Football scrimmage cut short due to lightning

Staff Writer
Story City Herald
Football scrimmage cut short due to lightning

—by Roger Fritz

The Roland-Story Norsemen kicked off the 2014 football season last Friday night (Aug. 22) with the annual Powerade Scrimmage. But fans received the “express” version of the scrimmage, as severe thunderstorms loomed just north of Story City. No rain fell during the event, but lightning was within a couple miles, so for the safety of players and fans, the event was halted during the varsity portion of the scrimmage.

This was the second year of an inter-squad scrimmage. In years prior, the team battled itself on the field. But two years ago, the Iowa High School Athletic Association allowed teams to scrimmage against another school. This year the Norsemen hooked up with Hampton-Dumont in Story City.

All of the scrimmages were controlled, and were not played like a typical game. There was no kicking, and all the plays started from the 40 yard line. Each offense was given 10 plays. They then switched sides to let the other team’s offense take a crack at the opposing defense.

The Freshmen opened the night at 5:30, followed by the JV. There was supposed to have been a break for the introduction of the volleyball, cross country, and cheer squads. But with the looming weather, they quickly moved on to the varsity action. The other fall sports squads and cheerleaders were announced while the football action was taking place.

The Bulldog varsity ran 10 plays, and the Norse followed with 10 offensive plays of their own. The Bulldogs came back for 10 more, followed by Roland-Story’s second offensive turn. But five plays in, the lightning was close enough to make the decision to clear the field. Since it was a scrimmage, and a large line of storms stretched to the west, the remainder of the night on the gridiron was cancelled shortly after 7 p.m.

Hampton-Dumont is ranked #7 in the Des Moines Register’s Class 2A preseason poll, and the Norse seemed to hang tough with them in their brief outing. With so few plays, statistics didn’t tell much of a story. Senior running back Josiah Soderstrum led the way for the Norse on offense with 31 yards on 5 carries. Senior quarterback Jerald Fritz was 2-3 in passing for 13 yards, and also gained 16 yards on two rushes. Junior Alex Teig and sophomore Jake Ford each caught a pass from Fritz. Sophomore quarterback Brett Staton hooked up with senior wideout Nick Moore for a 20 yard completion.

The season starts for real this Friday night in a non-district game at South Hamilton. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.