Western Dubuque takes down Decorah 23-2

Posted: Fri, Sep 13, 2019 9:51 PM
Decorah's Dawson Palmer (40) breaks down to try and make the tackle on Western Dubuque's Ben Bryant (5) during Friday nights game. Photos and story by Decorahnews.com's own Dirk Umbanhowar

After back to back weeks of playing top ranked Waukon and number three ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier, Decorah's tough stretch to start the season continued with a 23-2 loss at home to the Western Dubuque Bobcats, the number one team in class 3A. The Bobcats controlled the game from the start, taking the opening kickoff 80 yards on a drive capped off by senior receiver Will Burds' five yard touchdown run to put Western Dubuque up 7-0 with 6:05 to go in the first. Western Dubuque went 4 for 4 on third downs on the drive, including two highlight reel catches by Burds to keep the drive moving. After forcing Decorah into a three and out, the Bobcats again drove down the field to take a 13-0 lead on a 9 yard touchdown pass to Burds from senior quarterback Calvin Harris. The two point try failed, and Western Dubuque would lead 13-0 at the end of one quarter of play.

The second quarter was no different, beginning right away with a 69 yard touchdown pass from Harris to senior receiver Bryce Ploessel. Ploessel beat the corner to the inside on a post route, and with no safety help over the top ran the rest of the way into the Viking end zone to make it 20-0 Bobcats. A quarterback change for Decorah from Briggs Duwe to Tucker Young did help the Decorah offense some, as the Vikings drove the ball down near the red zone before Young's deep pass was intercepted by the Bobcats at the two yard line. Decorah got in position to try and score thanks to two big catches by senior Matthew Franzen as well as Gabriel Austin. The Vikings defense would then come up big with Decorah's only points of the game, tackling Will Burds in the end zone for a safety. The Vikings would go three and out, and then a big hit by linebacker Seth Shindelar and the sack that followed would stall the Bobcats' two minute drill, sending both teams into the locker room with the score 20-2 in favor of Western Dubuque.

The Vikings offense would again have a long drive come up short out of halftime, with Tucker Young's run to the left being stuffed by the Western Dubuque defense on fourth and two at the Bobcats twelve yard line. Young had already converted a fourth down on a drive otherwise marked by a false start penalty, as well as a drop in the end zone by Franzen. The Bobcats would go on a long drive of their own into the Decorah red zone before Harris was sacked on 4th down by Decorah's Logan Halverson to give the ball back to the Vikings.

The fourth quarter was a similar slow, defensive game as the third, with the only points coming on a Gabe Ulrichs field goal with 5:18 left in the game to make the score 23-2 in favor of Western Dubuque. The Bobcats nearly had a touchdown on the drive before it was whipped out by a holding penalty on a one yard run by Ben Bryant. Decorah would go on a long drive that included a 16 yard catch and run by senior Keaton Solberg, followed by another big grab on a wheel route by Logan Halverson that brought Decorah inside the Bobcats ten yard line. From there however, Young would fumble at the goal line as he was going into the end zone, a ball recovered by Western Dubuque. The turnover summed up the evening for the Decorah offense, being close to the end zone on multiple occasions, but coming away with no points to show for it.

The loss drops the Vikings to 0-3 on the season, while Western Dubuque improves to 3-0. The Vikings next game will be at Crestwood High School on Friday, with kickoff in Cresco scheduled for 7:30.

Seth Shindelar (42) tries to bring down Calvin Harris (4)
Decorah's Keaton Solberg (81) sprints free on a 19 yard catch over the middle in the 4th quarter on Friday
Decorah's Cael Luzum (2) keeps fighting for yards
Tucker Young sprints free on a run in the thrid quarter on Friday night