The St. Olaf football team fell 20-13 to Luther College last Saturday in Decorah, Iowa. Several turnovers came back to haunt the Oles and ultimately gifted Luther the victory in suspenseful contest. The loss snapped the Oles’ 19 game non-conference winning streak which dated back to 2004.
Despite St. Olaf’s high turnover rate, Luther did not fair much better – they produced four turnovers of their own. Luther fumbled the ball four times, including three times in the second half. St. Olaf had three forced fumbles by Erick Marigi ’14, Alex Germann ’14 and Christian Lujan ’14. Colin Brown ’15 led the defense with 11 tackles and three tackles for loss.
Quarterback Nate Penz ’16 finished 19 of 30 passes for 250 yards.
His longest pass was 29-yards to Stephen Asp ’14, who finished with five catches for 76 yards. Jake Schmeising ’14 had 52 yards on three catches, and Kevin Odom ’14 had four catches for 38 yards. Penz was picked off twice by the Norse, once on a deep pass in the final minute of the game. In relief of injured running back Mike Thai ’14, Connor McCormick ’16 ran for 49 yards on ten carries, and J.J. Strnad ’16 added 22 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Strnad’s touchdown came at the end of a 71-yard drive in the second quarter. The offense ended the day with 294 yards of total offense and five turnovers. Kicker Eric Tusa ’17 added two field goals, including one for 45 yards in the second quarter.
St. Olaf begins MIAC play next Saturday at Concordia College and returns to Manitou Field Oct. 5 to play St. John’s University.