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Scots Face Lawrence With New QB
When Monmouth College takes the field for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., Saturday, they'll have a new starting quarterback for the first time in 35 games.

All-American quarterback Alex Tanney is out indefinitely after sustaining an injury on the Fighting Scots' first series against Grinnell last week. The 17-15 loss to the Pioneers puts the Scots in unfamiliar territory with an 0-2 start for the first time since 2005.

"We need to take care of our business and right our ship," said Steve Bell. "We've got to get ourselves ready and not worry about the rest of the conference. That stuff will play out. We've got to win our first game before we worry about anything else."

Backup quarterback Brik Wedekind was called into action against the Pioneers and threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns. After falling behind 17-0 in the third quarter, the freshman signal caller orchestrated a 60-yard scoring drive. A safety got the Scots within striking distance and Wedekind then hit Matt Shepherd in the end zone for the receiver's second TD of the game.

That doesn't necessarily mean the Scots have settled on the starter this weekend.

"It's still a competition at that position," said Bell. "Brik still has to earn that position. He's a big, strong kid and he can run when he has to, but he'll have to compete to keep that job just like anyone else. He was put in a precarious position last week. He was a little nervous at the start, but he settled in and did a nice job."

For the first time in recent memory, the Scots will not be the Vikings' opening opponent. After opening the season with a one-touchdown loss to St. Scholastica, Lawrence manhandled Knox in the conference opener last week, winning 33-12.

"The Lawrence coaching staff always does a very good job," said Bell. "It's different this year because they've already got two games under their belts. I assume they'll be a much different team than we've faced in the past because of that."

The Vikings weren't shy about scoring against the Prairie Fire, putting up 13 first quarter points and ending with two TDs, a safety and a field goal in the final frame. Four different players scored touchdowns, one on a fumble recovery and 66-yard return, and the Vikings also recorded two safeties.

"They will be confident coming off a win," reported Bell. "They saw what Grinnell was able to do to us and they'll be energized to play us."

Lawrence will have plenty of motivation Saturday. The Vikings have never defeated a Bell-coached team. With 78 career wins, Bell's next victory will give him more wins than any other football coach in Monmouth history and the Vikings don't want that celebration at the Banta Bowl.

"We know we'll be in for a tough game," said Bell. "They executed well against Knox. They're aggressive defensively and we'll have to prepare for that. They also have multiple weapons on offense."

Sophomore Tyler Mazur and freshman running back Shawn Martin combined for 168 yard rushing in last week's win. Mazur and freshman Luke Barthelmess shared quarterbacking duties as the Vikings had nearly perfect balance, rushing for 199 yards and passing for 205 more.

"We have to stay true to what we do," said Bell. "Defensively, we'll need to get a lot of people around the ball and make them one-dimensional."

For their part, the Vikings may have had to adjust their game plan with the Scots long-time QB on the sidelines. That may also give them a boost.

"There's no doubt in my mind that teams are licking their chops to play us now," said Bell. "We're not playing nearly up to the level we're capable of. It comes back to the same thing, we've got to play up to our abilities."

(Monmouth College Athletics)
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