Vikings tripped up by Glenwood Hilltoppers

GLENWOOD CITY — The inability to sustain any type of running game combined with not being able to stop the Glenwood City running attack was a lethal combination for the Colfax football team as they lost 32-21 at Glenwood City Sept. 21. The loss was the fourth straight for the Vikings, putting their record at 1-4 and ending their chance to get to the playoffs this year.

The Toppers amassed 386 yards on the ground while the Vikings finished with a net of 28 for the game. The Vikings did have more passing yards however, which resulted in all three of their touchdowns coming through the air, but two of them were late in the game when it was too late to make a difference.

The Hilltoppers scored on the opening drive of the game, moving 73 yards on five plays, one of them a 69 yard run by Isaac Tuttle, who eventually scored from two yards out. He also ran in a two point conversion for an 8-0 Topper lead at the 9:59 mark of the quarter. The Vikings struck back just 56 seconds later as quarterback Dillon Lloyd found Cody Zivcic a couple of steps behind a Glenwood defender who tipped the ball into an alert Zivcic’s hands and he raced 73 yards down the sideline for six points. Ethin Kiekhafer booted the extra point to get the score to 8-7.

Glenwood started another drive at their own 32 yard line and methodically moved the ball down field on 11 plays, and although Austin Lee sacked Toppers quarterback Nick Mrdutt and Trevor Secraw made back to back tackles for no gain, Tuttle again took the ball into the endzone, this time from 10 yards out for a 14-7 Topper lead.

Jeremiah Wait slid through the line for a nine yard pick up and a Topper penalty gave Colfax a first down early in the second quarter but the drive stalled and Lloyd punted the ball away for the Vikings. Glenwood started on their own 12 and Mrdutt, Tuttle and Jeff Kopacz took turns running before Mrdutt, threw a scoring strike to Matt Schouten from 12 yards out for a 20-7 lead. With 2:27 left in the half, the Vikings Devon Utpadel recovered a Topper fumble on the 46 yard line and they attempted to add some points to their total but two incomplete passes and just four rushing yards forced another punt. The Toppers added to their lead when Mrdutt hit Matt Schouten for a 12 yard scoring strike with 5:33 on the clock. The Vikings had the ball twice more in the quarter, once after recovering a Topper fumble, but failed to show any offensive spark. Collecting just 21 yards in the quarter, 14 on the ground doesn’t usually get your team a lot of points.

“We just could not make the big stop when we needed to,” Colfax coach Mark Maloney said. “We did not play very physical and we allowed them to control things with their running game.”

Glenwood added to their lead on another Mrdutt to Schouten TD pass in the third quarter and a Kopacz 30 yard run up the middle in the fourth stanza for a 32-7 lead with 9:44 left in the game. Both Maloney and Topper coach Shane Strong allowed some younger players to get some varsity experience as freshman Jarrod Rudi took over at quarterback for the Vikings and sophomore Andrew Adix had a chance to run the ball a few times. Rudi made his varsity debut a pretty memorable one, completing his first pass to Kiekhafer for 10 yards. After being forced to punt again, the Viking’s recovered another Topper fumble and Rudi threw his first career TD pass to Kiekhafer from 10 yards out with 5:22 left. Colfax recovered yet another fumble and Rudi connected with Kiekhafer again for another six points, this time from four yards out. Rudi then found Zivcic for the two point conversion for the final points of the game. An on side kick attempt was recovered by the Toppers with a minute left and they ran out the clock to seal the win.

“Our team played hard right until the end,” Maloney said. “We had a few nice plays on offense but we couldn’t finish enough drives. We have a young team, but so does Glenwood. We will have to play hard for all four quarters this week with Elk Mound coming here if we want to stick with them,” he added.

Lloyd completed six of 14 passes for 163 yards and Rudi was five of six for 40 yards. Kiekhafer snagged five passes for 59 yards. Colfax recovered five Topper fumbles with Upadel collecting four of them and Secraw falling on another. The Vikings did not turn the ball over at all but had five penalties for 40 yards. Wait rushed for 39 yards but with negative yardage on several plays, the total for the team was just 28.

The Vikings played without their leading rusher and starting defensive back Noah Pretasky who was injured within the first minute of the game.