ELK MOUND — The Elk Mound football team broke a two game losing streak to the Colfax Vikings in big time fashion as Noah Zurbuchen ran for over 200 yards and six touchdowns for a 67-6 win Sept. 18 in Elk Mound.
The game was played in a steady drizzle which started an hour before game time and certainly didn’t hinder the Mounders offense since their game plan all season has been to grind out yardage with their running game. The Vikings on the other hand, have been using their passing game a lot more this year and have had to make adjustments from week to week due to the injury bug The latest player lost to the team is starting wide receiver/defensive back senior Jacob Steinke who broke his ankle last week and is done for the season.
That being said, Zurbuchen scored the first time he touched the ball as he found a huge hole in the Viking’s line and zipped down field for a 64 yard score, then ran in the two point conversion with 10:02 on the clock. Colfax made things interesting on their second possession as running back Aliymu Davis snagged a 13 yard pass from Jarrod Rudi on third and 16 then Rudi picked up a first down to the Mounder 35 yard line. But playing out of the shotgun, a bad snap went over Rudi’s head for a big loss, a pass to Brad Kemp resulted in a two yard loss and a penalty for intentional grounding was called as the Mounder defense chased Rudi out of the pocket, forcing the Vikings to punt.
Zurbuchen carried the ball for four yards, then took it to the house on the next play from 41 yards out, and with his two point run it was 16-0 with 5:37 left in the quarter. The Mounders elected to not kick the ball deep most of the game with the speedster Davis back there, and a Viking lineman fielded the short kick-off at midfield. Davis ran for back to back first downs but another bad snap resulted in a 26 yard loss, and on the next play another high snap ended up on the ground and was covered by Mounder Colin Svee at the Vikings 15 yard line. A four yard run by Hunter Adleman set Zurbuchen up again as he slid through another hole and scored from 11 yards out. His two point run made it 24-0 with 3:33 to go.
After lineman Jake Flodquist fielded the next short kick-off, the Vikings put their only scoring drive of the game together as they started at their own 43. Davis ran twice and picked up a first down, Rudi ran for another, Davis ran twice more and a penalty on Elk Mound made it first and 10 at the Mounder 16. Davis ran to the five and Rudi bulled his way to the endzone as the clock hit the 0:00 mark. The conversion failed and the second quarter started with the score at 24-6 in the Mounder’s favor.
Colfax changed their defense up a bit and stopped runs by Ben Mack twice and Zurbuchen once, forcing the Mounders to punt. Cole Tyman got all of his leg into it and the ball rolled to the Colfax six yard line. It was Elk Mound’s turn to step up the defense as they held Davis to a couple of short gains, then a penalty on the Vikings forced another punt. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, Zurbuchen took the ball on first down and raced through another big hole for a 40 yard score. His two point run made it 32-6 with 7:31 left in the half. Colfax failed to move the ball again as Ben Lambele stopped Davis for a four yard gain and Hunter Johnson tackled him for a three yard loss, resulting in a fourth and seven. Rudi was then tackled for no gain to give the ball back to Elk Mound. With 55 seconds to go in the half, Zurbuchen eventually ran for his fifth TD of the game, this time from three yards out after the Mounders started in their own territory and methodically moved the ball downfield. An extra point kick attempt was missed but the half ended at 38-6
“It was a lot like our last game where we had chances to score and couldn’t finish off our drives,” Colfax coach Mark Maloney said. “We shot ourselves in the foot with penalties and bad snaps. But we had no answer for their line and Zurbuchen. We changed our defense and slowed him down a few times but we couldn’t stop him. He’s a very good running back and we needed to keep the ball out of his hands, but with our offense struggling, we couldn’t do it.”
Elk Mound took the second half kick-off, and maybe to just get the rust out of his arm, quarterback Dane Lew threw his first pass of the game, completing it to Adleman for 44 yards. After Adleman ran for two yards, Zurbuchen’s number was called again and he scored his sixth and final TD of the night from eight yards out. Lew then passed to Mack for the two point conversion and it was 46-6.which put the clock into running time mode.
The Vikings managed to gather a first down on a pass completion to Kemp, but Davis, fighting for yardage on the next play, fumbled and the Mounders recovered at the Viking’s 35. It was time for someone else to get into the scoring column as Tyler Sahm hit paydirt from 36 yards out and Lew booted an extra point. For the first time all game, the kick-off went deep to Davis who returned it 10 yards. After he ran twice, a penalty was called on Colfax and on third and 17, he ran for 12 yards, but was stopped on a two yard gain on fourth down.
The Mounders scored twice more in the final stanza as Chase Morris ran it in from five yards out with 10:19 left in the game. Five minutes later freshman Brett Lew crossed the goaline from a yard out for his first varsity touchdown. Big brother Dane kicked both extra points and reserves finished off the game for both teams.
“It’s not a surprise to anyone what our game plan was, and in the rain, it worked great for us to keep the ball on the ground,” Mounder coach Dave Lew said. “Our offensive line talked all week about opening holes for Noah and they did their job, allowing him to get into the Colfax secondary and score points,” he added
Zurbuchen went over the 1,000 yard mark for the season by compiling 248 yards on 18 carries. Sahm ran for 41 yards on four rushes and Dane Lew completed both of his pass attempts with one completion to Adleman and one to Mack.
Davis rushed for over 100 yards for the second straight game, finishing with 102 on 22 carries while Rudi ran for 20 yards on four carries. Rudi completed 5 of 10 passes for 39 yards with Kemp, a newcomer to the team, catching three passes for 14 yards and Davis snaring a pair for 25 yards. Zach Meyer led Colfax in tackles with seven while Davis collected five and Stephan Snyder and Ross Taylor both were credited with four each.
Up next for the Mounders is a trip to Mondovi this Friday night to face the Buffaloes who are coming off a close 14-6 win over Glenwood City. Colfax will host Grantsburg in non-conference action.