The Lake Forest College football team fell 64-19 in its 2010 Midwest Conference opener at Ripon College on Saturday. The Foresters fell to 0-2 overall on the season.
Turnovers cost the visitors dearly. Forty-two of the Red Hawks' 64 points were scored after Lake Forest miscue, including a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown to give the home team a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the contest. Ripon also reached the end zone on a 15-yard pass and 25-yard run to open up a 21-0 advantage early in the second quarter.
The Foresters got on the scoreboard on a 3-yard touchdown pass from senior Geoff Sobey to sophomore Rocky Al-Mutawa with 6:15 to play in the first half. The drive covered 74 yards, including 41 on seven carries by senior tailback Brock Stenberg. It was Al-Mutawa's first career touchdown.
Ripon, however, returned the ensuing kickoff into Lake Forest territory and connected on a 37-yard field goal with 1:51 on the clock.
Sobey then needed just 55 seconds to drive the Foresters 60 yards, the final 21 to the end zone on a pass play to junior Kevin Davis. However, the extra point was blocked, picked up by a Red Hawk, and returned to the end zone for two points.
Ripon was able to work its way into field goal range, connected from 34 yards as the second quarter expired, and took a 29-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The home team had the ball for just 15 plays in the third quarter but scored 28 points to break the game wide open. Ripon reached the end zone on a 2-yard run, 35-yard reception, 63-yard punt return, and 22-yard run to increase the lead to 57-13 going into the final 15 minutes.
After the Foresters' fifth interception and eighth turnover of the contest, the Red Hawks used up nearly seven minutes during a 13-play, 86-yard scoring drive.
Sophomore quarterback Pete Scaffidi then entered the game and led Lake Forest on an 11-play, 66-yard drive that ended with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Davis, who finished the game with three receptions - two for touchdowns - for 56 yards. It was Scaffidi's first touchdown pass as a Forester.
Stenberg ran 20 times for 108 of the visitors' 174 rushing yards and Sobey's two touchdown passes give him 25 in his career.
Sophomore linebacker Aidan Price led Lake Forest with a career-high 13 tackles and senior linebacker Anthony Garetto added a dozen. Junior defensive lineman Kenneth Clady-Mason and senior defensive back David Adams also recorded career-highs with nine and eight tackles, respectively.
Despite the lopsided result on the scoreboard, Forester head coach Jim Catanzaro noted some positives in his team's performance on the field. "We were extremely close to turning it around at halftime," he began. "Unfortunately, we kept giving Ripon extra possessions and a short field. We have to take better care of the football and improve our execution late in drives. There were some bright spots, including the job Price did in his first collegiate start. Sobey gave us a boost in the second quarter and I thought wey may have caught lightning in a bottle. Unforunately we needed a lightning storm and not just a flash. The players and I know we're close and, after a more consistent week of practice and a better start to next Saturday's game, we should see more success."
The Foresters will be back on the road next week at Illinois College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.