Football a yard short at Beloit

Philip Roy

Lawrence got off to a great start at Beloit Saturday, taking the early lead with a 7-yard pass to Craig Ebert. Quarterback Eric Aspenson displayed confidence carrying the ball, as he looked to replicate his impressive performance against Carroll, which included 153 rushing yards. Beloit responded with a score on their first drive and successfully added the 2-point conversion to give them a slim lead.
In the second quarter Lawrence committed a costly mistake, as Bryan Althouse’s punt was blocked and recovered by the Buccaneers for a touchdown. The Vikings, however, bounced back by scoring on their next two possessions. Aspenson rushed 15 yards to set the scores level. Rory Quinn recovered a fumble on the kick off and Nick Korn held on to a 12-yard pass to give Lawrence the 21-14 lead going into the third quarter.
But a 51-yard kickoff return set up the Beloit offense deep in Viking territory on their first drive of the half. The Bucs went on to score and convert their second 2-point conversion of the game. The score would stay at 22-21 until late into the fourth quarter, when Beloit extended their lead to 7. Starting their final drive with two-and-a-half minutes on the clock, Aspenson put on a display, completing a pass to each of his receivers before carrying the ball in for his fifth rushing touchdown of the season. The Vikings set their eyes on the win, attempting a two-point conversion. Aspenson was tackled a yard short of the end zone, however, and the Vikes fell to Beloit by a point after failing to recover the onside kick.
Aspenson put in a second consecutive outstanding performance, completing 14 of 22 passes for 131 yards and rushing for 132. Billy Bodle led the defense piling on 12 tackles, including seven solo takedowns. Freshman Derek Micke also stood out, snagging his second interception as a Viking.
The Vikings have now had two thrillers in a row and will look to upset MWC powerhouse St. Norbert when they visit the Banta Bowl this Saturday. This game will see Head Coach Chris Howard take on his former team along with O-line Coach Mike Schultz who also served at Norbert, and three Viking assistants who played under Green Knights coach Jim Purtill. The Vikes will need all guns firing as they challenge the Knights and will look to junior Aspenson and senior Korn to lead their attack. The Viking pass defense, which currently tops the conference at just 121 passing yards a game, will look to restrict Cody Craig who has completed 30 of his last 40 pass attempts, including 5 TDs. The Vikings will battle it out with the six-time defending conference champs at 1:30 on Saturday.

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