By Dan Lukes
SNC SPORTS INFORMATION DIRECTOR
RIPON – St. Norbert College opened the 2022 season with a defensive struggle in a nonconference game against former Midwest Conference archrival Ripon College and dropped a tough 13-10 decision at Ingalls Field.
Ripon’s Erik Flores converted a 36-yard field goal with 1:28 remaining to put the Red Hawks out front for the first time. St. Norbert would reach the Ripon 31-yard line as time expired.
Following a scoreless first quarter, St. Norbert had a 39-yard field goal try miss wide left with 6:33 left in the second quarter.
The Green Knights got an interception from Alex Campbell returned to the 29-yard line. St. Norbert would have a first-and-goal at the Ripon 4 but would settle for a 19-yard field goal by Dan Simon with 2:18 left in the half.
Ripon then marched 67 yards in 11 plays and tied the game on Flores’ 25-yard field goal with 19 seconds left for a 3-3 halftime tie.
St. Norbert then strip-sacked Ripon quarterback Jarrett Zibert with Kyle Santos recovering his own forced fumble at the Red Hawks’ 16-yard line.
The Green Knights needed just two plays to score when Richie Gilles found Austin Miller on a 12-yard touchdown pass with 9:28 left in the third quarter.
Ripon answered again, going 75 yards on seven plays, converting a fourth-and-2 at the St. Norbert 5 on a Zibert to Kaipo Magsayo touchdown pass with 5:19 left in the quarter.
The Green Knights just missed scoring early in the fourth quarter when a fumble at the Ripon 2 was recovered by the Red Hawks at their own 7-yard line.
The Red Hawks then flipped field position with a 13-play, 60-yrad drive that ate up 7:27 off the clock.
Ripon outgained St. Norbert 302-267 in total offense.
Delton Zuleger led the Green Knights on the ground with 74 rushing yards on 22 carries. Gilles completed 13 of 24 passes for 154 yards.
Alex Meisenheimer had four receptions for 41 yards.
Zibert completed 16 of 26 passes for 175 yards, while Cormac Madigan had a team-high 61 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Santos had a game-high nine tackles for St. Norbert, whil Joe Jung and Tyler McCabe finished with seven tackles apiece.
St. Norbert will have its home opener against UW-Stevens Point on Sept. 10. Kickoff at Donald J. Schneider Stadium is at 1 p.m.