The Lawrence football team traveled to Ripon College to continue their rivalry series with the Ripon Red Hawks. The first game of the series was played in 1893 and the teams have played each other every year since 1945 to compete for the Doehling-Heselton Memorial Trophy. It is the 15th oldest rivalry in the country, and the Red Hawks came into Saturday leading the series 60-46-7.
Ripon struck first with a six-yard run in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead. The Red Hawks pulled away in the second quarter with three touchdowns. Following a Vikings turnover, the Red Hawks went on a seven-play, 99-yard drive that was completed by a one-yard touchdown run.
After another rushing touchdown, Ripon finished the scoring in the second quarter with an 81-yard touchdown pass. The Vikings had a few opportunities to score in the first half, but couldn’t complete the drives to get on the board. Ripon led at the half by a score of 27-0.
The Red Hawks continued to have success with the running game in the second half, scoring three more rushing touchdowns to take a 47-0 lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Vikings got on the board with just over two minutes remaining in the game on a five-yard run by quarterback Chance Byrd. The Vikings lost by a final score of 47-7.
The Red Hawks controlled the game by way of their rushing attack. They ran the ball 62 times, which resulted in 528 yards. Red Hawk quarterback Stephen Covalt threw the ball only six times and went 2-6 with one touchdown and two interceptions.
The Vikings offense was paced by receiver Trevor Spina, who had seven catches for 72 yards, and receiver Taylor Mandich, who grabbed six passes for 69 yards. The defense was led by linebacker Dan Taylor, who had 13 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss. “We made some mental mistakes that lead to big plays for them,” defensive back Nick Ulloa said.
The Vikings will travel to Grinnell this weekend to play their last conference game. It will be a rematch from earlier this season, a game that the Vikings lost 29-7.
“We want to win for the seniors, who have done so much for this program,” offensive lineman Pip Wasserburg commented. “I think we learned a lot from our loss to [Grinnell] earlier this year.”
The game will start at 12 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 15. “I think we are a better team now than when we played them last time. This time we will be more prepared,” Ulloa finished.