Dramatic fourth quarter dooms Morningside in NAIA final - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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Dramatic fourth quarter dooms Morningside in NAIA final

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Marian beat Morningside 30-27 in overtime in the NAIA championship game. Marian beat Morningside 30-27 in overtime in the NAIA championship game.

The Morningside Mustangs had a chance in early in the fourth quarter to essentially put the game away, but it was Marian which came up with a stop and built off that momentum allowing them to prevail in the NAIA National Championship Game.

Mike Josifovski provided the game winning kick, lifting 5th-ranked Marian past 3rd-ranked Morningside 30-27 in overtime on Thursday.  Morningside was well in control heading into the fourth quarter, but that's when the tide turned.
 
Up 20-10 in the fourth, on 4th and 4, Joel Nixon is picked off in the endzone by the Knights Ryan Hartnett. Marian marches 88 yards and pulls to within a field goal on Tevin Lakes touchdown.  They would take a 24-20 lead five minutes later as Adam Weise hooked up with Nathan Jones on a 61 yard touchdown.  210 of Marian's 349 yards of offense came in the fourth quarter alone.
 
"We found a rhythm," said Marian quarterback Adam Wiese.  "The whole game, it was like we were taking one step forward and two steps back. Missing beats, skipping this, skipping that, and it was frustrating.  And then, all of the sudden, people started making plays."
 
The Mustangs answered back as Nixon, who struggled all game to find a rhythm, hit Kyle Schuck to put Morningside back on top 27-24. But, the difference maker in the game was Josifovski.  His nickname is 'Mega Foot' and he came up huge lifting Marian to its first national championship.
 
"This is something that signing up to be a kicker, this is something that they always talk about and always mention what if you get this opportunity," said Josifovski. "I was fortunate enough to have this opportunity and I'm a little bit speechless right now, but it feels amazing, that's for sure."
 
"It was unbelievable," said Marian head coach Ted Karras, Jr. "We take the lead, they take the lead, we come down and tie it and win it in overtime. You know, it's two evenly matched great ball clubs, somebody had to win, somebody had to lose and that's how it goes in football sometimes."
 
"It was really a fun game," said Morningside quarterback Joel Nixon. "It didn't go the way we wanted it to, but I love my teammates. It's been a great season and I'm just really proud of the way we fought."
 
"It was just a special group of guys," said Morningside head coach Steve Ryan. "They played hard all year. They came together well and it really was a special group."
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