Football teams want to be good in the trenches and that is one of the reasons Northwestern College has lofty goals for the upcoming season. The Red Raiders return several starters on both sides of the line of scrimmage and coach Kyle Achterhoff’s team was picked to finish second in the pre season Great Plains Athletic Conference poll.
Achterhoff says their philosophy is that everything starts with the lineman and having a lot of them back is a good thing. There are some holes to fill. Achterhoff’s says three players are vying to take over at quarterback where Davis Bloomendal passed for more than 2,200 yards and 30 touchdowns last year: Sophomores Braden Miltenberger and Craig Bruinsma and freshman Isaac Heard.
The Red Raiders have nearly all the starters back from a defense that made big strides last season. “When you return 9 starters on that side of the ball and bring in a couple of young guys who are going to be competing right away — there’s not doubt that that’s initially going to be kind of the strength of our team,” Achterhoff says.
Northwestern has qualified for the NAIA playoffs the past two years but after two first round losses Achterhoff says they want to take the next step.