Ripon College faithful sat through an hour of regulation play on a blustery, cold afternoon last week Saturday at Ingalls Field, only for it to be rendered meaningless.
A strong first-half effort by the Red Hawk football team was undone as Illinois College marched back to tie the game 30-30 late in the contest, dashing fans’ dreams of an easy Homecoming victory.
For that reason, the first 60 minutes may have been frustrating to watch.
But the next five were pure exhilaration.
Ripon wasted little time before going up 37-30, saw the score tighten to 37-36 as Illinois scored as well, and then made a dramatic play to bring the Red Hawks (3-1) streaming onto the field in celebration.
“If you were sitting in the stands watching the game it was quite entertaining, but [for us] it was stressful ...,” Ripon College head coach Ron Ernst said, chuckling. “But it was a good win for us, it really was. That’s a really good football team in Illinois College ... That’s a team that played for the conference championship last year, and they have a lot of those kids back.
“So, for us to step up like we did is a real credit to our kids and how they performed and how they looked at this game.”
Read the full story, including how the big play came to pass, in the Oct. 8, 2015 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.