Ripon College senior Hunter Gruenwald (6) jumps on the back of Ripon head coach Ron Ernst after the win over Cornell as assistant coach Mike Yoder, left, and the team watch.
Ripon College senior Hunter Gruenwald (6) jumps on the back of Ripon head coach Ron Ernst after the win over Cornell as assistant coach Mike Yoder, left, and the team watch.

   After starting the season 0-3 and being 1-4 after five games, a .500 record seemed unlikely for the Ripon College football team.

   Apparently, somebody forgot to tell the Red Hawks that.

   With a 42-11 trouncing of Cornell last week Saturday in Mount Vernon, Iowa, they won five of their last seven games, including their last three, to finish the season 5-5.

   The stretch also included a 36-29 come-from-behind victory Oct. 28 over the University of Chicago that began the three-game winning streak. They trailed 29-14 in the fourth quarter of that contest.

   “[I’m] very, very proud of our guys,” Ripon head coach Ron Ernst said. “[We] started off 0-3 ­— very rough start, tough competition — and we just kept battling every week. Our kids stayed focused. We continued to have good weeks of practice, we continued to challenge them and hold them accountable and they responded extremely well.

   “This was a very fun group to coach. They were funny at times and at times exasperating, but in the end these were great kids and I was just really happy for them to see them win five of their last seven, win our last three [and] send the seniors out on a really positive note having played so well. It was just a really good ending to the season.”

   Ripon’s final game of the season, which was a Midwest Conference crossover game against Cornell of the South Division, got off to a slow start as well.

Read the full story, which includes information on how the Red Hawks scored their six touchdowns, in the Nov. 16, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.