Monmouth College Beats Ripon 39-31, Stay Alive in MWC Football Race

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The Monmouth College football team kept their conference championship hopes alive with a 39-31 win over previously unbeaten Ripon College on Saturday. The senior day win forces a three-way tie in conference play with Monmouth, Lake Forest and Ripon all at 7-1 and all 1-1 against each other. 

The teams traded punts on the first three drives in wind gusting to over 30 MPH. With the wind at their backs, Monmouth started their second drive on the Ripon 44 and on the first play, Carter Boyer (Carthage, Illinois) hit Nate Thornton (Peoria, Illinois) deep down the right sideline. Thornton fumbled at the 4-yard line but fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. The extra-point was blocked by Ripon and the Scots led 6-0. 

Monmouth forced another punt and took over on their own 47. But after moving to the Ripon 28, the Scots turned the ball over on a fumbled snap. Ripon punted again with Monmouth starting on their own 38. Boyer completed two straight passes to Jake Uryasz (Farmington, Illinois), the latter for 58 yards down to the four. Boyer found Thornton in the end zone for another touchdown. Ripon again blocked the extra point, this time picking it up and running 95 yards the other way for a 2-point conversion to give the Scots a 12-2 lead. 

Neither team could move the ball early in the second quarter. Ripon took over after a short punt at the Monmouth 38 with 12:18 to play in the half. On the fourth play of the drive, Cormac Madigan scored on a 19-yard run to cut the Scots lead to 12-9. Ripon blocked a punt on the next Monmouth drive and the Red Hawks covered 33 yards in five plays to take a 16-12 lead. 

The Scots got new life on the next drive as a roughing the punter penalty gave Monmouth a first down at their own 31. But an interception on the next play gave Ripon the ball at their own 45. The Red Hawks drive stalled and Monmouth took over on the 20 with 5:27 to play in the half. They methodically moved down the field to the Ripon 22. On the 12th play of the drive, Boyer found Thornton for a third score, this one from 22-yards out. Cody Szelc’s (Riverview, Florida) extra point was good for a 19-16 Scots lead. 

Ripon started the next possession with 90 seconds to go. They were about to punt the ball away on 4th down after an incomplete pass at their own 35 but the Scots were called for targeting. Ripon got the ball at the 50 and moved to the 11 before calling timeout with 17 seconds left. Quarterback Jarrett Zibert kept the ball for a run to the end zone and Ripon took a 23-19 lead to the half. 

The second half had a choppy start with a Monmouth punt, a Ripon punt, an interception from Boyer and then Hunter Devena (Galesburg, Illinois) blocked a Red Hawks punt, recovered by the Scots on the Ripon 7. Boyer ran right for a touchdown on the next play and the Scots regained the lead at 26-23. 

Ripon punted and the Scots quickly added on. Boyer found Uryasz on the third play of the drive for a 32-yard touchdown pass but the extra-point was again blocked, giving Monmouth a 32-23 lead. The Red Hawks fumbled on their next drive, recovered by Korbyn Personett (Pittsfield, Illinois) on the Monmouth 40. Monmouth moved to the Ripon 43 as the third quarter ended. The Scots slowly moved down the field from there with Lawrence rushing for 21 yards on the drive, the last four putting him in the end zone for a 39-23 lead. 

The teams traded punts as the clock ticked away. Then, Hayden Eugene (West Palm Beach, Florida) picked off a Ripon pass at the 50 but the Scots had to punt. Ripon scored on a 78-yard touchdown catch-and-run, then converted the 2-pointer to cut Monmouth’s lead to 39-31. Monmouth had to punt with 3:14 to play but Michael Lord (LaHarpe, Illinois) picked off Zibert at the 50 with 2:34 left. Lawrence ran three times, down to the Ripon 33 as the Red Hawks used their timeouts. When Lawrence picked up 17 yards on 2nd-and-12, the game was over and the Scots took two knees as the clock ran out. 

Lawrence ran 24 times for 115 yards as the Scots finished with 130 rushing yards. Boyer completed 16-of-38 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns. Uryasz had four catches for 103 yards and a touchdown while Thornton had six catches for 94 yards and three touchdowns. Caleb Endicott (Saint Cloud, Florida) and Tanner Tomaschke (Greenville, Illinois) both had nine tackles. Personett had three tackles for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery. Nick Harris (Winter Haven, Florida) had two pass break ups in the first half before missing the second half on the targeting penalty

MONMOUTH MOMENTS: Ripon hadn’t allowed more than 21 points to any team this season and they held both Lake Forest and Chicago to under 20…The Scots have won five in a row against Ripon and nine of the last 10 and 13 of the last 15 dating back to 2002. Monmouth outgained Ripon 373-282…The Scots held Ripon to 2-of-14 on 3rd down…Time of possession was even at 30:00 for both teams…There were 12 fumbles in the game, seven by Ripon and five by Monmouth but each team only lost one…Both teams had two interceptions and blocked a punt…Neither team attempted a field goal in the windy conditions and there were only two punt returns on 17 punts…Both returns were by the Scots with Riley Fetterer (Milan, Illinois) picking up 29 yards…The Scots head to Knox next weekend for the Turkey Bowl…Kickoff is set for Noon in Galesburg…Lake Forest plays Chicago and Ripon plays Lawrence…The next tiebreaker is quarters led with Monmouth and Lake Forest even at 28 and Ripon on 24 heading into the last game.

For the replay of the AM 1330 WRAM radio broadcast of the game, click HERE

***Story and photo courtesy of Monmouth College Athletic Department***

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