Tim Ostby carries the ball for the Norse in a recent game. (Photo by Rick Fromm)
One big play and one turnover cost the Luther football team (0-8, 0-5 IIAC) Saturday in Storm Lake as Buena Vista University (3-5, 3-2 IIAC) defeated the Norse 14-7.
Defensively, the Norse picked off Beavers quarterback Bobby Brown three times and sacked him four times, but a 93-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter by Brown leveled the game at 7-7.
Luther took a 7-0 lead into the halftime locker room after taking advantage of a sack by James Knutson. The sack knocked the ball loose, and it was recovered on the Beaver 2-yard line by Colin White. Three plays later Dan Ridenour plunged into the end zone.
Buena Vista's game-winning touchdown was set when Kody Moore threw his only interception of the afternoon. Moore was picked off at the Beavers 19-yard line, and the ball was returned to the Beavers' 44. Six plays later, John Hill scored what proved to be the game winner with 1:22 left to play.
Decorah's Robby Jewell had a big afternoon, being credited with two interceptions and three pass break-ups. Knutson, Matt Bitz and Zac Pearson were all credited with a sack. Trent Kerrigan and Rich Vickers led the team with nine tackles each.
Offensively, wide receiver Matt Jaronik had a career afternoon. Jaronik caught 11 passes for 120 yards, both single game career highs. Moore threw for 258 yards, connecting on 22-of-42 attempts. Dan Ridenour returned to the line-up and posted a game high 73 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown.
"I was extremely proud of how hard our players competed throughout the game," stated Head Coach Mike Durnin. "To be in the position we are and still competing at a very high level is a credit to our players, especially our seniors. Unfortunately, we had a couple of plays in today's game that prevented us from getting over the top.
"Our defense did a great job of creating takeaways, along with getting pressure on the quarterback. Robby Jewell was outstanding on the field coming up with two big interceptions, and Trent Kerrigan was all over the field making plays.
"I thought we did a nice job of moving the football offensively, yet, we need to finish drives with points."
The Norse finish the home schedule Saturday when they host league leading and nationally ranked Coe College at 1 p.m. in Carlson Stadium.