Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lionhearted Lindenwood Holds off Nazarene for 2nd League Win

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lionhearted Lindenwood Holds off Nazarene for 2nd League Win

Article excerpt

Even in victory, the Lindenwood College football team is finding it still has a lot to learn.

The Lions held off a late charge by visiting MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) College Saturday, winning 25-23 before a homecoming crowd at Harlen C. Hunter Stadium.

The victory, Lindenwood's second in succession, brings the Lions to 3-5 overall and 2-5 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. With its third consecutive loss, MidAmerica Nazarene fell to 4-3 overall and to 3-3 in the HAAC. But Lindenwood's victory didn't come without a last-second scare as the Pioneers' P.J. Born failed to connect on a 42-yard field goal with 35 seconds to play. The Lions led 25-16 with just 2:34 to play. "That's the thing about playing prevent defense; you rarely prevent anything," Lindenwood coach Dan Kratzer joked afterward. "You'd like to think that you're not going to give up two scores in the last two minutes of a ballgame, but (MidAmerica Nazarene) almost pulled it off. Hopefully this is something we can learn from. "It's important for our guys to realize that they have to play the complete game. As long as there's still time on the clock, you can't afford to let down." Saturday's victory was the Lions' second come-from-behind victory in as many weeks. Lindenwood led 14-7 at halftime, but a touchdown pass and a safety early in the second half quickly turned a seven-point lead into a two-point deficit. "The key was that we didn't panic," Krazter said. "Even though we were down, we stuck with the game plan and continued to do the things that had been successful for us. Any time you can come from behind, even if it's just two points, it's a sign of character." The Lions regained the lead midway through the final period as Mario Patton adjusted to a floating pass from Max Brown and ran it in for a 19-yard touchdown. Defensive lineman-turned-fullback Craig Burch followed with the two-point run as the Lions went up 22-16. After forcing a punt, the Lions drove deep into Pioneer territory before settling for a 21-yard field goal by Ben Pointer. With 2:34 to play, Lindenwood led 25-16. But MidAmerica needed just seven plays to cover 61 yards. When Danny Sibert hooked up with Jerry Hayes on a well-executed 15-yard fade pass to the corner of the end zone, the Pioneers were back in the game at 25-23. Born's onside kick was recovered by the Pioneers at the MidAmerica 46. Three pass receptions later, the Pioneers faced a third-and-two at the Lindenwood 25. After the Lions' Jon Cossey broke up a pass on third down, the Pioneers called a timeout to set up the potential game-winning field goal. But Born's kick never had a chance. It was short and to the right. "We definitely made things a little more exciting than they needed to be today," Kratzer said. "But this was a good win for us. …

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