After suffering two losses by a combined five points, head coach Dave Brown knew something had to be done. So this week he plans on surgically repairing the kicking game with the free agent pool. Free agency in college? Perhaps free agency is a misnomer. This particular person has been a part of the team all year, yet will suit up for the first time in his collegiate career.
Kevin Fitzsimmons knows college sports well. As an up-and-coming first baseman for the baseball team and team manager for the football team, he is familiar with the ins and outs of a collegiate season. But a serious neck injury kept him from using his massive 6’3″ 225-pound frame to its full potential.
Throwing caution to the wind, he has chosen to come out of retirement and help the Vikes salvage the rest of the season.
This decision is spurred by the Vikings’ second loss due to a special team deficiency. Another blocked punt and a one for three performance on extra points calls for immediate change.
Leading 33-14 at halftime, the Vikes let a winless Grinnell team back into the game with their mistakes. It appeared as if the Viking coaching staff did not adjust to the Grinnell passing game after halftime, continuously dropping into a straight cover four defense.
On offense, the coaches failed as much as the players with their predictable play calling. Runs on first and second down were broadcasted, as was the ensuing pass on third down.
This resulted in a not only a heartbreaking 48-47 loss, but also a futile offense in place of the potent attack the Vikes possessed in the first half. Spoiled were the career days of Justin Berrens and Nick Korn, who posted the majority of their statistics in the first half.
Berrens posted the second best rushing day ever in Lawrence’s program history with 310, with 211 of those yards coming in the first half. Korn posted the best game of his short collegiate career with six catches for 60 yards with a touchdown.
With only three games left in the season the Vikings must make adjustments throughout the whole game to win out. Sticking with the game plan must include adjusting to new defenses after one half of a ball game.
On the defense side of the ball, some means of stopping the bleeding must occur. The Vikes are now last in total defense (398.1 yards per game) in the conference. A mix of blitzing, and perhaps some seldom-seen man coverage, could spark a new fervor on the defensive side of the ball.
Last Saturday’s game showcased the induction of the 2003 Hall of Fame class, presented at halftime.
The inductees included Steve Neuman, ’76, Gina Seegers, ’92, Paul Elsberry, ’51, Joel Ungrodt, ’64, Bob Eddy, ’79, and Chris Lindfelt, ’88. These six proud Lawrentians bring the total number of hall of famers to 60.