Vikings drop heart-breaker to start the season

Published 12:09 am Saturday, August 26, 2017

Northwood-Kensett falls to West Bend in overtime

NORTHWOOD -— The Northwood-Kensett football team was unable to grab the victory in its season opener against No. 10 West Bend-Mallard Friday night. Despite erasing a 14-point deficit and forcing the game to overtime, the Vikings came up just short, falling to the Wolverines 30-22.

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The Wolverines struck first with a long touchdown pass in the early minutes of the second quarter. After a punt from the Vikings on the following possession, the Wolverines scored again, this time via a 53-yard rush from Thad Fogarty. After a two-point conversion, the Wolverines lead by a score of 14-0.

The Vikings cut into the lead midway through the second quarter after a 60-yard touchdown run from quarterback Kole Parks. They scored on the two-point conversion thanks to a quick pass from Parks to tight end Nathan Cordle.

A high snap late in the half gave West Bend-Mallard the ball in good field position with just over two minutes remaining. The Wolverines capitalized on the opportunity, scoring on a one-yard touchdown rush with under one minute remaining.

Going into halftime, the Vikings trailed the Wolverines 22-8.

Quarterback Kole Parks drops back in the pocket during Friday night’s contest against the Wolverines. Parks would finish the game with 69 passing yards and one touchdown. – Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

The third quarter was a battle of strong defenses once again. Neither team was able to gain any sort of offensive momentum throughout the entire quarter. However, the Vikings started to hit their stride in the fourth.

A big punt return from sophomore Caden Schrage to start the fourth quarter gave the Vikings the ball on the Wolverines’ nine-yard line. It seemed like the Vikings would miss out on the big opportunity, when a fourth-down run was stopped just short of the goal line. However, on the following play, Vikings defensive linemen Garrett Thompson and AJ Branstad tackled a Wolverines ball-carrier in the end zone for a safety. Northwood-Kensett trailed 22-10 with eight minutes remaining in the game. 

On the next defensive possession for the Vikings, senior Colten Moretz picked up a Wolverine fumble in the end zone for the score. The touchdown narrowed the score to just six points after a failed two-point conversion attempt.

A defensive stop led to the Vikings getting the ball back at their own 15 with just under three minutes to play. A 27-yard touchdown pass from Parks to Samuel Kliment tied the game, 22-22. Northwood-Kensett saw its point-after-attempt fly just right of the upright, leaving the game tied and ensuring an overtime period.

The Vikings started on defense in overtime, giving up a touchdown and two-point conversion. On its offensive possession Northwood-Kensett was stopped just inches short on fourth down, ending the game in heartbreaking fashion. 

The Vikings start 0-1 on the season and will be on the road next week as they take on the GTRA Titans.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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