Not only does the Colfax football team have one of their best records in the past several years at 6-1 after a 14-0 win over Mondovi last Friday night, they also have a running back who has joined the elite club of Colfax runningbacks who have rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season. In just seven games, senior Jeremiah Wait, who has been averaging 150 yards a game reached that milestone in the second half of the game played in Mondovi, finishing the night with 156 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown.
Points were hard to come by with turnovers playing a big part in the game for both teams. After Mondovi attempted an onside kick to start the game, Colfax lineman Ben Christianson alertly snared the ball off a high bounce to give the Vikings the ball at the 50 yard line. Running plays by Wait, Andrew Adix and Aliymu Davis moved the ball to the 21 and with the Buffalo defense playing the run, the Vikings took to the air. Four incomplete passes and a penalty brought the drive to a halt however and Mondovi took over.
“We noticed they were playing off of our receivers and we thought we could catch them off guard,” coach Mark Maloney said. “But we had a dropped pass and did not connect on the others. We went back to what has been working for us after that.”
After forcing Mondovi to punt, Colfax moved the ball from their own 41 to the Buffalo 34 but a miscommunication on the handoff from quarterback Jarrod Rudi to Wait resulted in a fumble with Mondovi recovering it just before the first quarter ended. Moving into the second stanza, Jacob Steinke sacked the Mondovi quarterback on a third and six, resulting in another punt.
The Vikings finally began to assert themselves, taking the ball at their own 35 and on 15 straight running plays in which Rudi picked up a key first down and Wait came up with two more, Wait took the ball in from the two foot line for the score. Rudi booted the extra point for a 7-0 lead with just over two minutes left in the half. A first down sack by Sawyer DeMoe and a third down stuff on the Buffalo runner by Adix and Trevor Olson forced Mondovi to punt again and end the half.
The Buffaloes took the second half kickoff to their own 43 but they moved backwards after Logan Mittelstadt tackled the quarterback for a loss then combined with Jon Hayton for another tackle and more loss of yardage.The teams traded punts over the next four minutes before Mondovi fumbled on a first down with Adix pouncing on it for the Vikings. Wait, Adix, Davis and Rudi all took a turn running with Wait picking up his 1,000th yard in the drive, and the game moved into the final quarter with Colfax still up just 7-0.
A Rudi run and three consecutive runs by Wait moved the ball to the Buffalo six yard line, but Rudi was hit and lost the ball which was recovered by Mondovi.But with 8:28 left, Davis stepped in front of a Mondovi pass and took it to the house for a pick six and Rudi’s kick gave Colfax some breathing room with a 14-0 lead.
The defense took over from there as tackles by Ben Kragness, Zach Meyer, Hayton and Steinke led up to a Wait interception, giving Colfax the ball back at their own 40. Wait and Davis shared the workload for the next eight plays before Davis coughed it up on the 22 to thwart another Colfax drive with 2:32 to go. DeMoe came up with another QB sack and on fourth and 16, Rudi sealed the victory with an interception.
“Mondovi is the defending conference champion but they have been struggling this year,” Maloney said. “But they have been playing a lot better later in the season so we couldn’t take them lightly. We didn’t hang our heads after the turnovers and just kept playing our game. Jeremiah had a tremendous game but he will be the first to say his front line (Kragness, Olson, Christianson, Tyson Hellmann, Meyer, Demoe) did a great job blocking for him along with fullback Adix who leads the way on most of his runs. We moved the ball when we needed to and our defense came up big like they have all year. We want to finish strong against Boyceville Friday night and hopefully have a good enough record to get a home playoff game,” he added.
Besides Wait’s yardage, Rudi rushed for 49 yards on 11 carries, Davis ran for 45 yards on nine attempts and Adix added 14 yards on five runs. Rudi was two for six passing for just nine yards with Davis and DeMoe both catching one. Steinke ended the night with four solo tackles and Meyer, DeMoe and Adix all had three.