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It was a tale of two halves Saturday afternoon in Northfield, Minn. as Luther was defeated by St. Olaf 24-22 in the season opener for both teams.
The Norse held a 16-10 advantage at halftime, but the Oles scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to help secure the victory.
Luther pulled to within two points and what proved to be the final score, with 3:11 to go on the clock, thanks to a 28-yard touchdown run by Chris Reynolds. Unfortunately, the two point conversion run attempt failed, and the Norse were never able to regain possession of the football the rest of the game.
Luther scored on the opening drive of the game, taking the first 6:18 off the clock, capped off by a two yard touchdown plunge by Dan Ridenour. After St. Olaf scored on its first possession, Donterrious Porter took the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to the end zone, giving the Norse a 14-7 lead with 7:46 remaining in the first quarter.
The defense extended the lead on the first play of the second quarter, when Obi Ukabiala tackled Ole quarterback Dan Dobson in the end zone for a safety, giving Luther a 16-7 lead.
The Norse had 279 yards of total offense, 165 yards on the ground. Luther’s rushing attack was led by Dan Ridenour with 83 yards on 19 carries. Reynolds added 65 yards on 11 carries and Adam Bohr chalked up 41 yards on 11 attempts.
“Offensively we were able to make plays, now we need to become more consistent,” stated head coach Mike Durnin. “Our young offensive linemen did a nice job filling in for some injuries.”
The defensive effort was led by all-American linebacker Kyle McGivney who was credited with 18 tackles. Defensive linemen Tom Carpenter recorded 10 tackles and linebacker Trent Kerrigan had nine. Cornerback Robby Jewell tallied his first career interception.
“Our defense did a nice job of slowing down their running back Leon Clark and did an excellent job of limiting points in crucial situation.
I am extremely proud of this team. They played their hearts out today, unfortunately we finished on the short end of the scoreboard. The key now is to get back to practice and continue to stress improvement in the basic fundamentals. I am confident our team will respond in a very positive manner.”
Luther will host William Penn next Saturday at Carlson Stadium in the home opener. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m.. The game will be video-streamed.
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Questions? Contact Steve Smith, post_to_results, 563-387-1450