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MITCHELL, S.D. -- It was quite the first half as Trent Solsma threw for 282 yards and four touchdowns before halftime and Connor Niles had 12 receptions for 138 and three scores.

That barrage buried Dakota Wesleyan on a hot day in Mitchell, South Dakota, as the second-ranked Mustangs opened up GPAC play with a 66-13 victory to improve to 3-0 on the season.

Morningside, which had 403 total yards of offense at halftime, finished with 590 yards of offense and held DWU to 266 as the Mustang starters sat out the fourth quarter.

Solsma finished his day going 34 of 43 for 428 yards and six touchdowns while Niles had 166 receiving yards on 15 receptions.

DWU closed within 21-10 on the first play of the second quarter as Daniel Libolt hauled in a 12-yard pass from Shaye Slaughter.

Morningside would respond with a 34-yard field goal from Jared Amundson to boost the lead back to 24-10.

Solsma to Niles on a 26-yard strike with 6:58 to go in the first half to make it 31-10.

Morningside would punch it into the end zone two more time before halftime as Solsma hit Drake Martinez, who hauled in a 45-yard pass down to the DWU 12. Four plays later it was Solsma to Niles for the sixth time this season from eight yards out to make it 38-10.

It would be 45-10 at halftime as Jacob Harvey had a 52-yard rushing touchdown, his second of the opening half, in place of normal starter Arnijae Ponder. Ponder did not play in the game.

Morningside raced out to a 21-3 lead in the first quarter.

Harvey ramed the ball in from two yards out on the opening drive of the game to put the Mustangs up 7-0. Solsma was 5 of 5 for 70 yards on the drive.

Solsma continued to shred the Tiger defense when he hit Reid Jurgensmeier on a 16-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 with 6:41 to play in the opening quarter.

DWU's lone score of the first quarter came on a 39-yard field goal from Tate Gale.

The Mustangs responded with another scoring drive as Solsma hit Niles on passes of 16 and eight yards on the ensuing drive down to the one. The two would connect on the touchdown pass on the next play as the Tigers did not cover Niles allowing him to easily score.

The offense didn't slow for Morningside in the second half as Solsma's fifth touchdown throw of the day went for 75 yards to Austin Johnson.

The Morningside defense also got in the act as safety Klayton Nordeen picked off a Shaye Slaughter pass and raced 30 yards to the end zone.

The lead grew to 66-13 on a 19-yard pitch-and-catch from Solsma to Jared Myers with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.

Linebackers Jacob and Joel Katzer led the Morningside defense with seven tackles apiece.

Slaughter, and reigning GPAC offensive player of the week, was held to 224 yards passing on 41 attempts with a touchdown and two interceptions. DWU ran the ball 32 times for 35 yards.

Morningside returns home for the first time in nearly a month Saturday to face fellow undefeated Briar Cliff (3-0) at Olsen Stadium at 1 p.m.


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