CEDAR FALLS — Nothing really fancy shmancy. No spread this or spread that with these guys.
The Decorah Vikings actually huddle before each play. Old-school, Wing-T football, baby.
And still they score plenty of points. Imagine that.
“It seems like all these young coaches think they’ve got to do (the spread offense),” Decorah Coach Bill Post said after his team’s 48-7 shellacking of Williamsburg in a Class 3A playoff semifinal Thursday night at the UNI-Dome. “It’s exciting, I guess. But I still like it where you’ve got to have teamwork everywhere. Where it’s not just the receiver and the quarterback. You’ve got to have everybody doing things. You’ve got to block, you’ve got to make fakes, you’ve got to handoff, all that stuff, in order to make the play successful. I just love that. I love that style of football.”
It’s a style that has paid off in spades. Decorah is in the 3A championship game for the second year in a row after a powerful offensive display that included 319 yards rushing and touchdowns from five different ball carriers.
The Vikings lost a toughie to LaPorte City Union last season, 21-14, but let’s get this out of the way right now. Sioux City Heelan (Decorah’s opponent in next Thursday night’s title game) had better bring it’s “A” game and then some because this team is really, really motivated and really, really good.
“Yeah, there was a little bit of pressure on us this season,” said Decorah wingback-safety Drew Schwartz. “But it’s given us a lot of motivation just to get back to this point. Last year as we went through the playoffs, it was kind of like after every win, it felt like a little victory. But this year, we’re just striving to get more and more. Now that we’re back in that big game, we’re hoping to do well.”
This was certainly not the way third-ranked Williamsburg (11-2) envisioned this one going. The Raiders lost their season opener way back when to Grinnell (which Heelan beat in last night’s other 3A semi), then rattled off 11 wins in a row before running into what was a superior opponent – at least on this night.
Williamsburg and its fast-tempo offense was able to move the football into Decorah territory on its first possession but was pretty much stymied the rest of the way. Or at least until late when reserves played.
“They came out pulling, just like (we saw on) film,” said Williamsburg linebacker-fullback Bryan MacDonald. “They got on blocks, and we didn’t shut off blocks. There wasn’t much momentum on our part. On defense, we didn’t give our offense anything to work with, letting them score every time.”
Decorah scored points on its first nine possessions, rolling to a 27-0 halftime lead and getting the continuous clock going on a pair of Josey Jewell touchdowns early in the third quarter. The senior fullback finished with 134 yards on 14 carries.
Halfback Holt Johansen added a 1-yard touchdown run, quarterback Jacob Kvale a 10-yarder on an option keeper and Schwartz a 34-yarder on a double handoff. He had a huge game, with 100 yards rushing and receiving and an interception.
Kvale completed 5 of 10 passes for 80 yards. Decorah played an incredibly clean game with no penalties.
“It was kind of a tough start for us,” Jewell said. “We got some points on the board but couldn’t get in the end zone a couple of times. Our team pulled together in the second half, knew what we had to do … and got a couple more touchdowns to take a big lead.”
Decorah’s defense picked off Williamsburg quarterback Jacob Donohoe three times. Kicker Josh Lee added field goals of 31 and 37 yards and was a force kicking off with several touchbacks into the end zone.
Even reserve tailback Mikhail Suvorov got into the act with a 14-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter. Williamsburg averted the shutout with two seconds left on sophomore reserve Braidon Reysack’s 3-yard TD run.
“We played well tonight,” Post said. “I don’t know how you can play a whole lot better. I mean, you can always doing something better, but we played above and beyond our expectations, really … Just awesome. That shows the focus that they have, the abililty they have to do things.”
Here is the game boxscore:
Decorah 48, Williamsburg 7
AT AT UNI-DOME
|Rushes-yards||44 - 319||32 - 151|
|Comp-Att-Int||5 - 10 - 0||6 - 24 - 3|
|Fumbles-lost||0 - 0||0 - 0|
|Punts-average||1 - 37.0||5 - 34.4|
|Penalties-yards||0 - 0||4 - 35|
Rushing: Decorah – Josey Jewell 14-134 , Holt Johansen 15-70 , Drew Schwartz 2-40 , Andy Strand 1-28 , Mikhail Suvorov 4-23 , Jacob Kvale 4-22 , Bryce Pierce 2-6 , Dylan Korsness 1--2 , Team 1--2 Williamsburg – Loren Stahl 14-62 , Aaron Schultz 3-16 , Jacob Donohoe 5-14 , Cody Marine 1-14 , Nick Spratt 4-13 , Braidon Reysack 2-12 , Garrett Blythe 1-11 , Bryan MacDonald 2-9
Passing: Decorah – Jacob Kvale 5-10-0-80 Williamsburg – Jacob Donohoe 6-24-3-47
Receiving: Decorah – Drew Schwartz 3-60 , Brett Johnson 2-20 Williamsburg – Cody Marine 4-26 , Aaron Schultz 1-12 , Chance Wetjen 1-9
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Dec-Josh Lee 31 FG
Dec-Holt Johansen 1 run (Lee kick)
Dec-Lee 37 FG
Dec-Drew Schwartz 34 run (Lee kick)
Dec-Jacob Kvale 10 run (Lee kick)
Dec-Josey Jewell 31 run (Lee kick)
Dec-Jewell 36 run (Lee kick)
Dec-Mikhail Suvorov 14 run (Bryce Pierce kick)
Wil-Braidon Reysack 3 run (Andrew Wichmann kick)