The Decorah Viking football team started its season by playing the #1-ranked team in Class 2A, the #2-ranked team in Class 3A and the #1-ranked team in Class 3A. But the Vikings led at halftime against Cedar Rapids Xavier, didn't lose badly in any of the games and got through the games largely injury free.
Now the Vikings are playing teams in their own district and they've won their next two games to legitimately be in the discussion as being a playoff qualifying squad.
On Friday night, Decorah easily dispatched the Charles City Comets at home, 33-6. The Viking defense held the Comets scoreless and in poor field position for the first three quarters of the game, until the decision was no longer in doubt.
Both sides started a little sluggishly in the first period, with Charles City receiving the kickoff, then punting to Decorah, which punted back to Charles City, which punted back to Decorah. But with 1:34 remaining in the quarter, Cale Luzum took the ball at midfield and ran it 50 yards down the sideline for Decorah's first score, giving Decorah a 7-0 lead.
After a Charles City punt early in the second quarter, Viking quarterback Tucker Young threw a long pass to Lucas Benzing deep into Comet territory, but the drive stalled and Gabe Austin came in to kick a 24-yard field goal to give Decorah a 10-0 lead.
Charles City got the ensuing kickoff, but Decorah's Mason O'Hara forced a fumble at the Charles City 31-yard line. On the first play of the Vikings' possession, Tucker Young connected with Lucas Benzing on a 31-yard touchdown pass and Decorah led, 17-0.
Charles City again couldn't move the Decorah defense and had to punt. Back on offense, Andrew Magner got the football at the Viking 49-yard line and ran all the way into the end zone to make it a 24-0 Decorah lead. Charles City put together a late drive into the Viking red zone, but Galen Iverson intercepted a pass into the end zone and the clock ran out on the first half with Decorah leading, 24-0.
The third quarter was interesting, even though neither team scored. Decorah fumbled on its opening possession, but then Andrew Magner recovered a Charles City fumble. With 8:47 to go in the quarter, Young threw a 35-yard touchdown pass--but Decorah was called for holding and the touchdown was erased. After an exchange of punts, a Decorah drive stalled and Gabe Austin was called on to try a 34-yard field goal. The kick was good--but this time it was Charles City which was called for an off sides penalty--before the ball was snapped, so the field goal was wiped out. Decorah tried for a first down, but failed.
With the score still at 24-0 in the fourth quarter, a Decorah punt went down to the Charles City 1 yard line. The Comets fumbled and Logan Halverson recovered in the end zone, making it 30-0 Decorah. With substitutes playing defense for the Vikings, the Comets marched down the field and scored on a 1-yard run by Mario Hoefer to make it 30-6. Decorah's Galen Iversen came back for another field goal attempt, this one for 39 yards, and hit it, making the final score 33-6.
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