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Football: LWC races to 100 wins

By Christopher Coombs

Since the rebirth of the Lindsey Wilson football program in 2010, the Blue Raiders and head coach Chris Oliver have pushed through a multitude of milestones.

With Saturday's 31-0 win over Pikeville (KY), the Blue Raiders hit the 100-win plateau in just their 12th season as a program. The Blue Raiders currently hold a 100-33 overall record including a 52-17 record in Mid-South Conference play.

The path to 100 has been a process, a successful one. The Blue Raiders needed 46 games to reach the program's first 25 wins. The last 25 wins came much quicker. Following the program's 75th win during the 2019 season, Lindsey Wilson needed just 26 games (25-1) to reach the 100th win.

The Blue Raiders have not dropped a conference game since the 2018 season and are a perfect 20-0 against Mid-South Conference Bluegrass foes since their last setback. They have won 26 straight against members of the MSC.

Lindsey Wilson football picked up their first-ever win on Sept. 11, 2010, in which a Blue Raider team full of freshmen, defeated Southern Virginia 44-3. The win marked the first "black rock" placed in then-Blue Raider Stadium to signify a home win. Lindsey Wilson picked up their 50th home win one season ago in the NAIA Football Championship Series Semifinals, a 38-14 win over Keiser (FL). LWC has now collected 54 home wins, compiling a 54-15 overall record when playing in Columbia.

The Blue Raiders are riding an overall 18-game winning streak while winning 19 straight at home, both are program records. LWC's last loss to a team hailing from the Commonwealth of Kentucky came during the 2015 season.

Lindsey Wilson recorded their first Battle of Highway 55 win against Campbellsville University in 2013 at Blue Raider Stadium. Lindsey Wilson's 24-17 win came in a game that will go down as one of the most memorable in program history. Due to a weather delay, the game began on Saturday at 7:15pmCT and wasn't finished until the early hours of Sunday at 1:28 a.m. CT.

The Blue Raiders picked up program win number 25 in season four with a 62-10 win over Kentucky Wesleyan. That season also marked the first time in program history Lindsey Wilson qualified for the NAIA Football Championship Series. The squad won their first-ever post-season game in a 20-17 win over Faulkner (AL).

Win number 50 came against Campbellsville in season seven with a 54-33 road win while win number 75 came in a 58-3 victory over Bethel (TN) in McKenzie, Tennessee.

Lindsey Wilson's success in the regular season -- 10 winning seasons, including five seasons of double-digit wins -- has translated into the NAIA Football Championship Series, the NAIA's version of the playoffs. Lindsey Wilson is 9-5 in the FCS. In 2019, the Blue Raiders advanced for the first time to the NAIA FCS Semifinals. The team finished with a 12-1 overall record, marking the most wins in a single season in the program's history.

Last season, 11 years of hard work paid off for Oliver and company as they captured their first NAIA FCS National Championship. The Blue Raiders managed a perfect 11-0 record, producing the program's first and only undefeated season.

With its 100th win now in the rear-view mirror, the Blue Raiders turn their attention on other accomplishments. While Lindsey Wilson football continues to strive for conference championships and FCS appearances, and yes, another national championship, Oliver would tell you its all about going 1-0 each week -- the program's mantra since the very beginning.

This story was posted on 2021-10-23 19:20:16
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