On Thursday night (Sept. 4) the Lindenwood football Lions gave head coach Patrick Ross a double present with a season-opening 44-38 victory over Washburn University in Topeka, Kan.
Lindenwood moves to 1-0 (1-0 in the Midwest Intercollegiate Athletic Association) to start the season, and in addition the win was the 100th in Ross coaching career.
In the first 10 minutes of the game. the Lions got shoved into a 17-0 hole courtesy of the host Ichabods as Washburn converted good field position into a blocked punt that was returned 26 yards for a score, followed by another touchdown and a field goal.
Lindenwood finallly got its offense going on the next drive as the Lions Marvin Byrd (Fort Zumwalt East) capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
Washburn upped its lead with a touchdown late in the first quarter to make it 24-7. In the second quarter, Lindenwood dominated as the Lions got a great opportunity for points off a Connor Harris interception that was returned to the Washburn 34.
From there the Lions kept it on the ground as quarterback Dillon Miller’s 18-yard run put them in the red zone and Tre- Roby closed out the march with a 5-yard scoring run.
Then came a botched Ichabod punt that allowed Lindenwood a possession at the Ichabod 20-yard line. Stephen Kaiser (De Smet Jesuit) capped the short drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Lindenwood showed off its hurry-up offense in the final two minutes of the half as the Lions drove 40 yards for a Brandon White 40-yard field goal which tied it 24-24 at the half.
The third quarter saw the Lions outscore Washburn 13-7 on the strength of a 97-yard kick return by Lavorrie Johnson that tied the game at 31-31 and a 48-yard interception return by Harris. The Lions offense cashed in on the turnover as Byrd scored on a 1-yard run to cap the 22-yard drive. The extra point attempt failed.
Washburn retook the lead with a touchdown with 14:09 left. Lindenwood responded with its most important drive of the game as the Lions drove 79 yards for a touchdown on a 12-yard scoring reception to Jordan Gater.
The Ichabods had one more chance in the final three minutes but the Lions defense held and Lindenwood was able to run out the clock.
Washburn outgained Lindenwood 451-319 in total offense but the Lions forced three Washburn turnovers and only gave up the ball once.
Miller finished the night 24 of 42 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown. Alexander led the receiving corps with six catches for 64 yards.