Vikings come up short against Macalester

Lawrence football action Ethan Simmons
Lawrence's Ethan Simmons had a 72-yard touchdown run against Macalester.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The Lawrence University football team came up short Saturday in a 16-6 Midwest Conference North Division loss to Macalester College on Ron Roberts Field at the Banta Bowl.

Lawrence came up empty on four drives that pierced Macalester territory, and the Vikings turned the ball over four times on interceptions.

Lawrence's Ethan Simmons ran eight times for 117 yards and included in that was a 72-yard touchdown run. Lawrence quarterback Billy Wallisch was 11-of-32 for 184 yards and tossed four interceptions. Nick Pastrone caught four passes, including a pair of spectacular grabs, for 73 yards to pace the Lawrence receivers.

Macalester quarterback Michael Nadeu was 20-of-31 for 207 yards and ran nine times for 40 yards and a touchdown. 

The Lawrence defense was put in tough positions multiple times but repeatedly came up with big stops to force the Scots to settle for field goals. The Scots kicked three second-half field goals to ease away from the Vikings.

Lawrence linebacker Jordan Holmes made 12 tackles to lead all tacklers. Zachary Adams and Marcellus Giles finished with nine tackles apiece, and Eder Bellegarde had eight stops for the Vikings (1-5, 0-2 MWC North).

Macalester (3-3, 1-1) got on the board first with Nadeau's 24-yard scramble for a touchdown midway through the first quarter. Lawrence answered with a big play early in the second quarter as Simmons took the ball on a fly sweep, cut upfield and raced 72 yards for a score with 9:13 left. The extra point was blocked and Macalester led 7-6.

The Vikings were moving on their next drive, but Maxx Malone came up with an interception at the Macalester 17-yard line to turn away the threat. The Scots looked to increase their lead early in the third quarter as they drove deep into Lawrence territory, but Juan Rivera recovered a fumble at the Lawrence 11 to stop that drive.

The Scots got great field position on the ensuing possession and cashed in with a 42-yard Jon Neve field goal to increase the lead to 10-6. Neve connected on a 23-yard field goal with 7:32 left in the game to push the lead to 13-6.

After an exchange of punts, Lawrence took over at its own seven-yard line with 2:42 left. Wallisch's first pass just slipped past the outstretched hands of Simmons, and the same duo missed connecting on a second-down play that saw Simmons beyond the defense. Two more imcompletions, including a fourth-down play where Simmons nearly made a spectacular catch, and Macalester took over on downs.

Neve added another short field goal for the final margin.