Logan Halverson led the Vikings in receptions with six catches for 75 yards versus Xavier Friday night. (Photo by Becky Walz)
Logan Halverson led the Vikings in receptions with six catches for 75 yards versus Xavier Friday night. (Photo by Becky Walz)

It may have been only a touchdown lead; however, the Decorah football team (0-2) is the first team to hold an advantage over No. 3 Cedar Rapids Xavier in 31 games, since 2015. Playing in front of the home crowd, the Vikings gave fans lots to cheer about, despite falling, 36-14.

“It was great to be at home with a great crowd and nice weather. We appreciate the support our fans give our team. If you come out to watch Decorah each week, you will see some awesome things. Our improvement showed and we want to take the next step,” said Coach Pat Trewin. “We went into the week knowing that we needed to improve on many things, and that we needed to throw the football to be competitive against Xavier. We were able to put many things together in the passing game. Our defense and special teams were much improved too. We need to find ways to run the football and cut down on mistakes that kill drives.”

Leading at half

Decorah struck first when Briggs Duwe scored on a nine-yard scamper in the first quarter. It was set up by several long passes to Logan Halverson, carries by Andrew Magner and Cael Luzum, combined with multiple Xavier penalties.

With less than a minute to play in the second quarter, Xavier found the end zone on a two-yard pass play from Tyler Dupont to Mac Mahurin to tie the game, 7-7. 

Luzum sparked the offense on a 43-yard kick-off return on the next play and the Vikings went to work with 42 ticks on the clock. 

A three-yard gain by Magner and two defensive pass interference penalties put Decorah in the red zone, to set up the 16-yard pass from Duwe to Dawson Palmer for the touchdown and 14-7 halftime lead.

The second half belonged to the Saints as the third-ranked Class 3A team put up 29 unanswered points to score the 36-14 win.

By the numbers

Decorah had 149 yards of offense, while the Saints had 336.

Logan Halverson led the team in receptions with six for 75 yards, while Dawson Palmer hauled in two passes for 19 yards and one TD. With one reception for 12 yards each were Matthew Franzen and Keaton Solberg. 

On the ground, Andrew Magner carried the pigskin seven times for 29 yards. Seth Shindelar moved the ball 13 yards in his nine carries.

Defensively it was Galen Iverson leading the way with six solo and six assisted tackles. Cael Luzum had three solo and six assisted stops. Franzen and Shindelar each had five solo and one assisted tackle.

Coming up Friday

Decorah will be back on its home field Friday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m. versus Western Dubuque (Epworth), which looks to be another big challenge for the Vikings, according to Coach Trewin.

“They have a top-level passing game with many fast and physical guys. They return many players from a state runner-up team. We look forward to another great crowd and some fun football,” he concluded.