APPLETON, Wis. -- Lawrence University football standout Ethan Simmons has been named the Midwest Conference Special Teams Player of the Week in the wake of the Vikings' victory this past Saturday.
Simmons (Northglenn, Colo./Legacy) returned a punt 70 yards for what proved to be the winning touchdown in Lawrence's 32-27 Midwest Conference North Division victory over Beloit College on Ron Roberts Field at the Banta Bowl.
It was the first punt return for a touchdown for Simmons, a sophomore wide receiver averaging 16.3 yards per punt return. it also marked the first punt return for a touchdown by the Vikings since Derek Micke did it against Grinnell College back in 2006.
With the Vikings holding a 25-21 edge late in the third quarter, the Bucs punted and Simmons slid in from the left to field the kick on a bounce at the Lawrence 30-yard line. He raced across the field and down the sideline before a final cutback led him to the end zone. Simmons finished with two punt returns for 78 yards, an average of 39 yards per return.
Simmons also caught three passes for 39 yards and another touchdown and ran five times for 10 yards. He grabbed a 31-yard touchdown pass from D'Andre Weaver in the second quarter as the Vikings began to rally from a 19-6 deficit.
This marks the third time in the past two seasons that Lawrence has had an individual selected as Special Teams Player of the Week. Dan Rothbauer earned the honor twice as a senior in 2017.
Lawrence returns to action on Saturday as the Vikings travel to Ingalls Field to face Ripon College in the oldest rivalry in Wisconsin. The teams, which first met in 1893, are set to play for the 118th time with the Doehling-Heselton Memorial Trophy on the line. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.