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by Marlys Kruger
COLFAX — There were a lot of positives that took place when the Colfax football team hosted the Elmwood-Plum City Wolves Friday night, September 22.
The weather prediction of rain showers held off until 20 minutes after the game, making it a rather enjoyable night for a high school game. The Vikings finished with their highest offensive output of the season, scoring 32 points with the team rushing for 223 total yards.
But, then there is the bad news. The Wolves, after losing one of the states leading rushers from last season, found a couple of replacements and tore the field apart with 416 rushing yards which resulted in eight touchdowns as they took a 60-32 win over the Vikings.
E-PC was 2-3 overall with just one win in Dunn-St. Croix Conference play and the Colfax boys had high hopes of winning their first conference game of the season. The Wolves no longer had Trevor Asher who rushed for almost 2,500 yards last season but apparently a senior named Blake Allen had been waiting in the wings as he exploded for five touchdowns and 294 rushing yards for the night.
The Vikings were forced to punt on their first possession and the ball went to Allen who actually fumbled the punt. He picked it up however, and raced down the field for a 76-yard touchdown then ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead with 10:07 on the clock.
Colfax fumbled on their second possession, giving the Wolves the ball on the Vikings 46 and four running plays and a face mask penalty on the Vikings resulted in a one-yard TD for Allen. He added another two-point conversion and it was 16-0 with 7:44 left in the first quarter.
The Viking offense showed some spark with Theo Hovde running for eight yards and Colton Hoffman gaining a first down. But, a long pass attempt was intercepted and the Wolves took over at their own 15. A first-down run produced an 85-yard scoring run by Allen and Aaden Birtzer ran in the two-point conversion to make it 24-0 with 4:31 to go in the quarter.
It was time for Colfax to show off some speed after Hoffman took the kickoff to the Viking’s 33. Hoffman then blasted through the middle and raced to the promised land for a 67-yard score. The two-point run was stuffed but the Vikings were on the board, down 24-6.
There was still 4:15 on the clock in the long, long first quarter which proved to be plenty of time for the Wolves as they continued to run the ball, resulting in a 45-yard TD run for Allen. He tacked on another conversion run and the quarter ended with E-PC up 32-6.
Colfax fumbled the ball on their next possession but recovered it for a loss of yardage and they were forced to punt again.
It took just two plays for the Wolves to add on points with Birtzer breaking loose for a 52-yard TD run and Allen’s two point run made it 40-6.
The large Viking crowd had something more to cheer for when Drew Buchner took the ensuing kickoff and blazed down the field 85 yards for a touchdown. Buchner then had to catch his breath as he kicked the extra point to get the Vikings a little closer, down 40-13 with 10:35 left in the half.
Colfax caught the Wolves off guard as they attempted an onside kick and Peyton Hover recovered it for the Vikings. Hoffman did some heavy duty running for positive yards and on fourth and three, Hovde connected with Orion Nichols for a short pass and a first down. The Vikings continued to move the ball on the ground and on first and goal from the three, the Wolves stacked the line and wouldn’t let the Colfax runners through so Buchner decided to go over them when he hit Nichols with a two-yard TD pass. Buchner added the extra point kick and suddenly the score didn’t look so lopsided with Colfax down 40-20 with 6:44 left in the half.
E-PC appeared to be on their way to another score but the Viking defense came up big when they recovered a fumble on their own five yard line. They were unable to move the ball however, and ended up punting it away. The punt was shanked and went out of bounds, giving the Wolves the ball at the Colfax 11. Allen took it in from five yards out but Hover and Christian Ebert stuffed the run conversion and the half ended with E-PC up 46-20.
The Vikings began the second half with another onside kick attempt but the Wolves were ready this time. They fell on the ball at the Colfax 40 and four running plays later Birtzer took it to the house from 21 yards out. Allen added yet another two-point run and it was 54-20 and there was still 10:01 left in the third quarter.
The Vikings picked up a first down on their next possession on a short pass from Buchner to Nichols but a couple of incomplete passes with Buchner being chased down gave the ball back to the Wolves. But, the Viking defense came up huge once more when they recovered a Wolves’ fumble. Taking over at their own 40, Hovde ran for a ten-yard gain and a face mask penalty by the Wolves tacked on some extra yardage. Hovde, Hoffman and Buchner ran inside and outside and moved the ball to the E-PC eight. Hovde then zipped around the right side for the score. The conversion pass was incomplete and it was 54-26.
Colfax pulled off another onside kick with Matt Dachel recovering it and in the blink of an eye they scored again when Hovde took the pitch and fired a 34-yard pass to Nichols for six more points. The run was thwarted and the quarter ended with Colfax down 54-32.
The Wolves started with the ball at their own 21 and although Hovde made three touchdown saving tackles, it wasn’t enough as Allen added his fifth score of the night from five yards out and when the run was stuffed it was 60-32.
Colfax went to the air in the final minutes but were unsuccessful and the game ended with who else but, Allen intercepting a pass.
Hoffman surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark with 119 on 17 carries while Hovde added 38 yards on seven attempts. Nichols snared four passes for 81 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Buchner had two kickoff returns for 97 total yards. Defensively, Eli Ralph was the Viking’s leading tackle for the second week in a row with eight and Buchner collected five and Kade Anderson four.
Colfax is now 1-5 for the season and 0-4 in conference play. They travel to Glenwood City this Friday night.