Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lions Roar Ahead Early, but Taylor Storms Back in Wild 44-24 Contest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lions Roar Ahead Early, but Taylor Storms Back in Wild 44-24 Contest

Article excerpt

The Lindenwood College football team found itself in an unfamiliar position Saturday afternoon.

But the end result was just as frustrating.

After racing to a 17-0 lead at Taylor (Ind.) University, the Lions faltered in a 44-24 loss. Lindenwood is 1-6 overall and 0-3 in Mid-States Football Association play.

Taylor, located in Upland, Ind., is 3-3 and 2-1.

"Our game plan was to control the ball and for most of the first half, we succeeded in doing that," Lindenwood coach Jeff Driskill said. "We scored on our first three possessions and led 17-0. We've had leads before, but nothing like this."

David Goodwell scored on a 1-yard run, Bill Leiby booted a 35-yard field goal and St. Charles High product Corey Nesslage hooked up with fullback James Niccum for a touchdown pass as the Lions took command.

But Lindenwood's control was short-lived as the Trojans struck quickly. After a botched Lindenwood punt, Taylor quarterback Dan Teeter hit Doug Bonura with a 5-yard TD pass. Later in the second quarter, Teeter and Bonura hooked up on a 5-yarder, cutting the Lindewnood lead to 17-14 by halftime.

"We were still up, but you never would've known it in our locker room (at halftime)," Driskill said. "We stressed the importance of re-establishing ourselves in the second half and that's exactly what we did."

The Lions took the second half kickoff and drove to the Taylor 7 before a questionable fumble ended the drive.

"When we had the ball, the whistles all day were notoriously slow," Driskill explained. "Our back's forward progress was stopped and one of their players came out of the pile with the ball and threw it to the ground. The officials ruled it a fumble, but if it was a fumble, why did their player throw the ball on the ground? Why didn't he return it?

"The inconsistency of officiating in the NAIA is something that has to be addressed. But officiating wasn't the difference Saturday.

"It was our game to lose. And we lost it."

After the fumble, Taylor went on a seven-play drive to take the lead on a 20-yard pass from Teeter to Bonura. …

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