Vikings clip Cardinals’ wings to open season

Just like they did last year, the Colfax football team started out their season with a win, this time 26-0 against Eleva-Strum on the Cardinals home field August 23.

Coach Mark Maloney’s plan of rotating running backs appeared to work just fine as three different players scored rushing touchdowns in the game. The Vikings defense forced a Cardinal punt on their first possession then went on a 68 yard scoring drive, ending with Noah Pretasky hitting paydirt from nine yards out on the seventh play of the drive. Ethin Kiekhafer booted the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 6:12 left in the quarter.

Colfax forced E-S to turn the ball over on downs, and moving into the second quarter, they went on an even more impressive drive, moving 78 yards on eight plays with Pretasky crossing the goal line from eight yards out. The kick was missed but Colfax had a 13-0 lead at the 8:60 mark.

A stifling defense shut the Cardinals down again and Colfax only needed to go 30 yards this time on four plays with Sawyer DeMoe scoring from a yard out and another Kiekhafer kick made it 20-0. But the Vikings weren’t done yet as they recovered a Cardinal fumble, and on their fourth straight possession, drove 22 yards on six plays in two and a half minutes, culminating in Jeremiah Wait scoring on a five yard run for a 26-0 halftime lead.

“The offensive line did a nice job opening some holes for our running backs,” Maloney said. “The defense stepped up and played a nice game, too.”

That turned out to be all of the scoring for the game as the Viking’s defense didn’t allow the Cardinals to get any closer then their 31 yard line the whole second half. Colfax didn’t have much success themselves offensively, losing two fumbles and having to punt once and turning it over on downs once.

“We need to clean up the mental mistakes,” Maloney said. “We had too many penalties (nine).”

The Vikings led in total offense, piling up 360 while holding E-S to 122. Wait rushed for 120 yards on 13 carries with his longest run 54 yards. Pretasky added 83 yards on just eight rushes, DeMoe finished with 65 yards on six attempts and Kiekhafer ran for 34 yards on four attempts. Sophomore quarterback Jarrod Rudi completed four passes on 12 attempts for 65 yards with three of them going to Jacob Steinke for 50 yards, the longest one 20 yards and Devin Utpadel snagged one for 15 yards.

Pretasky and Trevor Olson both pounced on Cardinal fumbles and Kiekhafer led the team in tackles with eight while Nolan Prince collected five, Zach Meyer four and a half and Pretasky added four. Utpadel sacked the Cardinal quarterback once for a five yard loss.

The Vikings will play at home Aug. 30 against Ladysmith, a team that lost its opening game 74-0 to D7 state champion Glenwood City.

“We can’t look past Ladysmith,” Maloney said. “They had a lot of turnovers so Glenwood didn’t have far to go to put points on the board early. But Glenwood does look to be in mid-season form already. It is going to be a hot week so we need to stay focused and get better every day,” he added.

(Note: Due to the high heat index, all practices and games in the area were cancelled on Monday, Aug. 26. Temperatures were expected to be in the 90s all week).

COLFAX             7  19  0  0 — 26
ELEVA-STRUM  0  0   0   0 — 0