Decorah defenders Dakota Swatek (71) and Mason O’Hara (75) gang up on the Cadet offense. (Photo by Becky Walz)
Decorah defenders Dakota Swatek (71) and Mason O’Hara (75) gang up on the Cadet offense. (Photo by Becky Walz)

A Cael Luzum 1-yard touchdown plunge with 1:22 remaining gave the Decorah football team (2-0) a 21-20 victory over Crestwood (0-2) Friday night in Cresco.

Decorah trailed for much of the contest, until a 92-yard kick-off return gave the Vikings some much-needed momentum for the game.

“It was another dramatic come-from-behind win. We are proud of our player’s efforts and poise,” said Coach Pat Trewin. “Crestwood was ready like we knew they would be and they made a few big plays early in the game and then late to go up. We had enough effort and poise to connect on a few passes again. We need more consistent blocking in order to really get things going. We did make improvements in that part of the game, but we know we can do better.”

Game overview 

Crestwood struck first win quarterback Carter Henry broke loose for a 64-yard touchdown with 4:37 left in the first quarter. 

Decorah took the clock down to 1:11 in the second frame before Briggs Duwe found Brody Young in open ground for a 12-yard TD pass. Young’s PAT knotted the score at 7-7 at halftime.

The Vikings and Cadets battled move for move in the third quarter, with both coming up with big defensive stops.

Early in the final frame, Crestwood’s Henry squeezed through Viking defenders again for a three-yard touchdown run. Pinned at their own 12-yard line, the Cadets’ Reid Wiley slithered through Decorah’s defense for an 88-yard run to the end zone. A missed PAT by Christopher Bigalk, put Crestwood on top 20-7 with 7:43 left in the contest.

Momentum quickly swung to the Vikings’ favor as Jacob Pipho received the kick-off at Decorah’s 8-yard line and sprinted the distance to light up the scoreboard with a Viking TD. The Decorah defense forced Crestwood to punt following at a 4th and 18. The Vikings received the ball on its own 47 and quickly marched down the field, aided by a 30-pass from Duwe to Joseph Bockman. Cael Luzum ended the drive with a 1-yard plunge over the goal line to tie the score 20-20. Young’s successful PAT gave Decorah the edge it needed for the win with 1:24 left in the contest.

Good notes

“We could not get much going offensively for a long time. We missed on some blocks and misfired on some passes. When we could get some first downs, we could speed up the tempo and make plays,” said Coach Trewin. 

The Cadets moved the ball more than the Vikings with 302 total yards in comparison to Decorah’s 207 yards.

Duwe complete 7-for-16 passes for 81 yards and raced for another 45 in 13 carries. Luzum was there for 14 carries for 39 yards, while Nick Einck had seven carries for 25 yards. Bockman had two receptions for 40 yards and Young was there for four catches for 35 yards.

On defense, Keenan Tyler led the way with seven solo and six assisted stops. Einck had five solo tackles and Charlie Robinson had four solo stops and one assist.

Trewin was pleased with the play of special teams this week.

“Our special teams had a good game making all three extra points which turned out to be the difference. Brody’s punting and kickoffs were very good, and Jacob Pipho and the kick-off return team really sparked us in the fourth quarter,” said Coach Trewin.

Task ahead

Friday, Sept. 11, the Vikings play district favorite West Delaware (3-0) at home with kick-off set for 7:30 p.m.

“They are the district favorite with a huge line and a large chunk of returning starters. We know we will need to be fired up and execute at our best level yet to win. We look forward to the challenge,” said Coach Trewin.