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Luther picked up its first win of the season, a 20-13 decision over Loras College this afternoon in Carlson Stadium. The victory leveled Luther's Iowa Conference record to 1-1, 1-3 overall. Loras fell to 0-3, 1-4.
"It was a great team win and a great testimony for the persistents our players and assistant coaches continue to exhibit on a daily basis," stated head coach Mike Durnin.
With the game knotted up 6-6 at halftime, Luther took the opening possession of the third quarter 69 yards in 12 plays, capped off by the first of two touchdown plunges by Alex Hain.
Midway through the same quarter, a Chris Reynolds fumble on fourth and one, set up the Duhawks final score of the afternoon that tied the game at 13-13.
A Dustin Hines sack of Duhawk quarterback Vaughn Gesing on their own 15, forced a Loras punt that gave the Norse great field position with a little over 11 minutes to play in the final frame.
Nine plays later, Hain scored on a one-yard plunge, that proved to be the game winning touchdown.
Hain, who had only carried the football four times prior to today's contest, rushed for 75 yards on 28 carries.
Reynolds, who threw for 150 yards, led the rushing attack with 88 yards on 19 attempts.
Dalen Dirth and Steven Thompson led the receiving corps with five catches each.
"I thought we made some nice improvements on the offensive side of the ball, stated Durnin. "Our offensive line did a nice job and our receivers did a nice job, especially in the second half, of making good catches and making good blocks."
Defensively, the Norse recorded two interceptions and recovered an fumble, while holding the Duhawks to 144 yards of total offense.
"Our defense was outstanding," commented Durnin. "Any time you only allow 144 total yards and produce three takeaways, you give yourself a great opportunity to win on the scoreboard."
Rich Vickers and Alex Peterson were both credited with an interception, while Trent Kerrigan recovered the fumble forced by Shane McGuire.
Kyle McGivney led all tacklers with 16. Kerrigan was next with 14 and Obi Ukabiala tallied seven.
The special teams were much improved this afternoon. Seth Streeter connected on field goals of 34 and 30 yards in the first half. Donny Norlander had six punts, one inside the 20 and one a touch back, that put Loras in poor field position late in the game.
"Special teams improved, especially in how our coverage teams kept their returners from having explosive plays. The key is now to move forward and continue to practice and prepare with a great sense of urgency and great intensity. "
Luther will travel to Coe College next week for a game that will begin at 1:00 p.m. Norse fans can hear all the action via 1240 KWLC AM or via audio stream on the athletics website portal.
Questions? Contact eayrbr01, post_to_results