After falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter, the Wartburg football team (4-2, 2-1) scored 24 unanswered points to win their seventh straight game over rival Luther (0-6, 0-3).
“It was a tough ball game, just like you expect these rivalry games to be,” head coach Rick Willis said.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get the players to believe you when the records are what they are.”
The Norse drove the ball 77 yards on the first possession of the game including two long first down runs by Dan Ridenour. The Knights held as Seth Streeter kicked a 22-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The Wartburg offense went three-and-out and Luther responded with a 68-yard touchdown pass from Kody Moore to Adam Bohr to take an early 10-0 lead.
The Knight defense setup the offense for their first points of the game when Casey Krull sacked Moore, forced a fumble and returned it 25 yards to the Luther 15.
Luther held Wartburg to a field goal attempt that Frank Loconti nailed from 27 yards to cut the lead to seven.
Wartburg tied the game with less than two minutes to play in the first half when Logan Schrader found Curt Hruska in the endzone for an eight-yard touchdown to complete a 74-yard drive.
Both offenses struggled in the third quarter as neither team scored. It was the third straight week that Wartburg played in a scoreless third quarter.
Brandon Domeyer scored from five yards out to give Wartburg a 17-10 lead early in the fourth quarter that they did not relinquish.
Domeyer ran 11 times for 72 yards and five first downs on that drive and finished the game with 100 yards on 21 carries.
“It felt really good to actually come out here and put a few good runs together and get in the endzone,” Domeyer said.
Then Schrader scrambled out of the pocket and found open space, running 34 yards for a touchdown to clinch the Knight’s victory.
Wartburg had a balanced offense, gaining 177 yards rushing and 145 passing. Schrader completed 11 of 23 passes and had one interception to go along with his touchdown pass.
The Knights held Luther to 83 yards rushing but allowed 233 yards through the air. Wauters led the team in tackles with nine.
Wartburg scored multiple touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the second week in a row, holding off a comeback to winless teams both times.
“You’d like to be ahead and not to have it be something you have to worry about in the fourth quarter but most of the time that’s not gonna be the way it is in this league,” Willis said.
Wartburg moved into third place in the Iowa Conference with a 2-1 record. The Knights improved to 4-2 overall and host Dubuque (2-4, 1-2) in their Homecoming game Saturday.
The Knights defeated the Spartans in Dubuque’s Homecoming game last season. The game begins at 1:30 p.m. and can be heard on KWAR.
IIAC FOOTBALL SCORES
Buena Vista 30, Central 25
Coe 41, Dubuque 38 (2OT)
Simpson 28, Loras 7
Wartburg 24, Luther 10
IIAC FOOTBALL STANDINGS
Coe (3-0, 6-0)
Simpson (3-0, 5-1)
Wartburg (2-1, 4-2)
Central (1-2, 2-4)
Dubuque (1-2, 2-4)
Loras (1-2, 2-4)
Buena Vista (1-2, 1-5)
Luther (0-3, 0-6)