Vikings dwindle late against the Pioneers

Jon Mays

The Lawrence University football team welcomed the visiting Grinnell College Pioneers to the Banta Bowl this past Saturday for a Midwest Conference football match-up. The Vikings (0-3, 0-3 MWC) fought hard throughout the game, but the Pioneers proved too tough, pulling away early in the second half. With the score tied 8-8 at halftime, the Vikings looked ready to pull out their first win of the season, but Grinnell would break the game open in the third quarter, scoring 17 points in a six minute span.
Grinnell (2-2, 1-2) started the second half scoring on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Pioneer quarterback Mike Bogard. The pass came on a fourth down play and gave Grinnell their first lead of the game at 15-8. The Vikings ensuing possession ended when Lawrence quarterback Nick Maxam threw an interception, giving Grinnell the ball at the Lawrence 17-yard line.
The Viking defense held strong however, and only allowed a field goal to the Pioneers, increasing their lead to 18-8. However, Lawrence could not cut into the lead, turning the ball over on their next two possessions. One of the turnovers, a Maxam interception, was returned 37 yards for another Pioneer touchdown, giving Grinnell a commanding 25-8 lead.
The Vikings had trouble getting anything going offensively against the physical Pioneer defense. Maxam completed just 12 of 25 passes for 117 yards and six interceptions in a tough day for the senior quarterback.
Despite allowing 34 points, the Vikings defense played well and made several key stops to allow Lawrence to have a chance in the game despite the struggling offense. The defense was simply on the field for too long and did not have enough time to catch their breaths.
The Pioneers scored their final touchdown on a 34-yard touchdown run by Bogard, who in addition to throwing for 221 yards and a touchdown, ran for 56 yards and two scores. Bogard also converted on the Pioneers two-point conversion in the first half with a two yard run.
The Vikings scoring drives came early in the first quarter and late in the fourth quarter. Lawrence held the lead for a short time after scoring the first touchdown of the game when Maxam connected with wide receiver Derek Micke on a 19-yard touchdown pass. The Vikings scored on a two-point conversion following the touchdown to make their lead 8-0. Grinnell answered with a scoring drive of their own, going 57 yards in ten plays to even the score at 8-8. By the time Lawrence scored again it was too late. Freshmen quarterback Eric Bohling found Craig Ebert for a 21-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown pass was the first of Bohling’s college career.
The Vikings head to Illinois College next Saturday in search of their first win of the season.