Austin Bunders celebrates after scoring a touchdowns and former Red Hawks Cameron Mignone, left, and Parker Groves cheer him on.
Austin Bunders celebrates after scoring a touchdowns and former Red Hawks Cameron Mignone, left, and Parker Groves cheer him on.

   Entering the season, the Ripon College football team knew it might have some growing pains.

   That certainly was the case last week Saturday as it dropped its season opener to Augsburg 36-26.

   “We’re very talented, I think, but the youth was really on display in the sense that we were unable to just keep up with the speed of the game at times,” Ripon head coach Ron Ernst said. “And that was in all three areas of the ballgame. We certainly have talked to the kids about making sure that we pick up the speed and the physicality. And I think they needed to get their noses bloodied a little bit to understand what we’re trying to say.

   “We took some lumps on Saturday, but I think in the long run, it’s going to certainly pay off for us.”

   The Red Hawks were able to mask some of their weakness early as the defense bent but did not break through the first 18 minutes.

   That included coming up with a goal-line stop on the Augsburg Auggies’ first possession of the game.

   Offensively, Ripon finally managed to break through in the second quarter. After not picking up a first down in the opening quarter, it drove the ball 55 yards on 10 plays to jump out to a 7-0 advantage.

Read the full story, which includes information on the offensive finding a grove in the second half, in the Sept. 12, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.