Julian Patton scrambles for yards on a quarterback keeper in Ripon’s loss to St. Norbert.
Julian Patton scrambles for yards on a quarterback keeper in Ripon’s loss to St. Norbert.

   It’s hard enough to defeat conference powerhouse St. Norbert if you play a near-perfect game.

   Turn the ball over five times and it becomes nearly impossible.

   That was the case for the Ripon College football team last week Saturday as it threw two interceptions and lost five fumbles in a 30-17 road loss to the Green Knights.

   “Turnovers killed us,” Ripon head coach Ron Ernst said. “In a game like that where two teams are evenly matched, to a large degree like that, you can’t turn the ball over ... And we needed to take the ball away from them more and we didn’t. So I think that was the difference. Field position played a big part of the of the game.”

   The contest started as a defensive affair as the first five drives ended in punts, with only one first down being picked up during them.

   St. Norbert (1-0 conference, 4-1 overall) broke through, however, late in the first quarter as it drove the ball 61 yards in four plays for a touchdown. The possession was capped off with a 39-yard pass.

   The Green Knights then forced another Red Hawk punt on the next drive and went 51 yards on four plays — which included a 35-yard completion — to take a 14-0 lead.

  After the teams traded field goals on their ensuing possession to make it 17-3, the turnovers began.

Read the full story in the Oct. 11, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.