GALESBURG, Ill. — The Lawrence University football team’s rally came up short Saturday and Knox College held on for a 33-27 Midwest Conference victory in the Knosher Bowl.
Lawrence (3-6, 2-5 MWC) got a late touchdown to cut Knox’s lead to six, and the Vikings’ defense forced a three-and-out to get the ball back. Knox intercepted a pass on the second play of the final drive to seal the victory.
Lawrence quarterback Philip Santiago went 17-for-33 passing for 170 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Santiago also carried the ball 16 times for 97 yards and a pair of scores. Cam Boerm caught six passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns for the Vikings.
Running back Braeden Westfall and quarterback Matt McCaffrey did all the damage for Knox (2-7, 2-5). Westfall had 29 carries for 176 yards, and McCaffrey ran 19 times for 52 yards. McCaffrey completed 17-of-25 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
Knox took control of the game by scoring 19 unanswered points to turn a 14-7 second-quarter deficit into a 26-14 lead in the final seconds of the third quarter.
Lawrence then moved 81 yards in 13 plays for a touchdown to get back into the game. Boerm caught a 13-yard touchdown pass to trim Knox’s lead to 26-21 with 11:12 left in the game.
The Prairie Fire answered with a 65-yard scoring drive of its own. Malik Hamilton caught a 15-yard pass from McCaffrey to push the lead back to 33-21 with 7:43 left.
Lawrence methodically marched down the field with another 13-play drive that went for 81 yards and a touchdown. Santiago did the honors with a one-yard plunge that trimmed the lead to 33-27.
After the Lawrence defense forced a punt, the Vikings got the ball back near midfield. A sack on the first play pushed the ball back to the 30-yard line, and Santiago was intercepted on the next play.
Lawrence jumped out to the early lead when Santiago hit Boerm with a 19-yard touchdown pass to cap an eight-play, 78-yard drive for a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Quinn Sharp then intercepted Santiago and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. Lawrence quickly grabbed the lead back when Santiago scored on a one-yard run on the first play of the second quarter to cap a 48-yard drive for a 14-7 edge.