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Vikings drop homecoming game to Buffaloes

COLFAX — The Colfax football team knew they were going to have to play much better defense than they have displayed in their previous six games if they were going to pull off their first win of the season against the Mondovi Buffaloes Oct. 2. But, in a game that produced 23 penalties (eight on the Vikings), a homecoming win was not in the cards as they moved to 0-7 for the year with a 44-26 loss on their home field.

The Vikings managed to do something they hadn’t done all season as they used ball control to score on their opening drive to take a 6-0 lead.

Starting on their own 19, they used a drive that took almost nine minutes with the key plays being a 2-yard first down run by Brett Schindler on third down, a 19-yard run by Jarrod Rudi, a 12-yard gain by Aliymu Davis and on fourth and six, Davis ripped off another long run for 26 yards to get to the Mondovi five.

Rudi was sacked by a herd of Buffaloes for a 10-yard loss. But on the next play, he stood tall and found Kedar Davis a step ahead of a defender in the left side of the end-zone for six points. A roughing the kicker penalty by Mondovi on Rudi’s extra point try moved the ball closer to the goal line but the runner was stuffed on the two point attempt.

The Colfax defense gave up a first down run by Mondovi but Rudi dropped their runner for a 1-yard loss. Austin Dressel made two big stops and the Buffaloes punted, ending the first quarter.

They say football is a game of inches and that certainly came into play. On second down, Rudi pitched the ball to Aliymu Davis who found his brother Kedar streaking down the sideline, but the pass was just off his fingertips and fell incomplete.

Then things got really chaotic as Rudi punted on fourth down and sent a boomer 77 yards which was almost run back by Mondovi for a touchdown. But, an illegal block was called on the Buffaloes, along with a penalty on Colfax to offset each other.

After a long discussion, the referees decided the fourth down needed to be replayed. Rudi punted again and a penalty was called on the Vikings again. Rudi had to redo another punt and the Buffaloes ran it back deep into Colfax territory, but luckily a penalty on them moved it back.

On a first down run, Kedar Davis made a touchdown saving tackle but four plays later Mondovi scored on a 24-yard pass from Greg Poeshel to Garrett Kees and a two point run by Kees made it 8-6 for Mondovi.

The Viking’s offense went stagnant on two possessions but in between they shut the Buffaloes down.

After a Colfax punt, Boe Olson took the ball on a reverse and after a long run along with a personal foul on the Vikings, Mondovi was at the Colfax 20.

With just over a minute to go in the half, Kedar Davis picked off a pass to stop their drive.

The Vikings had another trick up their sleeve as Aliymu Davis attempted another pass but this one was intercepted. A personal foul was called on the Buffaloes but they retained possession. And they may have had to re-think their passing game as Aliymu Davis got a little revenge and intercepted their pass attempt to end the half.

“We had plenty of chances to increase our lead but couldn’t come up with a big play,” Colfax coach Mark Maloney said. “But our defense was playing excellent. We were in the right spot and making tackles when we needed them.”

Mondovi did rethink their offensive game plan and came out of the long intermission with their running game in high gear.

On their sixth straight run, a fumble appeared to end up in a Colfax player’s hands, but after another discussion by the referees, it was declared the player was already down.

On the next play, Kees scored on a 17-yard run and with the two point run the Vikings were down 16-6.

With their next possession, Rudi completed a short pass to Kedar Davis but he was sacked on third down and had to punt again. But, the Vikings D stepped up and forced a fumble on the Buffaloes first play and recovered with Zach Meyer and Jake Floodquist landing on it.

A personal foul on Mondovi moved the ball forward but Colfax was still deep in their own territory on their own 16. An offsides call on the Buffaloes and a 5-yard run by Schindler kept the drive going and a 19-yard run by Aliymu Davis and another 12-yard streak by him moved the ball to the Mondovi 44.

And on third and nine, Rudi found Brad Kemp down the right side who snagged the short pass and ran to the end zone for his first touchdown of the season.

The conversion failed but with 2:28 left in the third quarter, Colfax was down just 16-12.

“We really gained some momentum when we made big plays on both sides of the ball,” Maloney said. “I was hoping we had built some confidence and could continue it.”

And they did carry on that momentum on the defensive side when after giving up two first downs, Stephan Snyder pounced on a loose ball for the Vikings and they had the ball back at their own 31. But three plays netted just a yard and Rudi punted again.

The Buffaloes continued to give themselves good field possession with another long punt return and would have scored but Aliymu Davis dragged the runner down at the Colfax 20.

Two plays later a TD pass by Mondovi put them up 22-12.Things went downhill for the Vikings rather quickly as a fumble on their next series was recovered by Mondovi and on a second and 1, a 68-yard burst up the middle by Poeschel and a two point pass suddenly had the Vikings at a 30-12 deficit with 9:21 left in the game.

And a couple of minutes later it was 38-12 on another Mondovi touchdown run.

Rudi led the troops downfield again and with his 15-yard run and a 38-yard pass completion to Adam Pretasky, it was first and 10 at the Mondovi 12.

On second down, he fought off several Buffaloe defenders and found his way into the end zone from 10 yards out then ran in the conversion to make it 38-20 with just over two minutes left.

There was a lot of action in those last two minutes as the Buffaloes added their final score on a 5-yard run to make it 44-20.

Colfax had the ball back and with 17 seconds left, Rudi found a wide open Pretasky in the end zone for his first varsity score to finish off the game.

“We continue to show progress and our kids play until the final whistle,” Maloney said. “That’s all we can ask for.”

Rudi had a hand in all four Viking touchdowns as he completed 10 of 14 passes for 192 yards and three scores and rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Aliymu Davis pounded, twisted and spun his way for 82 yards on 15 carries while Kemp and Kedar Davis both caught three passes and Pretasky and Aliymu Davis both grabbed two.

Floodquist led the team in tackles with 10, Meyer collected nine, Rudi seven, Dressel and Nate Polden six, the Davis brothers both had five and Schindler and Ben Christianson both finished with four.

Colfax travels to Boyceville this week. Both teams are winless in conference play.