Saturday night, the LU football team ran onto the grass of the Banta Bowl for the first game under the lights in years, and just the fourth in Banta Bowl history. Coming into the game, the Vikings were 0-2 in the Midwest Conference, so it was critical for Lawrence to get the win. With help from the new ‘LUnie Nation,’ the stands were packed with students!
Senior defensive lineman Nick Randall commented, “Having the fan support made a huge difference to the game. It made it more fun to play with our peers there cheering us on, especially to help us through tough times.”
With determination and an overwhelming amount of support, the Vikings clearly came to play. After they scored the first field goal it seemed as though the floodgates opened, and they soon led the Buccaneers 24-0.
Luke Barthelmess, junior quarterback, was 19 of 30 in passing for 277 yards. He ran 12 times gaining a total of 74 yards for the Vikes and helped them score three touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Tyler Mazur caught four of Barthelmess’ passes for a total of 98 yards. Running back and fellow senior Ben Hartman had seven carries for a team high 90 yards. This included a 54 yard touchdown run!
According to Randall, “We played well on both sides of the ball for the whole game. We never gave them a chance to catch up with us.” Junior defensive back Sam Wagner helped shut down the Buccaneers by forcing a fumble as one of three turnovers throughout the game.
Wagner, who played a part in starting LUnie Nation and packing the stands for the game was more than appreciative for the support. He stated, “I think we all played confident and got excited. The atmosphere was awesome and LUnie Nation was in full force!”