Green Knights roll past Vikings

Philip Roy

LU football took on defending conference champions St. Norbert Oct. 8 in the second game played at the Banta Bowl this season.
The game’s opening quarter was hard-fought, with neither team managing to put any points on the board. Lawrence’s defense restricted the Green Knights, whose only scoring chance came in the form of an unsuccessful field goal attempt. Earlier, junior Joe Austin caught his second interception of the season to put an end to a probing Norbert’s drive.
The second quarter, however, turned out to be pivotal, with St. Norbert stealing the momentum of the game with three quick scores. The Viking offense turned the ball over twice and was punished on both occasions by a confident Norbert attack.
The Green Knights showed no respite, returning from the locker room to extend their lead to 27-0. The Vikings managed to pull one back on their next possession as QB Eric Aspenson ran in for a touchdown after a couple of big catches by receivers Dom Lark and Chris Kliethermes. RB Adrell Bullock dashed into the end zone to convert the 2-point attempt. St. Norbert, however, remained relentless and took the game out of reach with consecutive touchdowns.
The Vikings showed heart by outplaying the Green Knights in the closing quarter. A 51-yard pass to Tim O’Toole took Lawrence deep into the opposing half, allowing Bullock to run in his third TD of the season. On their next drive, the Vikings were set back 30 yards by penalties and saw Aspenson limp off the field after being tackled on a questionably late hit.
On the last play of the game, Bullock was brought down short of the end zone after an explosive 80-yard run. Always a threat, Bullock had broken one for a record 91-yard run in last season’s opener against Knox.
Defensive back Billy Bodle led the team in tackles for a second consecutive game with 11. Linebacker Andrew Schneider followed with 8 total tackles, including 3 for losses. Despite the eventual scoreline, the Vikings were just short of the Green Knights in total yardage and were in possession of the ball for the majority of the game.
This weekend, the Vikes take the long trip down to conference leader Monmouth. The Fighting Scots recently broke into the American Football Coaches Association top-25 poll sitting at No. 25 in Division III. The Vikings will then return to the Bowl for three consecutive home games starting with Grinnell on Oct. 22nd. With Eric Aspenson out for an uncertain amount of time, the Vikings’ depth at the QB position will surely be tested. With four games left in the season Lawrence will look to improve its record and continue to play off of the team’s relentless work ethic.