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St. Olaf College scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and posted a 28-23 come-from-behind victory over Luther here in Carlson Stadium. The loss was the ninth in a row to the Oles.
"I feel for this team as they have worked very hard up to this point and it didn't go exactly as planned," commented Head Coach Mike Durnin. "However, this group believes in the process. They have worked so diligently for the past eight months and I am confident they will rise up and continue to give 100 percent to being the best they can be on the field of competition."
Luther made things interesting in the final minutes pulling to within the final tally, when Drew Helle pulled down a Kody Moore pass for a touchdown with 1:41 left in the game, completing a four play 75-yard drive .
After recovering the on-side kick on their own 46, Luther's hopes for the game winning touchdown came to an abrupt halt, when Moore was sacked by Colin Brown on fourth and one on the Oles 45.
The Norse won the majority of the statistical categories except for the final outcome. Luther tallied 396 yards of total offense with a nice balance of 186 on the ground and 210 in the air. The Norse also controlled the football posting a time of possession of 33:20 to the Oles 26:40 and also had 22 first downs to the Oles 12.
Dan Ridenour led the rushing attack with 71 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown. Zach Jipp, who scored Luther's first touchdown on a 12-yard strike from Moore in the first quarter, led all receivers with eight receptions for 63 yards. Moore threw for 210 yards in his first collegiate start connecting on seven different receivers.
"It was nice to rush the ball for almost 200 yards and the offensive staff did a great job of using a lot of different players in both the run and pass game" stated Durnin.
Defensively, the Norse sacked Ole quarterback Dan Dobson five times and also picked off two passes. Trent Kerrigan, Thomas Carpenter, Obi Ukabiala and Rich Vickers were all credited with a sack, while Colin White and Dan Wheelock were credited with half-a-sack.
Kerrigan, who had a total of seven tackles, picked off a pass as did JJ Sirios.
"Our defense did a nice job versus the run and actually gave their quarterback some fits in the passing game," said Durnin. "One area we must improve upon is minimizing the explosive passes. Our front line defensive players put nice pressure on their QB and were rewarded with five sacks on the day."
Next week the Norse travel to non-conference William Penn University. This game will begin at 3:00 p.m. in Oskaloosa. Fans can hear all the action on KWLC 1240 AM or on the Luther College Athletics website via audio stream.
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586