Wildcats maul Minnesota West, 21-0

The Graedyn Buell (13) to Marselio Mendez (18) connection was on full display Saturday, Sept. 4 in Worthington, Minn. Buell completed 10 passes for a healthy 14.1 yards-per-completion, five of them to the sure-handed Mendez. 

WORTHINGTON, MINN. — The North Dakota State College of Science Wildcats football team clamped down on Minnesota West Community & Technical College Saturday, Sept. 4 in a 21-0 road win, improving to 2-0. The Wildcats allowed 61 yards of total offense and recorded five sacks in the victory.

Graedyn Buell was 10-for-17 through the air with 141 yards and a one-yard touchdown pass to Marselio Mendez. That pass capped off a 90-yard drive which gave NDSCS a 6-0 lead at the half. The Cats' final two scores came on rushing touchdowns inside the five by T.J. Owens and Ronald Todd.

Mendez racked up 50 yards receiving on the Wildcats’ only scoring drive of the first half. Mendez added two carries for 24 yards along with his team-leading five catches for 73 yards. Demetrius Coleman had a fine receiving day as well, with four catches and 66 yards.

Todd churned out a quiet 13 carries for 44 yards, but really got the ‘Cats going with 30 yards in the opening quarter. NDSCS recorded five first downs to zero for Minnesota West in the first half.

Buell and Owens have formed a one-two punch at quarterback. Buell has two passing touchdowns and Owens has two ground scores in as many games. Jemal Brown also saw time under center, completing both of his pass attempts for 19 yards and a first down.

NDSCS is ranked No. 4 in the latest NJCAA national poll and the defense has certainly played as billed. Following a fierce performance against Mesabi Range, Sylvester Ware IV stepped up again with a blocked punt and a sack.

Ware IV, Manny Garcia, Jaderian Johnson, Preston Yohnke, William Katchmark and Karter Wensmann each found the sack column. Wensmann led NDSCS in tackles with seven and Adam Chudecke punished Minnesota West with a pair of huge hits to start the second half.

Niles Williams recovered a lateral that was ruled behind the line of scrimmage, nabbing the fumble at the opponent’s 24-yard line. Minnesota West posted a miniscule 1.33 yards per play against Coach Eric Issendorf’s high-flying defense.

NDSCS is back in action Saturday, Sept. 11 against Minnesota State Community & Technical College. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

Issendorf was not immediately available for comment following the game.

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