—by Roger Fritz

Roland-Story fans were able to enjoy a brand new seating area at Norsemen Field Friday night, but they didn’t get to enjoy a victory, as the CMB Raiders rolled over the home team 42-7. CMB ran their season record to 1-1, while the Norse fell to 0-2.

Friday night was the first home game with the brand new, larger and safer bleacher area on both sides of the field. A new and expanded press box was also unveiled. But CMB was able to put together a touchdown drive before the Norse fans could get comfortably nestled onto the new aluminum. The Raiders opened the game with a 10-play, 79 yard drive, capped by a one yard touchdown plunge, and they never looked back.

It seemed as if the Norsemen had a strong defensive stand to start the game. Thanks to two Raider penalties and only two yards gained on second and third down, the Raiders faced a fourth and 20 from midfield. The Raiders went into punt formation, but pulled a fake, and threw a screen pass that went for 24 yards to pick up the first down. Five plays later they punched in the touchdown.

The Norsemen followed with a three-and-out on offense. CMB didn’t let off the gas when they got the ball back. On their first play, CMB went deep, and connected on a 60 yard touchdown play, and led 14-0 with 4:44 left to go in the first quarter.

On their first drive of the second quarter, CMB struck again. This time it was on the sixth play of the drive, when a Raider went 67 yards on the ground for a touchdown. That finished the scoring in the first half, as the teams went to the break with CMB leading 21-0.

The Norse got the ball to start the second half, but the offensive series did not last long. On the second play, Roland-Story quarterback Zach Hovick was sacked, and fumbled the ball in the process. CMB got the ball on the Norsemen 24, and punched it in for a touchdown three plays later.

But on the next series, the Norsemen were able to provide their own score. On the ensuing kickoff, the Norsemen’s Josiah Soderstrum was able to return the ball 52 yards on the kickoff return. Nine plays and 37 yards later, Soderstrum was in the end zone. He was the recipient of a 15 yard touchdown pass from Hovick. Sam Mathis converted the extra point, and Roland-Story trailed 28-7 with 5:38 left to go in the third quarter.

But the joy in Norseville was short lived. On the first play of their offensive series, CMB converted on a 62 yard pass play to stretch the differential back to 28 points. The Raiders added their final score on their only possession in the fourth quarter, at the end of an 11 play, 54 yard drive.

Offensive stats leaned heavily towards the Raiders. CMB ran 49 plays for 447 yards, while the Norse ran 51 plays for 164 yards. CMB’s offense was balanced with 223 yards rushing on 34 carries. They went to the air 15 times, completing 9 for 224 yards. They threw two for touchdowns, and there was one interception.

That interception was by Charlie Messer just before halftime. He made the pick as the Raider QB was flushed from the pocket. But after Messer had run 25 yards toward the goal line, he was hit by a Raider, and fumbled the ball back to CMB.

Thirteen different Norsemen had tackles on the night. Leading the way were Cole Birchmier with 10, Zach Hovick and Sam Mathis each had 7. Birchmier also had a first quarter fumble recovery.

Offensively for the Norsemen, they gained 129 yards on 38 rushes. Josiah Soderstum had 11 carries for 40 yards, Andrew Schlatter had 5 carries for 35 yards, Eli Samo ran 6 times for 23 yards, Blake Morgan went 5 times for 21 yards, Jerald Fritz ran twice for 10 yards and Kane Hassebrock ran once for 6 yards.

Via the air, Hovick was 5-13 for 35 yards and a touchdown. Soderstrum caught two balls for 21 yards and a touchdown, Morgan caught two for nine yards, and Charlie Messer caught a ball for 5 yards.

Next up for the Norsemen will be the North Polk Comets. They will travel to Story City on Friday night. This will also be the start of district play for both teams. North Polk is 2-0 and is coming off a win over Greene County. West Marshall was the only other 2A District 7 team to win last Friday. Roland-Story, Gilbert, South Hardin, East Marshall, and Nevada all lost to non-district foes. Game time is 7:30.