Teaming up to bring down a Knox runner are, from left, Cameron Doerfler, Lane Barnes, Ethan Hoffman and Bennett Groves.
Teaming up to bring down a Knox runner are, from left, Cameron Doerfler, Lane Barnes, Ethan Hoffman and Bennett Groves.

   In less than two minutes, the Ripon College Red Hawk football team watched its 21-6 advantage slip away last week Saturday.

   It allowed two touchdowns in 110 seconds and was a 2-point conversion away from finding itself tied at 21 with the Knox Prairie Fire with around six minutes remaining in the third quarter.

   “I was really irritated that it went from 21-6 to 21-19,” Ripon head coach Ron Ernst said. “There was a breakdown in our special teams in terms of getting a punt blocked and then we had a breakdown in our secondary and we did not communicate very well; in fact, we didn’t communicate at all.”

   The Red Hawks, however, responded by coming up with a stop on the 2-point attempt and rattled off 17 unanswered points to defeat the Prairie Fire 38-19 at home.

   The game determined which team would finish in fifth place in the Midwest Conference standings by pitting the North Division against the South Division.

   “I was real proud of the way our kids did not panic ... and we just kept plugging away,” Ernst said. “We knew we can make the plays, we knew what we needed to fix was fixable. We just needed to communicate better, we needed to tackle better and we needed to block better. Once we did that we were going to be fine.”

   That wasn’t the only time Ripon had to bounce back in the game.

Read the full story, which includes information on a strong running game, in the Nov. 15, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.