Luther Football vs. Dubuque


Luther enters Carlson Stadium prior to their game against Dubuque on September 18. Photo from Luther Photo Bureau

The Luther Football team lost 28-2 to the University of Dubuque on September 18 in their first American Rivers Conference game of the season. For the Norse, running back Vershon Brooks (‘25) totaled 168 total yards through rushes and kickoff returns, while quarterback Michael Lorento (‘22) threw for 73 yards. Additionally, wide receiver Andre Atkins (‘23) had five receptions for 39 yards. 

Luther’s only score of the game came in the first quarter after linebacker Hayden Glynn (‘22) recorded a safety — a sack of the Dubuque quarterback in the endzone — to put the Norse up 2-0, but those were Luther’s last points. After the safety, the Spartans recorded 312 yards of offense and put 28 unanswered points on the scoreboard. Glynn was disappointed that the score of the game was so one-sided, especially since the Norse were only down by five points after the first two quarters.

“We had a lot of energy going into the locker room at half time,” Glynn said. “I think [in the second half] we came out flat, and we didn’t carry over that momentum.”

This loss is Luther’s third of the season, after falling to UW-Eau Claire on September 4 and to St. Olaf on September 11. Despite not having won a game yet this season, Luther Football Head Coach Caleb Padilla said that the team is still committed to their main goal: coming together as a group. 

“The mission today was to get better as a team,” Padilla said. “The goal is to win the game, but the bigger picture is to keep getting better.”

For the past two years, Luther’s football team has had to practice under hard restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season, players met in small groups to run plays, practice and train. The Norse were unfortunately extremely limited in their opportunities to compete against other teams, with their only game last season happening in the spring, a loss against Loras College. According to Atkins, these restrictions helped keep coaches and players healthy and safe, but created somewhat of a disconnect between the players in a game where working together is key. 

“It took away from the game of football,” Atkins said. “Football is all about togetherness and working together, and it didn’t allow us to [go through the process as a team].”

The lack of traditional practice and competition also led to a number of changes in the team’s roster.

“We lost some guys through that year that didn’t stick it out due to not having games against other teams,” Padilla said. “But we also have some older guys that gained an extra year of eligibility, so they are still around when they wouldn’t normally be.” 

Despite all of these changes, players and coaches agree that the team is determined as ever as the season continues. Padilla says that one benefit of returning to a normal season of football is that fans can come out to watch the Norse play.

“We appreciate people in the stands and support from the school,” Padilla said. “It goes a long way, and we always hope to represent [Luther] well.”

Luther’s next game will be on September 25 at Buena Vista University. The game will start at 1 p.m. and will be livestreamed on the Luther Athletics website.