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by Marlys Kruger
COLFAX — It was Parents’ Night and Senior Night at Bjurquist Field Friday, October 9 and the Colfax football team was hoping to come up with a win over one of the new teams to the Dunn-St. Croix Conference, the Turtle Lake Lakers.
But after the Vikings took an early lead, it was all Lakers the rest of the way, resulting in a 48-6 win for the visiting team.
The Vikings were pumped up to start the game as they received the kickoff. On their first play from scrimmage, quarterback Drew Gibson caught the Lakers’ defense sleeping and hit freshman Elijah Entzminger on a 47-yard pass completion to the Turtle Lake 23-yard line. A couple of short runs and pass completions to Entzminger and Hunter Rebak put the ball on the three-yard line. Rebak ran for a yard then Gibson took it in for six points. The two-point pass was incomplete but the Vikings had their first lead of the season at 6-0.
The defense played off the offense as they shut the Lakers down by stuffing two running plays and forcing a fumble when the Lakers had the ball. Colin Bohl and Thomas Drees made huge tackles in the series and the Vikings took the ball back.
Gibson continued to hit receivers on short passes, including one each to Entzminger and Rebak on their next possession, but the running game struggled most of the night and they turned the ball over on downs.
The defense continued to keep the Laker running backs in check, however, forcing them into another punt which was botched and the Vikings took things over at the Lakers’ 17-yard line.
An incomplete pass, a penalty and two short runs put Gibson in a passing situation on third and nine and he threw up an interception to end the Colfax scoring threat. The first quarter ended however, with the Vikings still holding their lead.
But things began to fall apart for the Vikings, starting with a fumble at their own 19-yard line which was recovered by the Lakers. One play later, Turtle Lake scored on a pass from Toby Kahl to Blake Thill and after Rebak stopped the two-point pass with a pick, it was 6-6.
The Vikings were forced to punt on their next possession, and Kahl went on a passing frenzy, putting the Lakers ahead on a 25-yard completion to Joel Humphrey. His two-point conversion run made it 14-6 with 5:47 left in the half.
“Our team was really excited about the way we started,” Colfax coach Matt DeMoe said. “But we do not have a lot of speed in the secondary and that began to show. Offensively, our playbook started to get a little thin and not much was working, on the ground or in the air.”
After a short kickoff return by Julio Hernandez, Colfax gained just six yards on three plays and were forced to punt. A low snap resulted in a muff and the Lakers took over again deep in Colfax territory.
On just one play, Kahl connected for a 20-yard score, this time to Drew Torgerson, who then ran in for two points and suddenly it was 22-6.
An out of bounds kickoff gave the Vikings the ball at their own 35 and Hernandez and Rebak did some hard running for the Vikings but gained little yardage. A seven-yard pass to Tanner Hoffman gave Colfax a much needed first down with 46 seconds left and Hernandez picked up another first down on the ground, but a penalty, an incomplete pass and an interception ended the half.
The Colfax defense came up huge to start the second half, stopping the Lakers potent offense on their six-yard line with Nick Jensen stuffing a run, and the Vikings took over by forcing an incomplete pass.
But a turnover gave the Lakers the ball back at the Vikings’ 31 and one play later another passing touchdown for Kahl made it 28-6. Less than two minutes later the Lakers added another score through the air and a two-point pass put the Lakers up 36-6.
Things just got worse after the Vikings fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Turtle Lake recovered the ball and 13 seconds after their last score, another first-down pass resulted in six points to increase the score to 42-6.
“We let Turtle Lake get into a passing groove when we struggled to get to their quarterback,” DeMoe said. “So we had to try and cover their receivers way too long,” he added.
The Lakers added a rushing touchdown in the fourth stanza and Asher Pecha used a hard hit to stop the two-point run, giving the Lakers the 48-6 lead.
Colfax had two more possessions but were forced to punt once, and after a 16-yard pass completion from Gibson to Rebak, the running game stalled out and the Lakers ran the clock out.
Gibson completed eight passes for 109 yards with three going to Entzminger for 62 yards. Rebak snared three passes for 34 yards and Hoffman grabbed two for 13 yards. Colfax gained only 45 yards on the ground with Rebak collecting 28 of them. Bohl led the Vikings in tackles with 11, two of them were for a loss of yardage including a quarterback sack, while three Vikings all had four tackles including Hernandez (who was injured in the third quarter), Hoffman and Ashton Greenwell. Hoffman also had an interception in the endzone to thwart a Turtle Lake scoring drive.
Colfax will be on the road in Plum City this Friday, October 16 to take on the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves, another team with an 0-3 record, who are back in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference after being out for several years.