It was Senior Day and the final home game of the 2019 campaign in Carlson Stadium Saturday afternoon. Luther posted its first win of the year, a 35-34 victory over Nebraska Wesleyan University. The Norse produced 460 yards of total offense while the Prairie Wolves recorded 353 of which 345 came by air. 

NWU held a 21-14 halftime lead thanks to scoring two touchdowns in the final 1:31 of the second quarter. Luther scored twice in the third frame and led 28-21 with two minutes remaining. The lead was short lived as Prairie Wolves return specialist Monte Robinson took the ensuing kick-off 93-yards for a touchdown.

Early in the fourth, Luther put together a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ate up 5:14, and was capped off with a two-yard plunge by quarterback Parker Kizer, his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon. The point-after by Jonah Zaimes gave the Norse a 35-28 lead with 11:34 to go. 

NWU quarterback Jonathan Curti orchestrated an eight-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a two-yard strike to Logan Hughes with 3:17 left in the game, that pulled the Prairie Wolves to one-point of the Norse 35-34. The point-after by Michael Vandenberg was wide right, his first miss of the afternoon.

Norse sophomore quarterback Michael Lorento and sophomore wide receiver Andre Atkins had career afternoons. Lorento was 11-of-16 for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Two of his touchdown passes went to Atkins, a 19-yard strike in the second quarter and a 90-yard touchdown pass laste in the third frame. The 90-yard touchdown pass was one-yard shy of the school record set by quarterback Zach Sweers, who connected for Alex Torrisi against Martin Luther College for 91-yards in 2006. Atkins ended the afternoon with six receptions for 159 yards. 

The Norse rushing attack was led by seniors Quon Lambert and Tre Jensen who were credited with 80 and 61 yards respectively. The Norse finished the afternoon with 223 yards on the ground. 

Defensively, Jeremy Whalen recorded a team high 10 tackles and was credited with two sacks. Patrick Beatty was in on eight tackles, followed by Bryce Neuse with seven. Levi Wolter also picked up his first collegiate sack.

Alex Moe and Scott Edwards both picked off a Curti pass. Moe’s interception took place in the Luther endzone, when he took the ball away from the intended receiver and returned the pick 45 yards. Edwards pick came midway through the third quarter that stopped the Prairie Wolves drive on the Norse 36.

The victory gives Luther an American Rivers Conference record of 1-6, 1-8 overall. NWU is now also 1-6 in league play, 3-6 overall.

Saturday, Nov. 16, Luther will end its season at Simpson College with kick-off in Indianola at 1 p.m.