GRAMBLING, LA – For the second straight year Morningside College claimed the NAIA Football Championship on Saturday. The game was played at Eddie G. Robinson Stadium on the campus of Grambling State University.
The Mustangs beat the Knights of Marian University 40-38, and they had to fight to the very end. Marian scored its final touchdown with 1:04 on the clock, but Morningside recovered the onside kick attempt to seal it. The Mustangs have now won 29 straight games, the last Morningside football defeat came to St. Francis of Indiana in the 2017 NAIA Semifinals.
One force for the Morningside defense has been number 99, Alex Paulson, a North Iowa, Buffalo Center graduate. Paulson played four-years for the Bison racking up 161 tackles, 25.5 tackles for a loss, and 18 sacks. Paulson is a senior on the Mustang football team.
2016 North Iowa High School Graduate – Alex Paulson
This season for Morningside, Paulson has accumulated 37 total tackles, 8.5 sacks (16th in the country), and 15 tackles for a loss, which brings his career totals to 119 tackles, 15.5 sacks, and 34 tackles for a loss in 46 career games. The Mustang defense ranked 6th in total defense, 4th in scoring defense, 3rd in rush defense, and 2nd in the country in sacks.
In the championship game, they faced a Knight’s offense who was averaging 221 rushing yards a game and a rusher who was averaging 130 rushing yards a game and 18 touchdowns on the season. They held Marian to 125 yards and held Charles Salary to 111 and no touchdowns.
In the championship game, Paulson notched 2 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, and .5 tackle for a loss. Paulson was also named an NAIA All-American – Honorable Mention
Audio Courtesy of Daniel Ver Steeg, KMNS.
Zarren Egesdal is the Sports Director at KIOW/KHAM. Do you have a story idea? Contact Zarren M-F 8am-5pm at 641-585-1073 or firstname.lastname@example.org