Matt Jaronik makes a reception in a recent game.
Despite holding one of the best offenses in the Iowa Conference well below its 405 yards-per-game average, a 35-yard blocked punt return and a 48-yard touchdown run proved to be the difference in the Luther football team's (0-10, 0-7 IIAC) 21-10 loss to Simpson College (6-4, 4-3 IIAC) Saturday.
The Storm took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, scoring on its first possession and recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Luther pulled to within four points at halftime thanks to a 1-yard plunge by Alex Hain and a 32-yard field goal by Seth Streeter.
Simpson's Taylor Nelson, who rushed for 111 yards, scored what proved to be the game winner on a 48-yard run early in the fourth frame.
"This team battled and competed throughout the season, and today was no different," stated Head Coach Mike Durnin. "I was extremely proud of the passion each young man displayed."
The Norse produced 332 yards of total offense, 113 on the ground and 220 in the air.
Hain and Tyler Holmlund led the rushing attack with 39 and 35 yards, respectively. Kody Moore connected with six different receivers. He was 20-of-41 for 220 yards. Drew Helle led the receiving corps with seven receptions for 63 yards. Zach Jipp was next with four catches for 61 yards.
"Drew Helle did a nice job today catching the ball," commented Durnin. "Zach Jipp was also solid as he has been all year."
Defensively, Trent Kerrigan was credited with eight tackles. Robby Jewell was next with seven tackles and also picked off his third pass of the season.
"Our defense did a great job of holding in check one of the most explosive offenses in the league," stated Durnin. "Trent Kerrigan and Robby Jewell were outstanding.
"I am confident while our record may not show it, we are a lot closer to being an upper division team than others may believe," said Durnin. "The key now is for our coaching staff to do a geat job recruiting, and our players must also do a great job in the offseason program."