Sat, Oct. 1, 2011 - [Football]
Luther 20, Loras 13
In a grind-it-out game where field position, penalties, and turnovers shifted the momentum regularly, the host Luther College Norse took down the Duhawks 20-13 in Decorah on Saturday afternoon.
The Norse used good field position after a botched punt by the Duhawks and rolled the dice on a fourth down play early in the game, but Dave Pirkle and the Duhawks' defense held at their own 32 yard line. The momentum of the fourth down stop was short-lived, however, as Devin Kass fumbled the football on the second play of the drive to setup a quick six-play drive - which led to a Luther field goal from 34 yards to take the early 3-0 lead.
A punt by each team had the ball back with the Duhawks with four and a half minutes to play in the first quarter.
Loras handed the ball to Devin Kass eight straight times to march 53 yards, racking up four first downs and using one timeout along the way. The result at the end of the drive was a 17-yard touchdown run for Kass. The ensuing point after attempt was blocked, making it 6-3 Loras with just seconds remaining in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Duhawks and Norse traded punts and eventually Tyler Wilker missed a 31-yard field goal attempt, setting up the final true possession of the first half. The Norse went 68 yards in 3:50 on their way to the game-tying field goal by Seth Streeter with just seconds remaining in the first half.
The first tie broken by the Norse came on the opening possession of the second half.
A steady dose of Chris Reynolds and Alex Hain resulted in a 12-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a three yard Hain run into the end zone. Luther held a 13-6 lead early in the third quarter – but the Duhawks weren't going to go quietly.
After the teams traded three-and-outs, the Duhawks used some great field position to tie things again.
Nick Nunley's punt pinned the Norse at their two yard line and the home team was only able to get it out to their own 41 before a Gavin Kaiser return setup the Duhawks at the 34 yard line of Luther.
Four Kass runs, a Luther penalty, and a Vaughn Gesing pass to an open Kyle Bergquist from eight yards out later - things were knotted at 13-13.
The teams traded turnovers over the remainder of the third quarter, and eventually the Norse capitalized on some good field position for the game's final score. Alex Hain capped a 9-play drive midway through the fourth quarter with a one yard touchdown run.
Loras' two final possessions included four incomplete passes and an interception and the final Luther possession included two first downs and the victory formation as the clock ran out.
Individually, the Duhawks made Devin Kass the workhorse on offense – handing him the ball 32 times for a total of 119 yards.
Vaughn Gesing struggled, going 5-for-21 for just 36 yards and two interceptions.
Zach Myers bettered last week's career best 13 tackles with 14 this week. Dan Badovinac and Eric Meyer each recovered fumbles, and Kyle Kirchoff and Brandon Ronan split Loras' one sack of Chris Reynolds.
The Norse outgained the Duhawks 343-144 on the afternoon. Loras was penalized eight times and punted eight times.
Loras has the extra week of rest at the midway point of the 2011 season, with October 8thset aside as the bye week. They are now 1-4 overall and 0-3 in Iowa Conference play so far.
On October 15, the Duhawks will host Central College (3-2, 2-1) in the Rock Bowl at 1:00 PM.