.
The play was good for 49 yards, and it crossed off another milestone for the Lancers.
The Lancers quarterbacks were a combined 10-for-37, but Jones was impressed with Mount Marty’s offensive scheme.
“I feel like with the years that go on, if the right pieces are there, their scheme is going to work,” Jones said. “As a team, I feel like they had a great plan.”