Kevin Downing (L) and Jonathan Elsbernd block on the point-after attempt. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
The names may have changed, but the winning tradition remains as the Class 3A No. 2 Decorah football team (8-0, 5-0 district) clinched the No. 1 seed in District 5 by manhandling Oelwein (0-8, 0-5 district) 63-0 Friday night in Decorah.
Decorah now has a 22-game win streak, the second longest in the state behind Iowa City Regina's 50 straight wins.
The victory also guarantees Decorah the top spot in district playoff seeding, meaning they will face the No. 4 seed out of District 6. The Vikes have also earned at least a share of the district title; however, they will need to win Friday at Epworth in order to secure the title outright. Decorah has won 27 conference/district titles in school history.
"We thought we would make the playoffs this year, but we didn't know if we could sustain the No. 1 seed, and that's really an accomplishment for this year's team. This was something they wanted to try to prove, that they're a really good football group, particularly the seniors. We've got 30+ seniors on the team, which is really pretty unusual for a school this size. They've really bonded as a class," said Coach Bill Post.
Oelwein came into the game having lost 18-straight games and were outmatched from the start. Following a three and out, Decorah's Cole Svestka turned the punt 37 yards to the end zone, making it 7-0 Decorah just 1:28 into the game. After another Oelwein punt, Decorah moved 55 yards in four plays, highlighted by a Holt Johansen 12-yard TD run to make it 14-0. On Oelwein's next drive, Bryton Meyer stepped in front of the pass, giving the ball back to the Vikes. In two plays, it was another score.
For the complete story and additional photos, pick up Decorah Newspapers at one of the many convenient locations throughout Decorah and Winneshiek County. Or, for 34 cents an issue, subscribe to Decorah Newspapers by calling (563) 382-4221.