A pair of rated foes matchup in Orange City this weekend as Morningside visits Northwesterm in an early Great Plains Conference showdown. Morningside is seventh ranked and opened the season with a 31-7 win over Dakota Wesleyan.

Morningside coach Steve Ryan says though early in the season it is a big game. He says it will give them an understanding of where the team is at and the things they have to do. Ryan says the reality is that the winner of this game the last five years has gone on to make the playoffs.

Both teams have solid defenses, which Ryan says Northwestern has traditionally done. He says they are agressive and create turnovers, and his team does the same thing. Ryan says it should be a great atmosphere.

Northwestern opened the season by rolling past Dordt College 42-0. Red Raiders coach Orv Otten believes his team is ready for a game of this magnitude. Otten says they have a lot of guys back with experience and that have been members of playoff teams, so they believe they have a lot of players who understand the level of competition.

Otten says win or lose there will be a lot of season remaining, even though it’s a big game. He says this is the most important game right now. Northwestern is ranked 13th in NAIA.