Fast Start Lifts Luther to 36-14 Win over Beavers on Homecoming

Fast Start Lifts Luther to 36-14 Win over Beavers on Homecoming

Buena Vista was looking to remain perfect on its home turf this season when it entertained Luther College for Homecoming inside of J. Leslie Rollins Stadium, but the Norse jumped out to a 30-7 halftime lead, and the Beavers couldn't overcome the deficit, as they fell to the Norse on Saturday afternoon, 36-14.

Luther rushed for 436 yards on the day, and used the ground game to build an early 13-0 lead.  The Norse took the opening kick-off and erased over five minutes off the clock before a nine-yard touchdown run gave them the game's first points, despite missing the PAT.  Late in the quarter, a short one-yard touchdown plunge made it 13-0 before a 31-yard field goal by the Norse gave them a 16-0 advantage.

The Beavers struggled offensively for most of the contest as Cole Miller, who set a school record for passing yards in a game a week ago, began this contest by misfiring on his first seven pass attempts and BVU had just 40 yards of total offense into the second quarter.  It began to find a little bit of a groove in the second quarter, and it was capped off by a 10-yard touchdown run by freshman tailback Tariq Thomas to make it 16-7 midway through.

The Beaver defense came up big on the next drive, forcing a fumble inside its own five yard-line, but the offense was forced to punt after getting out just past the 30.  Two plays later, Luther struck the wind out of BVU yet again with a 60-yard touchdown strike to make it 23-7.  Then after BVU went three-and-out, Luther struck right back with under a minute to play in the opening half with a short touchdown run and a 30-7 lead.

BVU then began to sieze a little momentum early in the second half after a punt attempt bounced off a Luther player and was recovered by the Beavers at the Luther 31.  The team capitalized on the opportunity with a Miller seven-yard run to make it 30-14.  The Beavers then appeared to have recovered another fumble on the second play from scrimmage on the ensuing possession, but the officials overturned the recovery and said Luther had possesion of the ball first at the bottom of the pile.  It proved to be a big turn of events as the Norse got a 40-yard touchdown run two plays later to make it 36-14 after the point after was blocked.

The Beavers just couldn't get enough offensive clicking in the fourth quarter as Miller was intercepted on one possession and the team came up a yard short on fourth down on another.  The Norse, meanwhile, chalked up some clock with the ground game, despite missing on a 38-yard field goal attempt.

The deficit was too much for BVU to overcome in the end, and the Beavers dropped their second straight game following a 2-0 start.

Luther quarterback Ian Kuykendall did most of the damage with his legs, rushing for a game-high 178 yards and two touchdowns on 28 attempts.  A. Hollingshed chalked up 118 more, as the triple option offense was clicking for the Norse who ran for 436 yards in the contest.  Kuykendall also threw for 172 yards on 8-of-13 passing, including one score.

Miller completed just 15-of-38 attempts in the contest for 171 yards while being picked-off twice.  Thomas rushed for a career-best 114 yards on 21 carries, including his third rushing touchdown of the year.  TJ Lint hauled in a game-high six catches for 52 yards while Eric Pacheco and Tyler Oberreuter each had three.

Nick Amundson turned in 11 tackles (10 solo) to help lead BVU defensively, while Morris Aranda followed with eight.  The Beavers forced six Luther fumbles in the contest and recovered three.

BVU is now 2-2 overall (1-2 IIAC) and will travel to the University of Dubuque next Saturday for a 1:00pm kick-off with the Spartans.