Offense powers Lake Forest to win over Lawrence

Lawrence's Wasonu Allen ran for a career-high 161 in the Vikings' loss to Lake Forest.
Lawrence's Wasonu Allen ran for a career-high 161 in the Vikings' loss to Lake Forest.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The running of Joey Valdivia and a precision passing game powered Lake Forest College to a 42-26 non-conference victory over Lawrence University Saturday night on Ron Roberts Field at the Banta Bowl.

Valdivia, an All-America running back, rushed 20 times for 268 yards and five touchdowns. Lake Forest quarterback Jagan Cleary was 23-of-26 passing for 303 yards and a touchdown, and the Foresters (3-0) finished with 623 yards of offense. Receivers Chris Edomwande and Isaac Barthelmess hurt the Vikings as Edomwande finished with seven catches for 153 yards and Barthelmess had eight catches for 105.

Lawrence (1-2) stayed with Lake Forest for most of the game, as the Vikings rolled up 335 yards of offense, including 245 on the ground. Sophomore running back Wasonu Allen ran 20 times for a career-high 161 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Philip Santiago chipped in with 60 rushing yards and completed 6-of-22 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown.

The game was a shootout until early in the fourth quarter when Lake Forest finally put some distance between itself and the Vikings. Valdivia had a 61-yard touchdown run to put the Foresters up 35-20 with 14:23 left.

Lawrence bounced right back when Terrell Myers ripped off a 64-yard kickoff return to put the Vikings at the Lake Forest 31-yard line. The Vikings scored six plays later on Allen's two-yard plunge, but the point after was wide, and Lawrence trailed 35-26.

It was more Valdivia on the next possession as he broke loose for a 58-yard run to the Lawrence 13. He scored two plays later, and Lake Forest led 42-26. The Vikings had one more serious scoring drive but Santiago was intercepted at the Lake Forest two-yard line to end the threat.

The teams traded touchdowns early as Lawrence scored on the game's first possession. Lawrence moved 76 yards in nine plays, and the drive was capped by Santiago's 17-yard touchdown pass to Cole Erickson along the back line of the end zone for a 7-0 lead. Cleary connected with Edomwande for 62 yards, and the Foresters tied it at 7-7 on the next possession.

Valdivia's nine-yard scoring run late in the first quarter put Lake Forest up 13-7, and then the Vikings came up with a big stop on the next drive. Cleary completed a pass to Stanford Ellis to the Lawrence one-yard line, but AJ Wansley popped the ball free and it scooted out of the back of the end zone for a touchback.

Lawrence then marched 80 yards in 14 plays for a touchdown with Allen piling up 48 yards rushing on the drive. A key pass interference penalty kept the drive alive, and Allen capped it with a four-yard touchdown run to put the Vikings up 14-13.

Lake Forest answered with a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive of its down as Valdivia ran it in from 14 yards out for the touchdown. A two-point conversion put Lake Forest up 21-14 at the half. The Foresters scored on the first possession of the second half, and Valdivia capped it with a five-yard touchdown run for a 28-14 lead.

Lawrence came right back and scored on its next drive as Allen ripped off a 32-yard run to move the ball to the Lake Forest 34. Santiago later ran for 14 yards to the Lake Forest six, and Caleb Catt plowed in from two yards out two plays later to trim the lead to 28-20.