Unique circumstances didn’t change the outcome as the Westby Norsemen (5-4, 4-1) beat Onalaska Luther 39-13 to capture second place in the Coulee Conference.
For the second week in a row Westby added a new chapter in its history book after its Friday the 13th game against Luther started in Westby, but was finished at Kickapoo on the same day.
Since the Norsemen complex has no lights the game was scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m., but was delayed until 4 p.m. after officials spotted lightning in the gloomy skies. Two minutes into the game, with Westby up 7-0, the game was forced into a second 30 minute lightning delay.
Westby Head Coach Andy Hulst said after the second lightning delay he knew the game would not be able to be completed on the Norsemen field without lights so he got on the horn and reached out to other area school districts for another venue to complete the final game of the regular Coulee Conference season. Hulst said it was vital to get the game in on Friday with tournament seeding scheduling set for 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Hulst connected with Kent Peterson, the athletic director at Kickapoo High School, who scrambled, but was able to accommodate Westby’s short notice request.
The Viroqua High School’s football field would have been the closest venue, but De Soto was hosting Ithaca, in Viroqua, since the Pirates flood damaged football field is under reconstruction.
Cashton would have been another close venue, but the Eagles were hosting Bangor at home so Westby and Luther players, coaches, students, parents and fans quickly loaded up in buses, trucks and cars heading southeast to Kickapoo High School to finish the game, which was restarted at 5:15 p.m.
Hulst put out a special thank-you to the Kickapoo School District for accommodating Westby’s short notice request for a change of location venue.
A lightning delay and change of venue after the game restarted at Kickapoo didn’t slow down Westby running back Ryan Daines, who rushed for 173 yards and scored six touchdowns on 28 carries. Daines split his six scoring drives with rushing touchdowns of 1, 7 and 10 yards, plus three receiving scores.
Westby held a 27-6 halftime lead. Luther scored six points in the first half and Noah Matzke trimmed the Westby lead to 27-13 in the second half on a 54 yard touchdown run in the third quarter for the Knights, but that’s as close as they would get.
Hulst said Daines had a very good night, but that nothing is going to get any easier next week when Westby travels to Lancaster in WIAA Division 5 playoff action on Friday, Oct. 20. Game time is 7 p.m.
Hulst said every game this season the Norsemen offense and defense shined at moments, but struggled to stay focused, which cost them every time.
Westby traveled to Lancaster for non-conference action on Friday, Sept. 8, where they fell 56-34 to the Flying Arrows, who run the option offense with great success.
In that game Westby trailed by one point at the half, 21-20, but struggled with fatigue in the second half. The Norsemen’s biggest challenge against Lancaster will be to stop senior running back Evan Gates who tallied up seven touchdowns and 256 yards in the team’s first meeting and ran for 2,294 yards his junior season.
Good Luck Norsemen at Lancaster.
Westby 12, Black River Falls 6
Westby 6 0 0 0 -6 12
BRF 0 0 6 0 -0 6