Story by: Lindsey Wilson College Athletics
COLUMBIA, Ky. – It was a group effort for the No. 3 Lindsey Wilson football team, as the Blue Raiders used strong play on both sides of the ball to take down No. 5 Concordia (Mich.) 49-27 in the FCS quarterfinals at Blue Raider Stadium on Saturday.
Lindsey Wilson (9-0) produced 524 yards of offense, the second-highest total yards in a game this season, and limited the Cardinals (6-1) to just 313. Additionally, the Blue Raiders dominated time of possession with 38 minutes and 36 seconds compared to 21 minutes and 24 seconds for the opposition.
Defensively, Lindsey Wilson held the Concordia to 38 rushing yards, the fewest recorded by the Cardinals since the program’s first-round game in the 2017 FCS playoffs.
Concordia wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as the Cardinals’ Seeger Degayner took the opening kickoff 96 yards to the house.
Lindsey Wilson immediately fought back with a score on its first possession as well. A methodical 12-play, 75-yard drive was capped off by a four-yard rush from Cameron Dukes as he slipped through a couple of Concordia defenders to tie the game at 7-7.
A few plays into the Cardinals’ ensuing drive, the Blue Raiders’ Cameron Thurman hammered Concordia’s Jacob Miller and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Lindsey Wilson.
The Blue Raiders capitalized on the turnover with a second consecutive scoring drive. Another lengthy possession of 11 plays and 62 yards was concluded when Dukes floated the pigskin into the left corner of the endzone to Jaleel Warren for a six-yard score and a 14-7 lead.
Following a three-and-out by the Cardinals, Lindsey Wilson continued to drive the ball down the field with success. After marching 75 yards, the Blue Raiders’ offensive line opened up a hole on the left side for Dukes to slide into the endzone with a two-yard rush for another six points.
Lindsey Wilson once again forced Concordia’s offense off the field after three plays to retake possession. The Cardinals were unable to halt the Blue Raiders’ high-octane offense as Lindsey Wilson recorded its fifth scoring drive of 90 yards or more this season with a 90-yard trek that ended with the most unusual play.
Dukes dropped back to pass at Concordia’s 20-yard line. The quarterback tossed it to Terrill Cole, but the pass tipped off Cole’s fingers and spun through the air into the hands of Warren, who was just one yard away from the endzone. Warren used his momentum to dive across the goal line for the Blue Raiders’ fourth touchdown in a row to take a 28-7 advantage.
At the midway point, Lindsey Wilson outgained Concordia 312 to 74 in the first half.
In the second half, the Blue Raiders struck first and increased their lead to 35-7 with a 61-yard strike through the air from Dukes to Joshua Lewis.
The Cardinals eventually put together a solid drive in response to Lindsey Wilson’s score. Concordia pieced together a 12-play, 75-yard possession to get back on the board once quarterback Peter Morrison found Luke Wilson 10 yards down the field in the endzone to reduce the deficit to 35-14.
After a successful onside kick, the Cardinals threw away an opportunity with an interception on the first play of the drive. Morrison aired it out a bit too much as the pass overshot the intended receiver and instead found the Blue Raiders’ Jarvis Cunnigham. A drive of 15 plays, 10 of which were rushes, ended in a score for Lindsey Wilson by Jaylen Boyd from just one yard out.
Concordia eventually tacked on another seven points when Morrison hit Ahmad Clay in stride for the 13-yard touchdown pass to bring the Cardinals within three scores at 42-21.
With under two minutes left on the clock, the Blue Raiders wanted one more score, and that’s exactly what they got when Darius Clark punched the ball in from the 4-yard line.
Down 49-21, Concordia continued to fight despite the large deficit. As the clock expired, Morrison connected with Clay for the final touchdown of the afternoon, but Lindsey Wilson won convincingly 49-27.
Dukes finished 24-for-30 with 285 yards and five total touchdowns. Lewis was his favorite target, as the wide receiver recorded a team-high six receptions for 99 yards and a score. Additionally, Warren hauled in a pair of touchdowns. On the ground, Boyd led the way with 93 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Ty Tevis notched the most tackles on the team with nine during the contest. Shea Martin recorded Lindsey Wilson’s only sack.
The victory sends Lindsey Wilson into the NAIA FCS Playoff Semifinals for a second straight season. An opponent and location for this game will be announced at a later time. Stay updated at www.lindseyathletics.com.
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