RIPON, Wis. — A big first half, capped by an interception return for a touchdown, led the Ripon College football team to a 34-6 Midwest Conference win over Lawrence University on Saturday at Ingalls Field.
Ripon (2-8, 2-6 MWC) retained possession of the Doehling-Heselton Trophy in the state’s oldest college football rivalry. This was the 116th meeting between the teams in a rivalry that began in 1893.
Ripon quarterback Cameron Gruenwald ran 26 times for 121 yards, and Cody Chase had 16 carries for 113 yards to pace Ripon. Gruenwald was just 1-for-5 passing with an interception.
Lawrence quarterback Philip Santiago was 13-for-27 passing for 95 yards and two interceptions. Lawrence (3-7, 2-6) was limited to just 198 total yards.
Ripon put together scoring drives of 65 and 47 yards and led 14-0 early in the second quarter. Lawrence took the ensuing kickoff and Jake Ryan, who finished with a game-high 13 tackles, returned it to the Ripon 48-yard line.
Lawrence converted a fourth-and-five play with a 21-yard pass to Cam Boerm to the Ripon 10. The Vikings faced fourth-and-goal at the one-yard line, and Santiago plowed into the end zone to cut the lead to 14-6.
Ripon drove back down the field and Chase scored from four yards out to push the lead back to 20-6. Lawrence got great field position late in the first half after a short punt gave the Vikings the ball at the Lawrence 47.
Lawrence moved the ball to the Ripon 31, but Santiago’s fourth-down pass was intercepted by Lane Barnes and returned 69 yards for a touchdown and a 27-6 lead. Lawrence drove back down the field but missed a 36-yard field goal on the half’s final play.
The Vikings had another good chance to get back into the game following Cole Erickson’s 79-yard punt that was downed at the Ripon three-yard line. Erickson’s punt broke the school record of 75 yards set by Phil Haas vs. Cornell way back in 1949.
The Vikings forced a three-and-out and another short punt gave Lawrence the ball at the Ripon 28. Santiago went for the end zone on the next play, and his pass was picked off by Armando Mosqued to end the threat.
Lawrence’s Cullen Ellis picked off Gruenwald later in the half for his first career interception, and Hunter Adams finished with 11 stops for the Vikings.