The Cardinal football team traveled to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri over the weekend, where they fell to the Lions, 31-35.
The weekend’s loss is the second straight for the Cardinals, who have struggled on the defensive side of the ball, giving up 125 points to opponents over the last three games.
Lindenwood struck first with a touchdown coming in the first quarter of the game, giving the Lions an early 7-0. The score remained unchanged until the second quarter, where Lindenwood again scored on a 40-yard pass.
After throwing an interception on the next drive, Lindenwood regained the ball but would eventually be forced to punt it away to the Cardinals who gained field position on the Lindenwood 37-yard line.
Moving the ball well, the Cardinals were able to score their first points of the game on a pass from senior Ryan Conklin to junior receiver Chad Gailliard.
Starting the second half down 7-14, the Cardinals received the ball and made their way down field. On the 1-yard line, the Cardinals handed off to junior Chris Nelson, who rushed the ball into the endzone, tying the game for the Cardinals.
Following another touchdown by the Lions and a Cardinal field goal from sophomore Connor Luksic, the Cardinals entered the fourth quarter with a bit of momentum.
With 12 minutes remaining in the game, Nelson again crossed the endzone on a 15yard rush that gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game. This lead was challenged, as the Lions again found the endzone.
Conklin made his way down the field yet again, finishing the drive with an eightyard pass to sophomore Casey Williams.
With 55 seconds remaining in the game, the Cardinals took defense for the last time.
The Lions marched down the field again, and on a fourth and 10 play completed a 36-yard pass to sway the game back in their direction.
The Cardinals, unable to counter the touchdown on offense, would eventually fall to the Lions by one score.
“We needed this one,” Luksic said. “We just had a couple things not go our way.”
The loss hit the team hard, as many players considered the game against Lindenwood a must-win.
Sophomore wide receiver Casey Williams said that despite the Card’s fall to a season record of 4-3, he is still optimistic with how its season will progress.
“It wasn’t our best game as a whole team, but once we learn how to play four quarters on both sides of the ball, we won’t be beat,” he said.
The Cardinals will be on the road again next weekend, as they travel to Big Rapids to take on Ferris State.