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Before starting the year’s season in the Mid-South Conference of Division I-A competition, Lindenwood took the field against Lindenwood-Belleville. Both teams came to the match boasting rosters full of raw talent, but it was the Lions that came out on top, 64-15. This game will surely become a rivalry game in the years to come.
Despite the seemingly one-sided score line, the result provided a strong baseline for Lindenwood.
“It was a great starting point,” said Lindenwood Head Coach, Joshua Macy. “We were successful enough to feel confident, but with some clear areas to improve in. I’m thankful to our opponents for challenging us and making us work hard for our rewards.”
The Lions ran an offense that emphasized ball movement. Everyone, from the prop to the fullback, was asked to handle the ball, and they all did so with confidence. This smooth flow was generated by effective passing from fullback Michael Baska. His confidence with the rock created opportunities for his teammates and allowed the winning strikes to form.
Inside center Joseph Livesey started off the match with an early try. After a 20-minute scoring drought, lock Jack Huckstepp benefitted from some swift handling to get a five-pointer. Flankers Colten Hernandez and Brandon Chalker capped off the try scoring in the first half. Flyhalf Nick Feakes had a good half from the tee and gave his team a 28-0 lead.
Outside center Sam Chapman resumed the scoring ways for the Lions a mere five minutes into the second half, setting up lock Chris Kelland for the first try of the second half. Wing Cristian Rodriguez benefitted from some poor discipline on LB’s behalf, scoring two tries.
The Lions played patiently when on defense and remained calm when those efforts started to hit snags. Rather than focusing on poaching, the defense, led by the loose forwards, ensured that tacklers put runners on the ground and stayed on their feet to corral the Lynx and control their flow.
“Belleville was very wily and was always looking to turn something from nothing,” Macy said. “They can score very quickly if you don’t keep an eye on them.”
The Lynx took advantage of some breakdowns in the Lions’ defense during the second half, but the game was already well in hand.
With this match in the books, the Lions will get into the meat of the season soon. The next match on the schedule has Lindenwood traveling to play the United States Naval Academy.