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Colfax suffers another gridiron loss

by Marlys Kruger
Sports Correspondent

CLEAR LAKE — Although the score was closer than in all of their five previous losses this year, the Colfax Vikings were defeated by the Clear Lake Warriors 26-8 in the conference match-up played in Clear Lake this past Friday, October 30.

The Vikings defense continued to improve from those earlier losses as they came up with several big plays to stop drives by the Warriors. But the offense struggled to sustain and finish off their drives for most of the game before finally scoring late in the contest.

Clear Lake moved the ball in the first quarter all the way to the Colfax five-yard line but the Vikings forced a fumble and recovered the ball. After Drew Gibson completed a pass to Tanner Hoffman, Colfax gained just two yards on three plays and had to punt.

Clear Lake received the punt in good field position and scored in three plays on an 11-yard run by Jackson Fuller and the two-point run by Angel Guillen that gave the Warriors an 8-0 lead.

Elijah Entzminger took the kickoff back to the Colfax 30 but a penalty and three plays that netted zero yards forced another punt.

Clear Lake has focused on their running game all year and the Colfax defense put most of their players on the line to try and stop the expected run. But quarterback Zach Aune surprised everyone and found an open Riley Peterson for a 57-yard score on first down. Max Knutson broke up the two-point pass attempt but the Warriors were up 14-0.

Colfax received a break on their next possession when Gibson appeared to throw an interception, but Clear Lake was called for roughing the passer on the play. And yet another three and out resulted in a Colfax punt.

Clear Lake gained big yards on a couple of plays before Knutson tackled their runner for a loss and Nick Jensen led a group of Vikings on a quarterback sack on a fourth down play.

The Colfax defense came up big a few minutes later when they stopped another fourth-down running play by the Warriors. Colfax then started with the ball on their own 35 and picked up a pair of first downs when Aiden McKee ran for a 12-yard gain and a five-yard gain. Knutson took the ball all the way to the Warriors’ 10-yard line but time ran out and the half ended with the 14-0 score.

Clear Lake scored on their first possession in the third quarter on a 25-yard pass from Aune to Peterson but another two-point pass was broken up, putting the Vikings in a deeper hole down 20-0. They added to their lead on a short run by Guillen a few minutes later for a 26-0 advantage.

The Vikings’ defense came up big later in the game when Knutson picked off a fourth-down pass at the Colfax 15 yard line. They ended up punting again but after stopping the Warriors, Gibson connected with Hoffman for a first down and a personal foul on Clear Lake moved the ball to the Warrior 30. Gibson completed another long pass but the receiver fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Clear Lake to halt the Colfax drive.

After forcing a Warrior punt, the Colfax returner fumbled the ball back to Clear Lake, but just one play later, Colton Hoffman recovered a fumble for Colfax. With a minute and a half left in the game, Gibson hit Entzminger with a pass to the 12-yard line and Rebak got the ball to the three before McKee punched it in to put the Vikings on the scoreboard. Rebak pounded his way in for the two-point conversion for the final score.

Gibson completed eight of 20 passes for 88 yards with Hoffman snaring six of them for 82 of those yards. McKee led the ground game, rushing for 33 yards on 13 carries and Knutson had 27 yards on two attempts.

“We played great team defense,” coach Matt DeMoe said after the loss. “We gave up two big plays in the first half (a long run and a pass) and without those plays the game would have been much closer. Our team showed a lot of heart and fire the whole game and we want to build off that for our final game,” he added.

Colfax, now 0-6, will finish off its COVID-19 shortened season at Cadott this Friday night.

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