The Ripon Red Hawks came soaring into Macalester Scots Stadium looking to take their record to 4-1 on the season. Their offense produced two quick touchdowns early in the game, then watched their defense stymy the Scots offense at every turn in the 23-0 victory.
The tone of this game was set in the first two possessions of the game. Ripon won the coin toss, giving the Scots the ball first, but the Scots were forced to go into a tough wind in their faces that made it difficult to move the ball. Jeremy Stephan combined for six-yards on the first two plays of the drive, but Christian Adams pass for a first down receiver Sam Bordo was not able to haul in. That forced a punt and the Red Hawks began their first drive of the game at the 30-yardline.
Ripon moved 70-yards in 14-plays, before Stephen Covalt’s pass to Nathan Kuehl resulted in the eight-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Red Hawks lead. It was an impressive drive that saw the visitors move the ball 12-times on the possession. The pivotal play came on fourth and 3 at the Macalester 13, when the Red Hawks opted to go for a field goal, however, the Scots were penalized for too many men on the field, giving Ripon new life. Two plays later Covalt found his man for the score.
Macalester was forced to punt on their next possession and, again, the Ripon offense got to work. The team took another 5:50 off of the clock, moving 47-yards in 12-plays. Covalt made a big pass play on second and 11 when he found Zach Reinhart for 18-yards and a first down. The biggest part of the drive began just after the second quarter began when Ripon was at the Scots eight-yardline on first and goal. They gained seven-yards on the first two plays of the drive, setting up third and 1. Covalt was stuffed on the third down play, putting the ball inches from the end zone. The Red Hawks opted to go for it and Connor Greenwald would not be stopped. A blocked extra point attempt by Garrett Eichhorn kept it 13-0.
The Red Hawks defense continued to play tough throughout the rest of the first half, but the Scots defense stepped up their game as well. Missing eight of their starters for the contest, the Macalester defensive group was able to stop the Ripon offense for the rest of the game. Senior defensive lineman Zach Hauser and sophomore linebacker Elliot Tanin led the way, posting 15 tackles each in the game. Quarterback Alec Beatty found himself playing safety and was outstanding, making eight tackles, including two for losses.
The defense kept giving the Scots offense back the ball, but there seemed to be no answers on how to stop the Red Hawks defense. They swarmed to the ball and made it difficult for Adams to find an open receiver. Adams was picked off twice by the Ripon defense, the second of which was returned 25-yards by Bradley Knoblock for the touchdown to make it 20-0.
The Ripon Red Hawks held the Scots to 223-yards of total offense, including just 78 through the air. Ripon’s defense was led by Cody Mitchell, who made nine tackles. Patrick Barany, Austin Schleisner and Brandon Latzig made seven apiece.
The Scots defense was also stout on the day. They held Ripon to 184-yards of total offense, with only 43 coming via the pass.
Kuehl and Greenwald tied for the team lead in yards rushing for Ripon with 53. Zandy Stowell rushed for 93-yards on 16-carries for the Macalester Scots.
By Robert Pannier