APPLETON, Wis. — A powerful ground game and big plays led the Lawrence University football team to a 53-7 Midwest Conference rout of Grinnell College on Saturday on Ron Roberts Field at the Banta Bowl.

Lawrence posted 442 rushing yards with a pair of 100-yard rushers, and the Vikings finished with 622 total yards. The win was No. 500 in Lawrence football history, which dates back to 1893.

Rookie running back Wasonu Allen had eight carries for 146 yards and two touchdowns for Lawrence (3-5, 2-4 MWC). Freshman quarterback Philip Santiago ran six times for 140 yards and a touchdown. Santiago also completed 7-of-12 passes for 180 yards and three touchdowns. Donnel Haley added 76 rushing yards on just nine carries for the Vikings.

Jacob Bernholtz had 22 carries for 96 yards to pace Grinnell (0-8, 0-6).

Linebackers Dan Rothbauer and Jake Gostisha spearheaded a Lawrence defense that limited Grinnell to 291 total yards. Rothbauer finished with 19 tackles, including 3.0 tackles for loss. Gostisha had 15 tackles, including 1.0 TFLs, an interception and a pass breakup. Safety Dante Reese collected his second interception on the season and finished with four tackles.

Lawrence got on the board with 6:50 left in the first quarter when Santiago broke through up the middle and went 80 yards for the touchdown. The 80-yard run ties the second-longest run from scrimmage in Lawrence history and gave the Vikings a 6-0 lead.

After Gostisha’s interception stopped the next Grinnell drive, Santiago hit Chris Shaw with a 74-touchdown pass and Lawrence led 13-0 late in the first quarter.

The Vikings tacked on two more touchdowns in the second quarter as Trevor Spina sprinted in from five yards out and Santiago hit Cam Boerm with a 20-yard scoring pass for a 25-0 lead.

Lawrence led 25-7 at the half but quickly expanded that lead in the third quarter. Santiago found Cole Erickson on a 31-yard touchdown pass on Lawrence’s first drive of the quarter. Allen then burst up the middle on a 23-yard touchdown run, and the Vikings led 39-7 after three.

Reese’s interception set up the next Lawrence touchdown as the Vikings took over at their own 33-yard line. Freshman Jack Marinich capped a nine-play, 67-yard drive with his first career touchdown on an eight-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter for a 46-7 edge.

Allen capped the scoring with a spectacular 54-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter for the final margin.

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