GRINNELL, Iowa – The Lawrence University football team built a big early lead, but Grinnell College finished with a strong fourth quarter and posted a 31-17 Midwest Conference victory Saturday at Rosenbloom Field.
Lawrence (1-6, 1-5 MWC) pulled out to a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but Grinnell (5-2, 4-2) scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to complete a comeback victory.
Quarterback Luke Barthelmess paced the Lawrence offense by completed 28 of 45 passes for 302 yards and a touchdown. Mike McCabe was 19 of 34 passing for 240 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions for Grinnell.
Lawrence started its first scoring drive at its own 1-yard line after Darvis PridGeon’s first career interception. Lawrence put together an impressive 18-play, 99-yard drive to go up 7-0.
Barthelmess was 8-for-9 passing on the drive and completed passes to seven different receivers on the drive. Barthelmess also ran for 26 yards on the drive. Shawn Martin ran it in from seven yards out to give the Vikings the first score of the game.
Lawrence’s next drive was much quicker. The Vikings took after at the Lawrence 49 after recovering a fumble. Barthelmess hit Jeremiah Johnson with a 51-yard scoring pass on the next play and Lawrence led 14-0 with 1:00 left in the first quarter.
Lawrence went up 17-0 after Cody Robel connected on a 32-yard field goal with 8:08 left in the second quarter.
An interception set up Grinnell’s first touchdown as the Pioneers took over at the Lawrence 27. McCabe connected with Robert Seer on the next play to trim the lead to 17-6. Grinnell then kicked a 42-yard field goal with two seconds left in the first half to cut the lead to 17-9.
After a scoreless third quarter, Grinnell completed a scoring drive early in the fourth quarter. The Pioneers moved 96 yards in six plays, with Seer catching a 42-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 17-15. The Pioneer passed for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 17-17.
A short punt on Lawrence’s next possession gave Grinnell the ball back at the Lawrence 22 and Seer caught a 9-yard touchdown pass four plays later to give the Pioneers a 24-17 lead.
The Pioneers then drove 71 yards in 13 plays for the final score with 3:06 left to seal the win.
Mats Jonsson and Jeff Nichols also picked up interceptions for the Lawrence defense. Andy Paider had a team-high nine tackles for the Vikings.
Lawrence returns to action next Saturday when it travels to Lake Forest College.