Sunday, September 4, 2016

Lincoln Blue Tigers Fall in Battle of the LUs

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri -- It was a defensive tussle in the first half, but Langston scored 17 second-half points to hand the Lincoln football a 23-13 loss in the Battle of the LU's on Saturday (Sept. 3).

The contest was scoreless for the first 29 minutes, but the final minute of the second quarter contained some excitement. Langston broke the tie on a one-yard quarterback sneak, but Faleaoga Russell blocked the extra point attempt to hold the Lions' lead at 6-0. The Blue Tigers then responded with a quick seven play drive, beginning with a 13-yard reception by Darius Hicksand a 33-yard touchdown catch by Anthony Townsend.

Townsend's reception was a nice juggling catch, as the ball bounced off his hands before he finally pulled it down despite tremendous coverage from the defense. Townsend finished the game with a team-high 58 receiving yards. Alex Templeton, meanwhile, nailed the extra point to give Lincoln a 7-6 lead at halftime.

The Blue Tigers forced Langston into a three-and-out to open the second half, but Lincoln fumbled at its own seven-yard-line on its opening possession to set the Lions up with great field position. The Blue Tiger defense kept the Lions out of the end zone, but Langston made a 20-yard field goal to re-take the lead, 9-7.

On Lincoln's next possession, the Blue Tigers were forced to punt, and a 37-yard return set Langston up at the Lincoln 21. Three plays later, Langston hauled in a 16-yard touchdown pass to go ahead, 16-7.

That was how the score would remain until the 4:19 mark of the fourth quarter, when Langston scored on a 34-yard touchdown reception. The Blue Tigers nearly scored on the drive before that, as Delvon Rouser hauled in a pass from Dennis Vinson on a run-pass option and out-ran the defense into the end zone. One of Lincoln's offensive linemen was a little too far downfield on the pass, however, and the play ended up being called back.

On Lincoln's first drive after Langston's score, C.J. Closser hauled in a 23-yard pass on a 4th-and-14 to move the Blue Tigers onto the Lions' side of the field. Vinson then connected with a Deonte Latimer on an 11-yard pass before finding Townsend in the end zone again for a 25-yard score. The Blue Tigers went for two to make it an eight-point game, but Vinson's pass was dropped by a Lincoln receiver.

Will Randolph led LU with 32 rushing yards while Reko Lysius was next with 22. Vinson threw for 124 yards and a pair of scores while Templeton averaged 60.5 yards on kickoffs and 36.3 yards on punts. Addison Tucker and Amani Nelson each made a team-high nine tackles while Jeff Jones made an interception and Isaiah Doss forced and recovered a fumble.

The Blue Tigers fall to 0-1 on the season while Langston improves to 1-0.

- A nice juggling catch by Anthony Townsend as time expired gave Lincoln a 7-6 halftime lead.
- Langston took advantage of a pair of Lincoln miscues to score 10 points in the third quarter.
- After another touchdown by Langston, the Blue Tigers scored late to pull within 10, but the two-point conversion pass was dropped.
Anthony Townsend finished with two catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns.
Amani Nelson and Addison Tucker each had nine tackles for the Lincoln defense while Jeff Jones made an interception.

Lincoln will open its road slate next week, as the Blue Tigers travel to Lincoln University, Pa. on Saturday (Sept. 10) to play Lincoln (PA) in the first-ever Battle of the Lincolns. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. CDT.

Dan Carr, Assistant AD for Media Relations

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