The oldest rivalry in Wisconsin football is being renewed this week. The 123rd team of Lawrence Vikings head south and a little west to play the R**hawks on Nov. 12. This will be the 116th meeting between the teams, and the Vikings are currently 16 games back in the all-time series.
Traditionally, a Lawrence victory in this game earns a ring from the bell in the cupola in Main Hall. The only other times this occurs are during Matriculation and Commencement. The winner also takes home the Doehling-Heselton Memorial Trophy, initially presented in 1988. Named for legendary coaches of both squads, it has been in the wrong hands for the better part of two decades.
There is not a single reason to think that the Vikings cannot come back from the swamp-show that is Ingalls Field with a victory. Lawrence’s rival has gone 1-8 (1-6) so far in their 2016 campaign, again relying on the methodical triple option offense to lull opponents into a slumber. The Vikings, meanwhile, are 3-6 (2-5) and looking stronger in Midwest Conference play than previous years. Close, heart-wrenching losses to Lake Forest, Macalaster, and Knox (a total of 23 points, or four possessions) have shown the talent of Team 123, and are on the verge of their first four-win season since 2007.
This Saturday, listen for the bell to ring proud from the Cupola.
Editor’s Note: This weekend, the Lawrence football team will face their most bitter rival, another small Wisconsin college. In honor of this event, and in accordance with Lawrentian tradition, the name of the rival has been censored.