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No. 9 Vikings sail past Comets 49-0

No. 9 Vikings sail past Comets 49-0
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City’s Mario Hoefer (No. 5) makes immediate contact with Decorah’s Kyle Renken to stop a pass play for short yardage. The No. 9-ranked Vikings defeated the Comets 49-0.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — It’s hard to refer to football as a “game of inches” when the final score was 49-0.

But much of the first half of Friday’s Class 3A-District 3 matchup between the No. 9-ranked Decorah Vikings and the Charles City Comets hosting their Homecoming Game was fairly competitive. And if it had just so happened to have remained that way, a lot more would have been said about two goal-line plays that didn’t go Charles City’s way.

After the Vikings went up 7-0 early in the first quarter in the wake of Brody Young’s 79-yard run on the first snap of the game soon followed by Briggs Duwe’s 1-yard quarterback keeper score, Charles City was in position to tie the game.

A reactivated Ian Collins connected with Mario Hoefer on a half-back pass good for 44 yards to put the Comets in business on Decorah’s 1-yard line.

But on the next play, Charles City fumbled into the end zone for a touchback.

Decorah increased its lead with a 3-yard TD run by Nicholas Einck early in the second quarter, but Charles City had a chance to go into halftime with spirited momentum as it repeatedly repelled Decorah inside the 5-yard line in the final seconds of the first half.

On the last play of the half with the ball at the half-yard line, the Vikings fed the ball to its bruising half/fullback Einck, who was stood up at the plane of the goal line. It looked as if the Comets won the scrum, but the officials ruled Einck that scored the TD (One of Charles City’s assistant coaches mentioned to the linesman at the start of the second half that video indicated the ball never breached the plane of the goal line).

But Decorah made sure no controversy would linger in this game as it scored two more times to initiate a running clock in the third quarter, and then added two late touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Einck and Young had 125 and 112 rushing yards, respectively, for Decorah (5-0), which compiled 346 yards on the ground for a 9.4 yard-per-carry average.

Duwe completed 9 of 21 passes for 119 yards with touchdown throws to Keenan Tyler and Kody Bodensteiner.

Charles City (0-3) recorded a season-high 151 passing yards with Alec Staudt completing 5 of 9 pass attempts and Collins completing 2 of 3.

Collins, who was coming off a knee injury, had 85 yards receiving on two catches — most of which came on a dazzling catch-and-zig-zag run.

Hoefer had three catches for 63 yards.

Even with the big pass plays, Charles City — like it did against defending Class 3A champion West Delaware the week before — moved the ball most effectively between the tackles. Senior Trever Heitz, who bounced back from a late-game injury against WD, had 84 yards on 17 carries as the Comets’ all-time leading rusher surpassed the 2,000-yard career milestone.

Junior Colton Crooks led Charles City’s defense with eight solo tackles.

Having to face two Top 10-ranked teams in back-to-back weeks after being inactive the two weeks before due to COVID exposure, Charles City has likely negotiated the toughest part of its season.

Next Friday (Oct. 2), the Comets travel to Waterloo East where the Trojans will also be looking for their first win of the season.


Scoring By Quarters

DECORAH 7 14 14 14 — 49

CHARLES CITY 0 0 0 0 — 0

Scoring Summary

DEC — Briggs Duwe 1-yard run (Brody Young kick) 10:43 1st, 7-0

DEC — Nicholas Einck 3-yard run (Young kick) 10:30 2nd, 14-0

DEC — Einck 1-yard run (Young kick) 0:00 2nd, 21-0

DEC — Kody Bodensteiner 13-yard pass from Duwe (Young kick) 8:19 3rd, 28-0

DEC — Keenan Tyler 10-yard pass from Duwe (Young kick) 3:17 3rd, 35-0

DEC — Tyler 11-yard run (Young kick) 6:54 4th, 42-0

DEC — Einck 67-yard run (Young kick) 1:24 4th, 49-0