LU football team puts in good effort, almost beats Grinnell

Andy York

The Lawrence University football team nearly pulled off their first win of the season against Grinnell last weekend. Unfortunately, that remained an almost as Adam Wallace caught a 28-yard touchdown pass with just under five minutes remaining in the game to give Grinnell a 34-30 victory.The Vikings offense looked better then they had all season. Justin Berrens showed why he is the Vikings best player this season by rushing for 196 yards on 33 carries. He now has 1,076 yards on the season with two games remaining.

He is the first Viking to rush for over 1,000 yards since All-American Brad Olson did it in 1997. Berrens added the Vikings first score, a two yard run in the second quarter to make it a 7-6 game. LU kicker Jon Dykman missed the extra point.

Grinnell struck first on their opening drive. Jacob Peterson hauled in a 51-yard TD strike from Shawn Sigler to give the Pioneers an early lead. Berrens’ score brought the game closer, but two quick Wallace touchdowns, two of his three on the day, put Grinnell back up 21-6.

The Vikings drove downfield as the end of the half neared, and with sixteen seconds remaining, LU quarterback Chris McGinley found Zach Michael in the end zone. A McGinley sneak added the two point conversion and closed the gap to 21-14.

The Vikings came out on their first drive of the half looking like a team we haven’t seen this season. They went seven plays in just under two minutes, and McGinley took it himself for the one-yard TD. A pass to Nick Korn for the two point conversion put the Vikings ahead by a point, 22-21.

After a Viking fumble, Grinnell wasted no time scoring in twelve seconds. Peterson hauled his second score of the game, a twelve yarder, and after the two point conversion missed, the score was 27-22.

The game remained like that until late in the fourth quarter. MWC Special Teams Player of the Week Michael took a punt at his own 45 and ran it all the way in for the score, and with the two point conversion, the Vikings led by a field goal, 30-27.

Alas, it was not to be. Grinnell stormed back, and Wallace added the exclamation point with his third TD of the day, a 28-yard reception from Sigler, and Grinnell went on to win 34-30.

The Vikings played well, but turnovers killed them again. The Vikings lost four fumbles, and McGinley threw his first two interceptions on the year. Grinnell, on the other hand, did not have a single turnover.

The Vikings did show hope on offense. They had more offensive yards than their opponent, which happened for the first time this season. Unfortunately, it still resulted in a loss.

Next weekend the Vikings will go to Lake Forest to take on the Foresters. Lake Forest has had an outstanding season. They are 7-1, and 6-1 in the MWC. The Foresters lost last season to the Lawrence, 25-12, an event the Vikings hope happens again.

Casey Urlacher, brother of Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, leads the Foresters. He leads the team with 94 tackles, and is also their fullback. He is also averaging nearly six yards per carry for the Foresters.

Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.