Photo by Max Emanuelson
Luther College celebrated returning to its roots with a 45-0 Norse football victory over the Norwegian national team in Oslo.
Many schools and colleges that travel with Global Football have an emotional or historical link to the country they visit, and Luther College in particular has an historical connection with Norway. The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided in 1857, to found a college in St. Louis. In the summer of 1862 the school was transferred to Decorah, Iowa, where its first home and original building still stands, having been dedicated in 1865.
Under head coach Jørgen Benestad-Johansen, Norway returned to competitive action for the first time since 2007 following a period of rebuilding, in preparation for the European Championship qualification cycle that starts in the fall of 2015.
“Our hosts did a wonderful job under the direction of Marie Solhaug organizing a wonderful game that was played in great spirits,” said Global Football President Patrick Steenberge. “This was our first time visiting Norway on one of our college tours and we definitely plan to return.”
Redmond opened the scoring with a 37-yard rushing touchdown that earned a 7-0 first quarter lead after Alex Nutson tagged on the extra point.
On the second play of the second quarter, Houlihan took a pitch 18 yards for a touchdown, then a Dylan Smallwood 34-yard scoring pass to Pulliam opened a 19-0 after both conversions were missed. The third touchdown came courtesy of Jackson Van Kirk recovering a fumble at the Norway 40-yard mark, giving the Norse excellent field position.
Smallwood again connected with Houlihan, this time over 22 yards to open a 25-point lead that separated the teams at halftime.
Redmond’s second rushing touchdown of the day came on a 68-yard dash after the interval and Smallwood returned to Pulliam on a 40-yard connection for a 39-0 third quarter lead.
The 45-0 win was capped by a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown by the dominant Van Kirk.
The traveling Norse party will continue to explore Norway before returning to the United States on June 3.