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No. 4 LWC Football advances to NAIA Quarterfinals
No. 4 Lindsey Wilson Football defeats No. 9 Southeastern 63-49 in First Round of NAIA National Playoffs at Blue Raider Stadium before crowd of 1,123. STATS
Click on headline for full article w/Coach Oliver YouTube interview
By Christopher Coombs
News from Lindsey Wilson College
COLUMBIA, KY (Sat 18 Nov 2017) - The No. 4-ranked Lindsey Wilson football team defeated No. 9 Southeastern (Fla.) 63-49 during the First Round of the NAIA Football Championship Series at Blue Raider Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The game was an offensive battle that featured 163 plays for a total of 1,153 yards and 112 points between the two programs.
The victory advances the Blue Raiders (11-0) to their third all-time appearance in the FCS Quarterfinals. The Blue Raiders are now 3-0 all time in home playoff games, and 3-3 all-time in the playoffs.
Blake Ingleton was named the NAIA Offensive Player of the Game for his five rushing touchdowns, a Lindsey Wilson program record, on 25 carries for 241 yards. Dylan Beasley completed 18-of-30 passes for 232 yards and two scores through the air. Tyrone Stallard had five receptions for a team-leading 109 yards and one score. Joe Lewis was named the NAIA Defensive Player of the Game for his 15 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack.
The two teams exchanged punches early in contest as the Blue Raiders scored, only for the Fire (8-2) to answer with a touchdown of their own immediately after.
Ingleton got the scoring started when he took a handoff 50 yards around the edge on the opening drive for the 7-0 lead. Southeastern answered with a score of its own two minutes later on a quarterback keeper from four yards out.
With 3:06 remaining in the quarter, Beasley connected with Cam Wyche over the top for a 36-yard touchdown. Southeastern once again responded with a score of their own 58 seconds later when Jonathan Pearce found LaQuvionte Gonzalez for a 53-yard strike, leveling the score at 14-14.
The Blue Raiders then sustained a 12 play, 97-yard drive that extended into the second quarter. The drive was capped off with a 14-yard scoring pass from Beasley to Mikey Davis on a slant route across the middle with 12:26 remaining in the half. Again, Southeastern answered with a score of its own, this time on a nine-play drive capped off by a Jarrell Reynolds rushing score from three yards out. The Fire would take a 28-21 lead, their first and only lead of the contest, with 4:25 left in the half when Pearce scored his second rushing touchdown of the day from four yards out.
This time, the Blue Raiders answered with a touchdown of their own with just 28 seconds remaining in the half to level the score at 28-28 after a 10 play, 73-yard drive. Ingleton forced his way in from two-yards out, his second score of the game.
To open the second half, the Blue Raider defense forced a three and out. On the ensuing offensive position, Lindsey Wilson went 56 yards in four plays as Ingleton raced past the Fire defenders for 14 yards and a score, his third of the day. Just over two minutes later, the Fire countered again by leveling the score at 35 when Pearce found Mathew Craig through the air for a nine-yard touchdown strike.
With 4:19 left in the third quarter, Lindsey Wilson's Payton Veraldi, who briefly relieved Beasley under center, completed a 26-yard back shoulder pass to Stallard on fourth down to put LWC back out front 42-35. But just like in the first half, the Fire had an answer, this time a 10 play, 60-yard drive leveling the score at 42-42.
On the ensuing kickoff, Allen Cooks put the Blue Raiders back in front after he got the edge and raced past Fire defenders down the sideline for a 91-yard kickoff return touchdown, giving the Blue Raiders a 49-42 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
The Blue Raider defense was able to get a stop early in the fourth quarter. After a Fire punt, the offense took things over from their own nine-yard line. Beasley helped orchestrate an 11-play drive, including a 3rd-and-8 conversion through the air, that was capped off by Ingleton's fourth score of the game with 8:34 left in the game. Southeastern countered with another score at the 5:23 mark in the fourth quarter, cutting Lindsey Wilson's lead in half, 56-49.
After the Blue Raiders were forced to punt, the Fire were driving into LWC territory looking to level the score once again. Facing a 4th-and-1 from the Lindsey Wilson 43-yard line, the Fire running back was stopped behind the line by Lewis, handing the ball back to LWC.
Ingleton then finished off his night the same way he started it, with a 50-yard rushing touchdown. With 1:30 remaining in the game, Ingleton took a handoff up the middle, racing past Southeastern defenders for the score and increasing the Lindsey Wilson lead to two scores at 63-49.
The Fire attempted to answer after driving deep inside Lindsey Wilson territory in the final minute, but Holt Keeling forced a Southeastern fumble that was recovered by J.T. Lyon. Beasley and company were then able kneel out the remaining time on the clock, securing the victory.
The Fire's Pearce threw from 284-yards on 26-of-30 passing and two touchdowns, adding 116-yards on the ground and two more scores. Gonzalez had eight receptions for 166-yards Kamario Bell rushed for 117-yards and two scores.
The matchups and game locations for the NAIA Quarterfinals will be announced later tonight following the conclusion of all First Round games.
This story was posted on 2017-11-18 19:17:30
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