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Luther hosted the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse this afternoon for the season opener for both teams. The Eagles, picked to finish fourth in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) defeated the Norse 52-21.
La Crosse held a 42-0 advantage at halftime, scoring five touchdowns and returning a blocked punt 43-yards for a score.
Luther got on the score board at 9:43 of the third quarter, when junior quarterback Ian Kuykendall connected with senior tight end Trevor Joiner, on a 68-yard touchdown pass.
Following an 49-yard field goal by Ryan Beirne that gave the Eagles a 45-7 lead, junior running back Travis Vargas found the end zone for the second time of his career on a two-yard plunge. The score capped off a 12 play, 75-yard drive that took 5:10.
Luther's final score of the afternoon was another long pass, a 55-yard touchdown reception by Ricardo Chavez with 5:42 left in the game.
Kuykendall had a career afternoon. He finished with 322 yards of total offense. He threw for 259 yards, connecting on 13-of-24 attempts and rushed for 63 yards on 12 carries.
Joiner was credited with six receptions for 100 yards, while Chavez tallied five catches for 116 yards. For both players, their single game receptions and total yards were career highs.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Eythan Blair and senior safety Isaac Highum led the team with 11 tackles each. Junior defensive lineman Tyler Sefried made his Luther debut recording seven tackles. Senior defensive back Dante Joseph, a 2017 all-conference performer, was also credited with seven tackles.
Luther will travel to St. Olaf College one week from today. Kick-off in Northfield, Minn., will take place at 1:00 p.m.
Questions? Contact David Blanchard, post_to_results, 563-387-1586