Vikings beat up by MWC foe again

Andy York

The Lawrence University Football team dropped another conference game this past weekend. The Vikings were defeated my Monmouth 42-14. The loss drops the Vikings to 0-6 in the MWC and 0-7 overall on the year.The Viking defense got out to a slow start. Monmouth marched downfield on their first drive and promptly scored on a Todd Sabean six-yard TD run to put the Scots up 7-0.

The Viking offense tried to match that on their first drive. Starting at quarterback for LU was an unlikely person: Chris McGinley, normally LU’s starting tight end, got the start at quarterback. It was his first collegiate game at QB, and he hadn’t played the position in a game since his sophomore year of high school. McGinley only threw once on the first LU drive, and his pass fell incomplete.

The Vikings punted, as did the Scots on the next drive, and LU got the ball back with a chance to score. Justin Berrens led the Vikings’ next drive on the ground, and after McGinley hit Zach Michael on a 24-yard strike, the Vikings were in field goal range. Unfortunately, they were on the bad end of the field. The south end of the Banta Bowl was chewed up because of a game Appleton West High School had played in the rain the night before. When Chris Guay’s snap was low, holder Matt Wautier had no chance to place the ball well, and John Dykman’s 37-yarder went into the ground.

On the Vikings’ next drive, they tried as hard as they could not to score, but finally put the ball in the end zone as the quarter expired. The Vikings had three penalties while near the goal line, but on third and goal McGinley threw his first career touchdown pass to Craig Garvey and the game was tied 7-7.

The first drive of the second quarter found Jason Killian scoring the first of what would be three receiving touchdowns on the day. He scored on a 24-yarder form Rob Purlee, but the extra point failed, and the score was 13-6. On the next Monmouth drive, Killian picked up TD number two, and the two-point conversion was good to put the score 21-7.

Late in the second quarter LU running back Justin Berrens took over. He ran the last five plays in the Vikings scoring drive, which was capped off with a one-yard jaunt by Berrens. The score was then 21-14 and that was the score at halftime as well.

The Vikings had the ball to start the third quarter, and they looked to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, they made a common mistake that has killed them this season. On fourth down LU long snapper Chris Guay snapped the ball over LU punter Robert Campagna. The Vikings lost 38 yards on the play, and Monmouth had all the momentum. This was at least the fifth game the Vikings have done that this year.

On the next drive Killian scored his third TD, this time on a 21-yard pass, and the score was 28-14. From there it all went downhill for LU. They could not score again, and Monmouth would add two more touchdowns to make the final score 42-14.

The Vikings were completely outmatched again. The Scots racked up 462 yards of total offense to the Vikings’ 255 yards. The Vikings’ passing attack was non-existent again. McGinley looked decent, but was no better then any other LU quarterback this season. However, one highlight was that he didn’t throw an interception, something that every other LU quarterback has done so far. The Vikings are last in the MWC in scoring offense by over a touchdown, and are last in passing offense.

Two bright spots for LU have been their rushing attack and the play of senior linebacker Andy Kazik.

Running back Berrens is second in the MWC in rushing, and has been the only thing the Vikings offense can count on so far this year. He has 880 yards on the season, and should be the first LU running back to break 1000 yards since All-American running back Brad Olson did it in 1996.

Linebacker Kazik has played better then anyone expected. He had never played football for LU before this season because he was focusing on wrestling, where he was a national champion last season at 184 pounds. He leads the Vikings in tackles with 63, 16 more then any other player. This is also after playing only one and a half quarters in LU’s first game against Wisconsin Lutheran. Kazik has also forced two fumbles, and recovered one to go along with his one interception.

This weekend Kazik and the Vikings will travel to Grinnell, Iowa to take on the Pioneers. They are 2-5 on the season and 2-4 in the MWC. The game will be at 1 p.m.