By Cara L. Dempski
COLFAX — The Vikings’ final football game of the season may have looked like a blowout on the scoreboard, but it showed off the home team’s ability to stay in the game.
Colfax suffered a 71-44 defeat at the hands of the Durand Panthers in the Friday, October 13 home matchup, which left the Vikings winless in the Dunn-St. Croix with an 0-6 record for the third straight year and 1-8 overall for the season.
Durand’s burly back, Josh Biesterveld, ran for 316 yards and seven touchdowns on just 13 attempts to carry the Panthers to the win.
There were some rays of hope for the program’s future and coach Matt DeMoe. Chief among them was sophomore quarterback Noah Albricht completing 14 of 50 pass attempts for 368 yards in the game, including four touchdown passes. He was also picked three times
Another piece of hope: junior Tommy Anderson seemed to settle into his new role at running back, replacing Brett Schindler after he was injured late in the September 22 game against Fall Creek.
And then there is the fact the Vikings did not throw up their hands and quit against the Panthers last Friday night.
Instead of giving up, Colfax kept playing, scoring a final eight points in the fourth quarter against a Durand team who left its starters in despite holding a substantial lead.
The Panthers got on the board first when Brittan Sabelko returned a punt 25 yards for the touchdown, and then TJ Tulip split the uprights for the point after to give Durand a 7-0 lead.
Colfax wasted no time responding, with Albricht targeting Adam Pretasky with a five-yard pass to strike gold. The duo repeated the feat moments later for the two-point conversion to give Colfax an 8-7 lead.
Durand responded with a pair of Josh Biesterveld runs, and one good kick to take a 21-8 lead, but the Vikings were quick to increase their own score.
Albricht sought out Pretasky a second time, sending the ball through the air for a 66-yard gain and then a two-point conversion pass to Treyton Teige to trail just 21-16.
The Panthers would get in one more score, though, with a 39-yard sprint, and a conversion run from Biesterveld to give Durand a 29-16 lead.
All that transpired in just the first quarter.
Biesterveld put up another six in the second quarter after a 16-yard run, and then Tulip dashed 47 yards, Ceejay Schlosser nabbed the conversion pass from Tulip to lift the Panthers to 43-16 in the second.
Colfax answered with a 48-yard pass play from Albricht to Teige, but was unable to add points after, to trail 43-22.
Durand tacked up three more touchdowns on runs of 45, 49 and 66 yards by Biesterveld before halftime, to take a 64-22 lead into the break.
Colfax got another eight in the third quarter with a 16-yard sprint from Tommy Anderson and a two-point pass play from Albricht to Pretasky for a score of 64-30.
Biesterveld returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for the score, and Tulip’s kick was good to give the Panthers a 71-30 lead as time wound down toward the final 12 minutes.
The Vikings had the last word in the game, despite the loss, with a 35-yard pass connection between Albricht and Pretasky for a TD late in the third, making the score 70-36 before Anderson broke the plane at the goal line in the fourth on a two-yard gain for the contest final touchdown. Albricht and Pretasky combined for the PAT to make the final score 71-44.
Tommy Anderson led the rushing stats with 85 yards over 21 carries, while Teige had six receptions for 175 yards, and Pretasky went 155 yards on five receptions.
Overall, Colfax outgained Durand 453 to 397.
With the 2017 season now over, the Vikings will turn their focus toward maintaining excitement for the football program, and building toward the 2018 season.
DURAND 71, COLFAX 44
Durand……………….29 35 7 0 —71
Colfax………………..16 6 14 8 — 44
D — B. Sabelko 25-yd. punt return (T. Tulip kick); C — A. Pretasky 5-yd. pass from N. Albricht (A. Pretasky from N. Albricht); D — J. Biesterveld 78-yd. run (conversion fails); D — J. Biesterveld 1-yd. run (J. Biesterveld run); C — A. Pretasky 66-yd. pass from N. Albricht (T. Teige pass from N. Albricht); D — J. Biesterveld 39-yd. run (J. Biesterveld run).
D — J. Biesterveld 16-yd. run (conversion fails); D — T. Tulip 47-yd. run (C. Schlosser pass from T. Tulip); C — T. Teige 48-yd. pass from N. Albricht (kick fails); D — J. Biesterveld 45-yd. run (T. Tulip kick); D — J. Biesterveld 49-yd. run (T. Tulip kick); D — J. Biesterveld 66-yd. run (T. Tulip kick)
C — T. Anderson 16-yd. run (A. Pretasky pass from N. Albricht); D — J. Biesterveld 93-yd. kickoff return (T. Tulip kick); C — A. Pretasky 35-yd. pass from N. Albricht (kick fails).
C — T. Anderson 2-yd. run (A. Pretasky from N. Albricht).
Passing (att-comp-yds-int): D (2-1-6-0) — T. Tulip 2-1-6-0; C (50-14-368-3) — N. Albricht 50-14-368-3.
Rushing (att-yds): D (16-391) — T. Tulip 3-75, J. Biesterveld 13-316; C (21-85) — T. Anderson 21-85.
Receiving (rec-yds): C (13-376) — T. Teige 6-175, A. Pretasky 5-155, J. Welk 2-46.