In a game featuring the oldest college football rivalry in Wisconsin, the Lawrence University (Vikings) Football team lost to the Ripon College Redhawks with a final score of 43-15. Ripon improved its record to 6-3 while Lawrence fell to 1-8.
The Vikings entered this game determined to earn their first win in the renovated Banta Bowl. “This was our rival game, but it didn’t change our game plan,” said senior Pat Pierson. “We made some changes to our offense, but stuck to the way we do things.” Lawrence began the game on a high note with a 57-yard kick return from freshman Alic Reidel to the Ripon 35-yard line. The effort was thwarted as Ripon intercepted the ball before the Vikings could complete a first down. The Redhawks then rushed their way to the endzone to bring the score to 7-0. This possession seemed to set the tone as Ripon capitalized on every drive, while Lawrence failed to convert a single first down until the very end of the quarter. Ripon had four unanswered touchdowns up until the two-minute warning when freshman and quarterback Ryan Butterfield connected to freshman and running back Terrance Simon. With a successful two-point conversion, the Vikings brought the score to 28-8. Ripon retaliated quickly with a three play 81-yard touchdown drive, taking a commanding lead at the half 36-8.
The Redhawks continued to pile on to their lead during the third quarter, bringing the score to 43-8. It was not until the beginning of the fourth that the Vikings capitalized on a muffed Ripon return with another reception by Simon in the endzone, which determined the final score of 43-15.
Ripon finished the game with 521 total yards of offense, 404 of them coming from rushing yards. The Viking run defense will certainly need improvement as they approach their final game of the year.
Lawrence will finish its season on Nov. 14 against Grinnell College, where the team hopes to earn its first Banta Bowl win. This will be the second matchup of the season for the two teams, Lawrence having lost the last game in a close score of 28-20. “Our offense has gotten a lot better,” said Pierson. “We’ll be watching a lot of film and making adjustments.” Grinnell shares a 1-8 record with Lawrence; this leaves the Vikings certainly within reach of victory.