The Lawrence football team took an 0-3 record into its Saturday, Oct. 3 game against the Illinois College Blueboys, who came into the game with a 2-1 record. Things started off slowly for the Vikings, as the Blueboys put three touchdowns on the board before Lawrence could score. However, the Vikings refused to give up, as senior Lucas Below punched in a 1-yard touchdown run with six minutes left in the second quarter. The celebration in the Banta Bowl was short-lived, as Illinois quarterback Mitch Neikamp threw his fourth touchdown pass of the first half only four minutes later. The second half started well for the Vikings as senior quarterback Nick Maxam led his team to the Illinois College 1-yard line, but Maxam’s fourth-and-1 rushing attempt was stymied by the Illinois defense, as was the Vikings’ attempt to capitalize on a fumble by Illinois punt returner DJ Jackson later in the quarter. The score remained at 28-7 until senior Matt Frelich intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown, cutting the Illinois lead to 28-13 after a Cody Robel extra point attempt was blocked. The fourth quarter started and the Blueboys connected on their fifth and final touchdown pass, but the Vikings were not done scoring. With seven minutes left, Nick Maxam connected on a 57-yard bomb to freshman Nate Nelson for the Vikings’ third touchdown of the day. After the Vikings missed their two-point conversion attempt, the score stood at 35-19, which would hold up as neither team could put together another scoring drive. Even a 16-point loss was cause for optimism for the Vikings, whose 19 points in the losing effort bettered their current season total by 13. Junior offensive tackle Kaushal Malde said, “We made substantial improvements as a team, but we still have a long way to go.” The Vikings have a chance to improve their conference record Saturday when they travel to face the 0-4 Lake Forest Foresters.