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Football: LWC Falls to Grand View in FCS Semifinals
By Christopher Webster
The No. 1-ranked Lindsey Wilson football team fell 34-28 against No. 3 Grand View (IA) on Saturday afternoon at Parnell Family Stadium in the NAIA FCS Semifinal.
The Blue Raiders had a chance to take the lead in the waning moments of the game. Grand View punted from their territory with 2:09 to play as Noel Patterson returned it 50 yards to the Viking 35-yard line. A shoestring tackle just prevented Patterson from taking the return for a score.
Lindsey Wilson advanced the ball to the Grand View seven-yard line to set up first and goal with just under 30 seconds to play. LWC couldn't find the endzone over the next four plays as the Vikings took over on downs before entering victory formation to run out the remaining time on the clock.
The loss is the Blue Raiders (12-1) first in 727 days, last falling 34-24 to Marian (Ind.) in the NAIA FCS Semifinals on Dec. 7, 2019. In the 2021 calendar year, the Blue Raiders are 23-1.
Cameron Dukes finished the evening with 258 passing yards and three total touchdowns, two in the air and one on the ground. Jaylen Boyed averaged 4.6 yards per carry with 114 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Luke Bowman recorded a team-high seven tackles. Jo Fluker added five tackles along with an interception.
Grand View (14-0) took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter as Johnny Sullivan connected on an 80-yard pass to Gerald Sama and a 25-yard pass to Anthony Turner to take a two-possession lead with 9:49 left in the first quarter.
After a slow start for the Lindsey Wilson offense, Dukes linked with Jousha Lewis for a 32-yard reception to enter Vikings territory. After a four-yard run by Boyd, a 38-yard reception set the Blue Raiders on Grand View's one-yard line. Boyd powered into the endzone on the ensuing play to cut the deficit 14-7 with Lindsey Wilson trailing exiting the first quarter.
The Blue Raiders capitalized on a great opportunity to even the score after Fluker intercepted a Sullivan pass on the opening play of the second quarter and returned it for 39-yards to Grand View's 18-yard line. Four plays later, Lindsey Wilson tied the game on a seven-yard run by Dukes with 13:27 remaining in the half.
On the next Viking's possession, Sullivan connected on three 15-plus yards passes to set up a 37-yard field goal by Nathan Hamilton to take a 17-14 lead. The Blue Raiders responded with a score of their own as Dukes recorded his first passing touchdown on a 26-yard strike to Jaleel Warren to go ahead 21-17.
Grand View cut the lead to one on a 42-yard field goal by Hamilton as Lindsey Wilson went into halftime up 21-20.
The Blue Raiders extended their lead to start the second half. Dukes connected with Lewis for a 22-yard reception to put Lindsey Wilson at Grand View's 41-yard line. After a trio of runs by Boyd, Dukes found D'Mauriae VanCleave in the endzone for a 29-yard touchdown to take a 28-20 advantage with 11:35 left in the third quarter.
The Vikings cut into the lead on an 11-play drive to bring the game within two. Sullivan connected with Sama for his second touchdown reception of the day. Grand View attempted a two-point conversion, but Lindsey Wilson's defense stood tall to maintain a 28-26 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Grand View jumped out in front a little under two minutes into the final quarter of play. Sullivan completed an 18-yard pass to Bennet Spry and a 37-yard pass to Sama to put the Vikings deep in Lindsey Wilson territory. Two plays later, Sullivan gave the Vikings the advantage with a six-yard touchdown pass to Seth Juhl, taking the lead for good at 34-28.
With the result, the Blue Raiders conclude their 2021 season. LWC finishes with a 12-1 overall record going 7-0 in Mid-South Conference play while winning the MSC Bluegrass Division Regular-Season Title. The Blue Raiders reached the NAIA FCS Semifinals for the third consecutive season.
This story was posted on 2021-12-05 09:25:26
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