Football - William Penn
|Date:||September 10, 2011|
Luther dropped a 24-13 decision to William Penn University this afternoon here in Decorah. The loss dropped Luther's overall record to 0-2, while William Penn remained undefeated at 3-0.
Defensive lineman Obi Ukabiala picked up a fumble and ran 63-yards for a touchdown, the only score in the first half for the Norse.
The Statesmen held the Norse to 216 yards of total offense, 89 on the ground and 127 in the air.
Dan Ridenour rushed for 62 yards on 16 carries and Thompson led the receiving corps with six catches for 67 yards.
Defensively, Kyle McGivney, Trent Kerrigan, Alex Peterson, Rich Vickers and James Knutson all reached double digit in tackle totals. The defensive unit was busy trying to stop William Penn's option attack that carried the football 75 times for 344 yards.
"We have now played an excellent St. Olaf team and in William Penn, one of the top-10 teams in the NAIA," commented head coach Mike Durnin. "What is encouraging is the coaching staff and the team, truly believe these first two games have prepared us well for the Iowa Conference. Now the most important game is Central. However, the most important aspect for our program is to improve in our play."
The Norse will begin Iowa Conference play at Central next week. Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Prior to kickoff, Chris Norton, who suffered a career ending injury in a game against Central last year, served as the honorary captain. Norton was injured while making a tackle on a kickoff. He was given only a three percent chance to ever have any movement below the neck after X-rays showed that his neck was fractured and his spinal cord was compressed.
Norton's family and four members of the care team from Mayo Clinic, who call themselves "Team Norton", were honored before the game.
In what was an incredible moment for all in attendance, Norton stood for the National Anthem and for the coin toss at midfield, with the help of Luther captains Ukabiala, McGiveny, Reynolds and Alex Tomesch.
"On behalf of the entire Norse Football Program, I do want to thank the Norton family and all the great folks at the Mayo Clinic," stated Durnin. "While we may have been on the short end of the scoreboard, there is no doubt Chris Norton and the rest of Team Norton were winners today."
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