DECORAH - It was a rainy sloppy afternoon in Decorah as Luther hosted Simpson College for homecoming. Despite the poor weather, Luther endured the elements for a 12-6 double-overtime victory.
Luther found the scoreboard first in the first quarter on a 27-yard field goal by Josh Cinnamo. Simpson responded with a 30-yard touchdown reception by Mike Pitzen from Mike Donnenworth with 3:34 remaining in the second quarter. The extra point attempt by Brett Majors was blocked. Luther tied the score at 6-6 on a Cinnamo 35-yard field goal with 7:19 remaining in the third quarter. Luther had an opportunity to take a three-point lead with 4:30 remaining in the ballgame, but Cinnamo's 22-yard field goal attempt was wide to the right by inches.
In the first overtime, Simpson stopped Luther, capped off by a 35-yard field goal attempt that was blocked. Simpson first attempt at scoring was stopped on its third play when Luther's Zach Wigle forced Simpson's Collin Freeburg to fumble on the 22-yard line. The loose football was recovered by Luther's Matt Czechowicz.
In the second overtime, Simpson moved the ball to the Luther 17-yard line but the field goal attempt by Majors was blocked. Luther won the game on its fifth play, capped off by a 6-yard run by Jon Pettlon, to secure the 12-6 double-overtime victory.
The win was Luther's first in the Iowa Conference this season and first over Simpson since 1987, snapping a losing streak of 13 games. With the win, Luther leads the series 36-25-1. The loss was Simpson's third in a row, the first time the Storm have posted a three-game losing streak since 1994. Luther is now 1-4 and 2-4 overall. Simpson falls to 2-3 in league play and 2-4 overall.
Individually, Luther's rushing attack was led by Jon Pettlon who carried the football 12 times for 60 yards. Mike Jefferson tallied 59 yards on 10 carries, while Clint Willuweit rushed for 57 yards on 11 carries.
Quarterback Derek Distin was 8 of 16 for 60 yards and was picked off once. Distin's favorite target was Ashley Johnson who had his best day in a Norse uniform. Johnson caught five passes for 48 yards. As a team, Luther tallied 292 yards in total offense, averaging 4.4 yards per play.
Luther's league-leading defensive unit allowed Simpson a total of 304 yards in total offense.