Vikings move to 2-0; chop down Lumberjacks

COLFAX—It’s been a long time, 2005 to be exact, since the Colfax football team began a season with two straight wins, but they did so rather impressively with a 44-0 thrashing over the Ladysmith Lumberjacks on their home field Aug. 30. Ladysmith was coming off a big loss to Glenwood City while the Vikings won their first game against Eleva-Strum.

 Colfax scored early and often as they started their opening possession from their own 31 and in six plays took the ball in for six points when quarterback Jarrod Rudi hit Ethin Kiekhafer with a short pass and Kiekhafer did the rest for a 56 yard touchdown. Kiekhafer booted the extra point for a 7-0 lead at 9:32 of the quarter.

After Devon Utpadel dropped the Lumberjack runner for a four yard loss on a third down to force a punt, Noah Pretasky returned the punt to the Ladysmith 40 yard line. On a fourth and two, Sawyer DeMoe pounded the middle for a first down and two plays later, Rudi found Jacob Steinke for a five yard score and the Kiekhafer kick made it 14-0 with 3:58 left in the opening stanza. Ladysmith decided to go to the air on their first play after receiving the kickoff, which wasn’t very effective as Kiekhafer picked the pass off, giving the Vikings the ball at the Ladysmith 40 and Jeremiah Wait immediately scampered down the right sideline for anther score. The kick was missed but Colfax held a 20-0 lead and the quarter ended with Zach Meyer dropping the Lumberjack runner for a four yard loss.

Two players later, Meyer recovered a Ladysmith fumble and Pretasky took full advantage as he broke several tackles and motored down the right side for a 64 yard touchdown. The conversion run failed but the Colfax lead was at 26-0 just 18 seconds into the second quarter. Ladysmith controlled the ball for the next three minutes but three penalties forced them to punt again. On the Viking’s first play, Kiekhafer blasted through a hole and raced 59 yards for his second touchdown. He may have been tired as he missed the kick, but Colfax was up 32-0 with 7:19 to go in the quarter.

Ladysmith threatened to score on their next possession as Lucas Weisenberger found a hole and was on his way to the end zone before Wait came out of nowhere to drag him down from behind at the Colfax 23 yard line. Two plays later Steinke pounced on a loose ball to give it back to Colfax. A 20 yard completion from Rudi to Meyer was followed by Wait and DeMoe runs and Pretasky took off again, hitting pay dirt from 20 yards away and the half ended with Colfax up 38-0.

“We knew we had to stop their best runner (Preston Larson) if we wanted to shut them down,” Colfax coach Mark Maloney said. “We focused all week on stopping the run and our linebackers did a great job of doing just that.”

Forcing a Ladysmith punt to start the third quarter, Colfax started with good field position after Wait returned the punt 20 yards to their opponents 24 yard line. Runs by Andrew Adix, Wait and DeMoe moved the ball to the four yard line and DeMoe added his name to the scoring column as he bulled his way up the middle for the score. With 4:49 left in the quarter Colfax had a 44-0 lead and that’s how the quarter ended.

Ladysmith got as far as the Colfax 16 yard line but on fourth and six, Kiekhafer made sure they didn’t go any further as he stuffed the ball carrier for no gain. Colfax, with plenty of backup players in, controlled the ball the rest of the way as Aliymu Davis, Hunter Clementson and Adix kept the ball on the ground. Davis showed some electrifying speed when it appeared he had a 70 yard TD run but the play was called back for holding. With the ball on the Ladysmith 13 yard line, coach Maloney called for quarterback Brett Prince to take a knee and graciously end the game.

“We have one of the best offensive lines around,” Maloney said. “We average 230 pounds and with five different running backs who can run the ball, we can do a lot of different things.”

The Vikings saw 10 different runners carry the ball for 368 yards with Pretasky leading the way with 105 on seven attempts. Wait added 79 on eight carries and Davis ran for 62 yards on seven rushes. Rudi was 4 for 5 in the passing department for 105 yards and two scores and Kiekhafer snagged two of them for 80 yards. On the defensive side, Kiekhafer led the Vikings with six tackles, Meyer collected four and Ben Kragness three.

Colfax begins conference play at home against St. Croix Central this Friday, September 6.

“We will know where we stand when we play Central,” Maloney said. “Colfax hasn’t won a conference game in a long time so we will be preparing hard this week to break that string,” he added.