COLFAX – It’s hard to believe it was just two years ago the Colfax football team beat the Glenwood City Hilltoppers 28-0. To say the Hilltoppers have improved since then would be somewhat of an understatement.
The defending Division 7 state champions have been unstoppable this season, averaging over 60 points a game, and although the Vikings held them under that average, they were no match for them as the Toppers took a 48-0 win on the Colfax home field Sept. 20.
You could call it somewhat of a moral victory for the Vikings as they held Glenwood to just six first quarter points. After forcing the Toppers to punt on their first possession and after the Vikings punted it back to them, they caught a break when Glenwood fumbled the ball after a long run with the ball ending up the Viking’s Troy Bird’s hands.
Taking over at their own 24, they coughed it up themselves on first down however, with the Toppers recovering it. Five plays later after runs by Isaac Tuttle and Jeff Kopacz, quarterback Nick Mrdutt took it in for six points from the eight yard line. The two point run failed and Glenwood had a 6-0 lead with 4:48 to go in the quarter.
Colfax quarterback Jarrod Rudi took to the air and completed a 13 yard pass to Ethin Kiekhafer, a nine yarder and eight yarder to Noah Pretasky but a loss of 10 yards and a couple of incomplete passes in between forced another punt.
Glenwood took the ball and moved downfield 93 yards and in 10 plays increased their lead to 14-0 in the second quarter on a 38 yard run by Nathan Mrdutt and a Tuttle two point run.
A swarming defense by the Toppers continued to shut the Vikings down and scores on the ground by Nick Mrdutt and Tuttle along with a passing touchdown from Mrdutt to Todd Petersen put the Vikings in a deep, deep hole down 34-0 at the intermission.
“We had a little momentum going in the first quarter,” Colfax coach Mark Maloney said. “We were keeping it out of their hands for a while but they have so many weapons, it’ was hard to stop them all.”
Making it even harder this game was the fact the Vikings were missing three starters including three offensive linemen and one of their leading tacklers.
Senior lineman Rhett Kragness ended his high school season with a torn ACL last week, Brandon Anderson and Tyson Hellmann are battling injuries and Andrew Adix may be out for the season with a hip injury.
With not a lot of depth to work with and a new center, Rudi was on the run most of the second half and was sacked or hurried as he attempted to pass several times.
The Toppers added two more scores, one in the third and another in the fourth quarter to finish things off.
“We just have to put this game behind us and hope we can get some kids back for this week,” Maloney said. “The kids all played hard and several young kids saw varsity action more then they have all year. We have three more conference games and need to get back on track, starting with Elk Mound.”
After all was added and subtracted, the Vikings ended up with just four positive rushing yards in the game. Pretasky ran for 44 and Sawyer DeMoe added 23 but negative yardage, mostly in the second half changed the total. Rudi completed five of 13 passes for 52 yards with Pretasky snaring three of them for 38 yards. Bird, playing with a limp most of the game, picked up five and a half tackles while Jeremiah Wait and Sawyer DeMoe both collected four and a half.
The Toppers finished with 373 rushing yards led by Tuttle’s 178 yards and two scores while Nathan Mrdutt added 75 yards and a touchdown and Kopacz had 80. Glenwood City had nine penalties called on them for 70 yards while the Vikings had five for 25 yards.
The Vikings travel to Elk Mound this week with a 3-2 overall record and are 1-2 in conference.