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Nationally ranked #19 Wheaton College defeated the Norse 53-7 in Carlson Stadium this afternoon.
From the get-go the Thunder looked like they were on a mission after falling nine positions in the national rankings due to a 22-21 loss to Albion College last week. The loss snapped the Thunder's string of 30 consecutive victories in nonconference regular season games.
The Thunder scored the first two times they touched the football, putting together drives of 58 and 73 yards en route to a 14-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Thunder led 39-0 early in the fourth, when Luther put its only points of the ball game on the score board. Kody Moore found Matt Jaronik at the end of a seven-yard touchdown pass, that capped off an 11-play, 78-yard drive.
Jaronik led the Norse receiving corp with five catches. Zach Jipp and Dan Ridenour were next with four receptions each.
The Thunder scored two more times in the final stages of the game, including a 70-yard interception return by Adam Dansdill with five minutes left on the clock.
Wheaton's defensive unit held the Norse offense to 231 yards of total offenese, including 61 on the ground. The Thunder also sacked Moore seven times.
Linebacker Trent Kerrigan led all defenders with 18 tackles. Kerrigan was followed by Alex Peterson with nine and JJ Sirios and Rich Vickers with eight each.
"I am extremely proud of how this team has taken on three great opponents and have continued to battle every step of the way," commented Head Coach Mike Durnin. "There is no doubt we have learned a lot about ourselves as a team and as a program. Wheaton is a great football team and there is a reason they have been a ranked team for over a decade."
"I believe our defense continues to grow and we are confident they will make the necessary improvements in preparation for the Iowa Conference schedule."
"While we stumbled early as an offense today, there is still a great belief in what we are doing and am certain our offensive players will rebound."
Next week is a bye week for the Norse. Iowa Conference play will begin Sept. 29 at Loras College. Fans can hear all the action in the Rock Bowl via audio stream on the Luther College Athletics website and on 1240 KWLC. The pregame show will begin at 12:50 p.m.
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586