Luther Stuns Wartburg In Overtime, 28-27 [Video]
All streaks eventually come to an end. Luther halted a pair of them with a stunning 28-27 overtime victory over the Wartburg Knights on Saturday (Nov. 5, 2016).
Cooper Nelson's two-point conversion run secured the win for the Norse, their first in Waverly since 1986. Luther also snapped Wartburg's 10-game winning streak in the series.
The Knights (5-4 overall, 4-3 IIAC) were the first team to have the ball in the extra session and scored on a seven-yard run from Connor Schrader. The point-after kick put Wartburg ahead 27-20.
Luther (3-6, 2-5) then got its chance to respond and took full advantage of the opportunity. Christian Moore found the endzone on a 16-yard run to narrow the deficit to 27-26. The Norse initially lined up to kick the extra point, but decided to go for win after calling a timeout.
As a result, Luther ended a decade of frustration against its arch-rival. The last time the Norse beat Wartburg was in 2005, a 33-24 decision at Carlson Stadium in Decorah.
Moore had a big afternoon for Luther, rushing for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries. The Norse beat Wartburg with their ground attack, out-gaining the Knights 276-to-141. Luther ran 26 more plays than the Knights and dominated the time of possession, 40:30 to 19:30.
The game went to overtime after a scoreless fourth quarter.
Wartburg rallied from a 20-7 deficit in the third-quarter. Schrader scored on a five-yard run at the 6:24 mark and Brandt added the point-after kick. The Knights tied the game at 20-all on Jake Haberman's one-yard run with 31 seconds left in the period, but Brandt missed the extra-point that would have put the Knights ahead.
Schrader ended the game as Wartburg's top rusher, running for 66 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Matt Sacia ran for 60 yards on seven attempts and also completed 14 of 21 passes for 215 yards and one touchdown.
Brandt also missed his first kick of the day when Luther blocked the sophomore's 24-yard field goal attempt on the game's opening drive. The Norse responded with a massive 22-play drive that took nearly 13 minutes off the clock. Luther failed to score, though, after the Knights twice stopped the Norse on plays inside the one-yard line.
The home team capitalized on the defensive stand. On their second possession of the game, the Knights drove 99 yards on seven plays. They took a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter when Sacia hooked up with Riley Brockway on a 24-yard touchdown pass and Brandt added the extra-point kick.
Luther tied the game with 33 seconds left in the first half, scoring on a three-yard run by Moore. The Norse then jumped on a Wartburg fumble at the Knights' 18-yard line and added another touchdown before intermission. Luther owned a 13-7 halftime advantage after Sam Houlihan's five-yard run at the 12-second mark.
The Norse built their lead to 20-7 early in the third quarter when quarterback Brady Letney connected on the longest touchdown pass of his career, a 55-yard toss to Josh Herrington.
The overtime game was the first for Wartburg since the 2011 season.
UP NEXT: The Knights end their 2016 season on Saturday (Nov. 11) when they host Buena Vista at Walston-Hoover Stadium in Waverly. Kick-off for Wartburg's annual "Senior Day" game is set for 1 p.m.
Courtesy: Wartburg Knights via YouTube