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Ricks College's final triumph

POCATELLO, Idaho — A crowd of nearly 11,000 witnessed the last football game of the Ricks College Vikings Nov. 30 at the final Real Dairy Bowl in Pocatello, Idaho. The Vikings tromped previously undefeated Lackawanna College of Scranton, Pa., 49-21.

Travis Christensen of Ricks College runs through a Lackawanna College defender in Real Dairy Bowl. Ricks won 49-21.
Travis Christensen of Ricks College runs through a Lackawanna College defender in Real Dairy Bowl. Ricks won 49-21. Photo: Photo by Michael Lewis

"We played this one for everyone who ever wore Viking blue," Ricks College Coach Ron Haun said. "It is a real satisfying feeling."

It was the 15th consecutive appearance of the Vikings in the Real Dairy Bowl contest.

Quarterback Robbie Haas of Logan, Utah, won Most Valuable Player honors, finishing the contest with 22-of-38 passing for 364 yards.

Coach Haun also concluded his twentieth season at Ricks College. He has enjoyed a 178-40-2 record in his 20 years as the Vikings head coach. Since 1984, his teams have been ranked nationally in the top 15 of the National Junior College Athletic Association's final season polls 16 times.

With a 10-1 overall record in 2001 and a 9-1 record in the Western States Football League, the Vikings won a share of the league championship once again. Ricks lost one game in overtime this year to Dixie State College of St. George, Utah.

Although the Church-owned school is now known as Brigham Young University-Idaho, the athletic teams are continuing to play as the Ricks College Vikings for their final year. BYU-Idaho will discontinue intercollegiate sports at the end of this school year. Intercollegiate athletics is being replaced with an expanded student activities program that is expected to include many students.

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