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ELK MOUND — As Elk Mound prepares to move to a new conference – the Cloverbelt – for football next season, many of the Mounders’ athletes, students and fans sported a white t-shirt featuring the colored helmets of their Elk Mound squad and rival Colfax with the words, “Final Showdown” in anticipation of the pair’s final Dunn-St. Croix gridiron showdown last Friday evening at Elk Mound High School.
It just so happened to be the Mounders’ annual homecoming game as well which added even more significance to the contest.
And while it is uncertain if the two rivals will still maintain their annual clash on the football field in coming seasons, the two were prepared to make the most of the September 27 match-up.
But the game’s outcome, as it has been so many times in recent decades, was determined by Elk Mound, who continued its domination over Colfax with a 49-0 homecoming whitewashing in this final showdown. All of the points were scored in the first half of play.
“I thought our young men came out right away to set the tone for the game,” said Mounders’ head coach Dave Lew. “Our special teams were special and our team played at a high level all night.”
Senior Blaze Todd, who had been chosen homecoming king earlier in the day, led Elk Mound’s charge to victory with 171 yards rushing and four touchdowns on just nine carries and added another 56 yards passing for another score. The effort pushed Todd past the 1,000-yard rushing mark as he now has 1170 yards in just six games In all, the Mounders outgained the Vikings 330 to 194.
It didn’t take Elk Mound long to put points on the scoreboard as they put the ball in the hands of their senior running back, Blaze Todd, who took the opportunity to make the pass to Ben Heath for a 56-yard scoring reception in the opening minutes of the game. Gaelen Young tacked on the extra point for a 7-0 Mounders’ lead.
Moments later it would be 14-0 as Colfax’s first drive didn’t even get started because during the kick-off return Cole Kiekhafer fumbled the ball which was recovered by Elk Mound’s Michael Jenson who scooped up the loose pigskin and went 18 yards to the end zone.
Jenson continued the evening with four tackles for Elk Mound, which included a forced fumble and the fumble recovery.
The Vikings finally moved the ball toward their own end zone off an 11-yard pass and two rambles downfield, but it would not be enough as they handed the ball back to the Mounders.
Major Gunderson-Morris was the leading tackler for Elk Mound with a total of six, followed by Nate Lew with four, and Ben Heath and Dominic Hall each had an interception. Hall ran the ball back for 35-yards and an Elk Mound first down.
“It was our seniors last homecoming and youth appreciation night,” Lew explained. “All that energy from our fans, alumni, and youth players really fed our young men to bring it!”
The first quarter of the game belonged to the Mounders as Blaze Todd rushed the ball twice more for Elk Mound scores, one from 68 yards away and the other 21 yards out. Galen Young’s kicks brought the score to 28-0 at the end of the first 12 minutes.
The Mounders, however, were far from done as they punched in three more touchdowns in the second quarter. Blaze Todd had an eight-yard touchdown to kick off the second quarter with a successful PAT from Galen Young to make it 35-0.
The Vikings’ Marcus Drees then intercepted a pass intended for Ben Heath and returned it for seven yards. The Colfax’s offensive foray was short lived as an interception by Mounders’ Chase Rhude ended the Vikes drive. Rhude ran the ball back for a 26-yard touchdown and with Young’s kick it was suddenly 42-0.
Todd capped the scoring with his fourth and final rushing touchdown of the game – a 27-yard jaunt late in the second quarter. Young’s kick made the final 49-0.
Neither team scored in the second half.
Blaze Todd and Chase Rhude split the quarterback duties as Todd served up a 56-yard reception in his one attempt and Rhude was seven-of-five for 67 yards.
“I am very proud of our team and we were able to get every player in the game so they can always say they played in the homecoming 2019 game,” Lew said. “We now are moving on to our next game and will need to have that same energy Friday night versus Spring Valley who are a very good football team.”
Colfax’s Noah Albricht had two big passes in the second quarter, one of which went for 43 yards to Trey Hovde, but the senior had only 80 yards in his seven successful passes and was intercepted three times.
The Vikings, however, did fire up in the second half as they were able to move the ball down the field for several first downs, but a failed attempt on fourth down would once again put the ball back in the hands of Rhude and the Mounders.
With the duties of the run game split between six different Vikings players, sophomore Aiden McKee led Colfax with a total of 70 yards on the ground.
Senior Mitch Harmon was held to just 25 yards all evening, Trey Hovde had 11 yards, Noah Albricht had six yards, and Cole Kiekhafer and Julio Hernandez had 14 yards between the pair.
Colfax refused to let another point be scored in the second half of the game as the clock continued to run throughout the two quarters and held Elk Mound to their 49-0 score from the first half of the game.
“I thought Coach DeMoe and the Vikings played hard all night and played until the final whistle, I think their effort was strong the entire night,” coach Lew stated. “They are great young men and it has been a great rival. Very proud of our two communities for a great night of coming together for a football game between rivals and friends.”
Colfax, 1-2, 1-5, will return to their home field for their own homecoming game against the visiting Durand Panthers, while the Mounders host the Spring Valley Cardinals who are tied with Mondovi in the Dunn-St. Croix conference at 3-0. The Mounders are 3-1 and 4-2 overall, just a half game behind Spring Valley and Mondovi.
Colfax ……………..0………0…..0…….0 – 0
Elk Mound……..28…….21…..0…….0 – 49
EM – 65-yard reception TD by B. Heath (successful PAT)
EM – 18-yard defensive TD by M. Jenson (successful PAT)
EM – 68-yard rushing TD by B. Todd (successful PAT)
EM – 21-yard rushing TD by B. Todd (successful PAT)
EM – 8-yard rushing TD by B. Todd (successful PAT)
EM – 26-yard defensive TD by C. Rhude (successful PAT)
EM – 27-yard rushing TD by B. Todd (successful PAT)
Passing (att-comp-yds-int): EM (8-6-126-1) C. Rhude 7-5-70-1, B. Todd 1-1-56-0; C (15-7-80-3) N. Albricht 10-6-78-3.
Rushing (att-yds): EM (27-204) N. Lew 1-13, L. Schultz 5-15, B. Todd 9-171, A. Kaanta 4-11, T. Anderson 2-2; C (20-114) M. Harmon 7-25, T. Hovde 3-11, N. Albricht 1- -6, C. Kiekhafer 2-9, J. Hernandez 1-5, A. Mckee 7-70
Receiving (att-yds): EM (7-126) B. Heath 4-88, M. Jenson 2-37, E. Johnson 1-1; C (6-78) R. Albricht 1-4, T. Hovde 2-54, M. Harmon 3-8, C. Kiekhafer 1-20, H. Rebak 1-5.