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WHITEHALL — What a difference a year can make!
After whipping Whitehall, 42-19, in the season and home opener last year, Colfax found itself on the other side in last Friday’s football opener. The Norsemen returned the favor when they bested the Vikings 20-12 in a non-conference game August 23.
Troubles with its blocking schemes and ball security proved to be Colfax’s undoing in Whitehall.
“We didn’t block well up front when Whitehall brought the pressure,” Colfax head football coach Matt DeMoe stated. “We had some nice drives, but we need to work on taking care of the ball.”
Whitehall put the pressure on the Vikings early in the game with three touchdowns in the first two quarters.
Jon Schwartz ran for a 30-yard touchdown in the first quarter for Whitehall with the extra point a success, and the Norsemen led 7-0.
Schwartz gave Whitehall a 13-0 advantage when he hauled in a 34-yard reception for a touchdown from quarterback Ryan Kleinhans.
Colfax wouldn’t answer back until there was 4:35 left in the second quarter when Cole Kiekhafer snagged the ball on a 38-yard scoring toss from Noah Albricht. Although the conversion run failed, the Vikings pulled to within seven points.
But before the first-half clock ran out, Schwartz struck once again for Whitehall as he scored on a 10-yard run. The successful extra point kick had the hosts in front 20-6 at the intermission.
Colfax scored the only second half points as Noah Albricht threw his second touchdown pass of the game – a three-yard toss – with 3:43 left in the fourth quarter but the conversion try failed and the Vikes were down 20-12.
That’s how the game would end.
Kiekhafer finished with four receptions for 104 yards and also ran for a total of 12 yards for Colfax.
Leading the way for the Colfax offense was senior Noah Albricht, who had an off season injury, as he went 11-of-29 passing for a total of 206 yards and two scores. He also had 21 yards rushing.
Senior Mitch Harmon made his presence known on the field as he went 45 yards in his 19 attempts as well as 24 receiving yards and also had four tackles. One of which resulted in a loss for Whitehall.
“Defensively we played solid for most of the game,” said coach DeMoe. “We let a few big plays get by us and it led to three scores for Whitehall. Intensity was great, just need to eliminate big plays.”
Austin Schindler led the Vikings on defense with 14 total tackles, five of which resulted in a loss of yards and he also had one sack.
Colfax will be on the road once again as they travel to face Eleva-Strum this Friday evening, August 30, and will wrap up their three-game road swing against Neillsville/Granton on September 6.
WHITEHALL 20, COLFAX 12
Whitehall………………….7 13 0 0 – 20
Colfax……………………..0 6 6 0 – 12
(W) 30 yard rushing TD by J. Schwartz (extra point successful)
(W) 34 yard reception TD by J. Schwartz (extra point unsuccessful)
(C) 38 yard reception TD by C. Kiekhafer (2 pt conversion unsuccessful)
(W) 10 yard rushing TD by J. Schwartz (extra point successful)
(C) 3 yard reception TD by #88 (2 pt conversion unsuccessful)
Passing (att-comp-yds-int): W (10-2-55-0) R. Kleinhans 10-2-55-0; C (11-29-206-4) N. Albricht 11-29-206-4.
Rushing (att-yds): W (40-112) L. Herrick 7-13, J. Thorn 6-23, R. Kleinhans 9- -6, J. Schwartz 6-38, H. Ross 12-54; C (25-74) M. Harmon 19-45, C. Kiekhafer 2-12, N. Albricht 3-21.
Receiving (rec-yds): W (2-55) L. Herrick 1-21, J. Schwartz 1-34; C (11-206) C. Kiekhafer 4-104, M. Harmon 2-24.