GALESBURG, Ill. — Knox College’s Derek Mortensen ran for 203 yards and six touchdowns, and the Lawrence University football team turned the ball over five times in a 63-42 Midwest Conference loss on Saturday at the Knosher Bowl.
Lawrence (2-7, 2-6 MWC) lost despite have more total yards (583-520), running 30 more plays and owning a 7:05 advantage in time of possession over the Prairie Fire (2-7, 2-6).
Lawrence quarterback Luke Barthelmess completed 27 of 50 passes for 386 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Barthelmess broke Jim Petran’s career passing yards record of 5,431 yards and the junior quarterback now has 5,738 yards for his career.
Dominique Dirden caught 11 passes for 184 yards for the Vikings, and Tyler Mazur grabbed eight passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Mazur became just the sixth receiver in Lawrence history to pass 2,000 career receiving yards and now has 2,031. Senior running back Ben Hartman carried only nine times but had 89 yards for an impressive 9.9-yard average.
Knox built a 21-14 halftime lead with the help of four Lawrence turnovers in the first half. The Prairie Fire took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 52 yards for a touchdown and a 28-14 edge.
Another turnover gave Knox the ball back at the Lawrence 16-yard line, and Mortensen scored two plays later for a 35-14 lead.
The Vikings, who recovered three Knox fumbles on the afternoon, then failed to convert a fourth-and-1 at their own 34-yard line, and Knox took over on downs. Knox scored two plays later and led 42-14. Lawrence’s next drive ended on downs at the Knox 31, and the Prairie Fire drove for another score and a 49-14 lead.
Barthelmess than ran eight yards for a touchdown and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Mandich to trim the lead to 49-28 after three quarters.
Knox then hit on an 85-yard touchdown pass to crush any hope of a Lawrence comeback. Barthelmess ran for another touchdown and threw a touchdown pass to Mazur in the final quarter.