After Monmouth, football looks toward Fall Festival game

Philip Roy

Lawrence traveled to West-Central Illinois over the weekend to face the conference-leading Monmouth Fighting Scots. The Vikings fell back early in the game, as Monmouth connected for a 42-yard pass followed by one for 17 and a touchdown. A fumble on Lawrence’s next possession gave the ball back to the Fighting Scots, who converted that drive for a field goal to extend their lead. The Viking offense piled on over 100 yards over the rest of the half but was unable to put any points on the board. As the second quarter ran out, Monmouth was given the ball on the LU 32 and took a penalty and a 17-yard pass to extend their lead to 17-0 at the half.
The third quarter would prove devastating for the Vikings as Monmouth’s running back ran in for three consecutive touchdowns to take the game out of Lawrence’s reach. The Vikings managed to pull one back on their last drive of the quarter, however, giving P.J. Hilbert his first TD pass of the season. Nick Korn was on the receiving end of the 86-yard pass as he tallied his third score of the year.
The Scots converted another field goal attempt in the closing quarter, taking their score past the 40-point mark. The Vikings’ third string quarterback, Ron Jacques, also managed to put up his first touchdown pass as Dominique Lark held on to a 31-yard pass that would prove to be the last points of the game.
Despite falling to an imposing score line, the Vikings put up impressive numbers against the conference leaders. Lawrence held on to the ball longer than their opponents for the fourth consecutive game and ended just 5 yards short of Monmouth’s total yardage. Turnovers, however, buried the Vikings as they fumbled the ball three times. Five unsuccessful fourth-down attempts were devastating, giving the Fighting Scots the ball in Lawrence territory on four occasions.
On the defensive side, freshman Derek Micke pulled down his third career interception, which proved to be Monmouth’s only committed turnover. When asked about the game, the freshman corner commented, “They had that one big quarter. If we had limited our turnovers and stopped a couple of big plays, the scoreboard would have told a different story.”
Lawrence will play a string of home games to conclude their season starting with this weekend’s Fall Festival game against Grinnell College. The Pioneers are at the bottom of the conference standings and the Vikings will look to get their second win of the season. Lawrence’s woes at the quarterback position continue with Hilbert being sidelined by an ankle injury. Freshman Ron Jacques, who threw a touchdown on his first drive of the season against Monmouth, will see his first start this weekend.
It is Fall Festival weekend, Lawrence’s quirky take on homecoming, and the game presents a great opportunity for us fans to show our support for the Vikings. The day will even see the first appearance of a Lawrence pep band in a long while. Helmets with horns, drums, medieval weapons, pom-poms, painted faces/torsos/whatever … bring it all to the Bowl, this Saturday, 1 p.m.