Ottawa quarterback Ethan Haller threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Nationals to a 34 -24 win over the Americans in the NAIA Senior Classic on Saturday at Salina, a game featuring the NAIA's best seniors from last season.
Haller connected with Ottawa teammate Corey Schultz on both touchdowns, and would have had a third if not for a fumble by Schultz as he dove into the end zone in the second quarter. The fumble was recovered by Montana State Northern's Coda Tchida in the end zone for a touchdown for the Nationals.
Schultz finished with 10 catches for 100 yards to lead all players and hooked up with Haller for a 43-yard score in the third quarter and a three-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Leading 20-9 late in the third quarter, MidAmerica Nazarene's Aaron Hodges intercepted Haller and returned the ball 40 yards for a touchdown to make the score 20-15, but Friends defensive back Quinn Cunningham intercepted Americans quarterback Tim Richard on the point-after attempt to keep the Nationals lead safe.
Haller was named the offensive MVP for the Nationals, who were coached by Ottawa's Kent Kessinger. Shorter College's Logan Lollis was the defensive MVP for the Nationals.
Americans3 3 9 6 — 21 Nationals3 10 7 14 — 34
N—Chilton 17 FG
A—Fraser 36 FG
N—McKeon 12 FG
N—Tchida fumble recovery in end zone (Chilton kick)
A—Fraser 22 FG
N—Schultz 43 pass from Haller (Chilton kick)
A—Fraser 31 FG
A—Hodges 40 int. return (pass intercepted by Cunningham)
N—Schultz 3 pass from Haller (McKeon kick)
N—Smith 8 run (McKeon kick)
A—Bryant 4 run (pass fail)
Rushing—Americans, Byrant 5-14, Guzman 1-3, Lowmiller 1-1, Elmore 2-0, Hart 2-0, Richard 4-(-1). Nationals, Carter 2-37, Macey 6-26, Brown 8-20, Smith 3-7, Otto 6-1, Haller 2-1, Hazard 1- (-3).
Passing—Americans, Richard 19-45-251-1. Nationals, Haller 33-43-286-2.
Receiving—Americans, Elmore 4-72, Kildow 2-66, Hollett 1-23, LaCount 3-23, Brooks 2-18, Mansfield1-14, Lowmiller 2-13, Morris 1-11, Ector 2-7, Guzman 1-4. Nationals, Schultz 10-100, Carter 2-45, Kempf 4-30, Burnett 2-24, Hazard 3-20, Otto 1-16, Carter 2-15, Brown 2-10, Macey 2-9, Wallin 2-8, Tchida 3-7.