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Football: LWC survives low scoring affair at Thomas More

Crestview Hills, KY - At Republic Bank Field on Saturday, the Lindsey Wilson defense continued its dominance against Mid-South opponents, helping to guide the third-ranked Blue Raider football team to a 12-3 victory over the homestanding Saints of Thomas More University.

One week ago, against Campbellsville University, the locals (5-0, 3-0 MSC) set new single-game program bests for total sacks and opponent rushing yards, but on Saturday evening, both of those marks were quickly scrapped for even stronger efforts as Lindsey Wilson pummeled the Thomas More backfield with ten sacks leading to negative 41 yards on the ground.

Senior Luke Bowman, who was credited with a half-sack in the first half to run his career total up to 18.5 total sacks, becomes the Blue Raiders' all-time leader in quarterback takedowns, breaking a two-way tie with Andrew Wahl. His teammate LeAndre Bolen paced the defense with two total sacks on the evening, while Brandon Fields, Roman McDonald, and Therone Orr each muscled one-and-a-half.

In a game that saw 12 punts in its first 13 offensive drives, it was the visitors striking first on the scoreboard early in the second quarter.

Starting from their own 23-yard line, the Blue Raiders recovered from a short loss to move the ball 77 yards up the field on 11 plays. The longest drive of the game to that point was punctuated with an eight-yard pass from Will McDonald to a wide-open Logan Collier on a short slant route to break the deadlock.

In the process of pushing Lindsey Wilson ahead 7-0, juniors Ian Sauter and Kobe Belcher each reached individual milestones with the latter of the two becoming the ninth different rusher in program history to record over 1,000-career yards, and Sauter joining five other Blue Raiders to have scored over 200 points in their tenures with the blue and white.

The touchdown from Collier was all that was written in the first half, and as the contest drifted further and further into the Kentucky night, it became more unclear if either side would find the endzone again.

After an empty third quarter, the hosts finally tacked on their only points of the evening behind a 28-yard field goal, trimming the Blue Raiders' cushion down to 7-3. However, on the subsequent offensive possession for Lindsey Wilson, a 35-yard upright splitter off the foot of Sauter restored the road team's seven-point lead in a matter of minutes.

Over the final eight minutes, Thomas More struggled to piece anything together offensively as the local's defense produced six of their ten sacks during that period.

The Saints showed some semblance of hope down the stretch thanks to a blocked field goal attempt with 3:53 left in regulation, but a safety by Cameron Thurman soon after put the home side deeper in the hole, down 12-3. Even with a recovered onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, Thomas More had no answers for the Blue Raiders' suffocating defense, who closed with back-to-back sacks to seal the deal.

All told, offensively Lindsey Wilson finished with 243 total yards compared to Thomas More's 62. 156 of those yards for the Blue Raiders came on the ground, including a game-high 87 by Belcher.

McDonald and Ethan Cash shared quarterback duties throughout the evening, combining to complete 17 of 31 passes for 87 yards and the touchdown to Collier, who led all Lindsey Wilson receivers with 47 yards on seven catches.

On the defensive side of the ball, Darius Holden and Bowman turned in one pass breakup each to go along with five and seven tackles, respectively.

Saturday's victory improves the program's winning streak against in-league opponents to 26 games, dating back to the 2018 season. The Blue Raiders will have a chance to bump up that number in two weeks when they return to Parnell Family Stadium to host Faulkner University on October 15 at 1:30 p.m. CST.

This story was posted on 2022-10-02 13:58:16
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