LAMONI, Iowa – Graceland University (3-5, 1-1 Heart North) returned two interceptions for a touchdown and added a fumble return for a third touchdown as they earned the 34-29 upset over Benedictine (5-3, 1-1 Heart North).
Benedictine led early in the second quarter after two touchdown rushes from Ejay Johnson pushed the Ravens in front 12-7. Graceland scored on a 74-yard fumble return to take a 17-10 lead over Benedictine and never looked back.
A 29-yard field goal late in the second quarter from Derek Rodgers pulled Benedictine within two points at halftime, 17-15, but Graceland would answer out of the break to pull back in front by nine midway through the third quarter.
Jacob Koester connected on a 49-yard touchdown pass to Christian Haack less then a minute later to pull Benedictine back within two but a second interception return for a touchdown by the Graceland defense in the final seconds of the third quarter and a 20-yard fourth-quarter field goal proved to be just enough for the Yellowjackets to hold off a late push by Benedictine.
Johnson added his third touchdown of the day inside the final two minutes of the game to pull Benedictine back with five but that would be all the closer the Ravens could get.
Johnson finished with 105 yards off 21 carries as the Ravens finished with 121 yards rushing. Koester finished with 290 yards through the air but was intercepted four times in the loss. Haack led the receivers with 119 yards off seven receptions to round out the Ravens offensive effort.
Defensively, the Ravens held Graceland to just 64 yards rushing off 30 carries. Blake Fanning led the defense with seven tackles while Chandler Staley added six tackles. As a team, the Ravens recorded seven tackles for a loss of 16 yards with Kenny Hershberger recording the Ravens lone sack. Daishon Johnson added an interception while Cameron Hajok added a blocked punt to go along with two tackles for a loss.
The Ravens return home for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday against William Penn University on O'Malley Field.