CMU Football Falls at Lindenwood-Belleville
BELLEVILLE, IL -- Lindenwood University-Belleville held off Central Methodist University 23-20 in a slugfest Saturday afternoon at Lindenwood Stadium. The Lynx (3-2) outgained the Eagles (2-3) 393-324, despite allowing 282 rushing yards.
The Lynx took the opening kickoff and marched to the Central Methodist 9-yard line before Trevor Robinson forced a fumble by quarterback Matthew Marler. The Visalia, California, native recovered the fumble and returned it to the Green and Black's 26-yard line, as the first quarter ended in a scoreless tie.
The Lynx took a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter when Marler dropped back to pass and connected with Rodney Troutman on a play-action pass. The home team looked to take a two-touchdown advantage midway through the second quarter, but Nicholas Wiley intercepted Marler, who was 12-of-29 passing on the day, at the 4-yard line.
The Eagles tied the game deep in the second quarter on a special teams miscue by Lindenwood-Belleville. Derrick Henry muffed a punt which was recovered by Logan Hicks at the 30-yard line of the Lynx. One play later, Skyler Jameson, who was making his first career start at quarterback for Central Methodist, turned a broken play into a touchdown run to make the score 7-6. Jameson broke three tackles on the play before finding the endzone.
The Eagles opened the second half with a five-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to take a 13-7 advantage. Burton Iosefa broke loose through the Lynx' secondary for a 46-yard scamper to paydirt. Iosefa ended the day with 19 rushes for 166 yards.
Lindenwood-Belleville retook the upper hand on the next possession. Kameron Harris, who finished with 102 yards on 22 carries, scored from 16-yards out on a delayed handoff. A 34-yard field-goal off the right foot of Zach Morris gave the Lynx a 17-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lynx and Eagles traded touchdowns in the final 15 minutes. Marler found Troutman for their second touchdown hookup of the contest. The extra point was blocked by David Purcell. Cleave Perryman answered for the Eagles, punching the ball in from one yard out with 4:42 remaining in the game to cut the deficit to a field goal.
The Eagles' defense forced a three-and-out on the next series, including a sack by Wiley on 3rd-and-3. A 16-yard punt gave Central Methodist the ball at Lindenwood-Belleville's 40-yard line with just under four minutes left in the contest.
The Eagles gained four yards before Ezequiel Rivera lined up for a game-tying, 53-yard field goal try with 55 seconds on the clock. The kick had the distance but sailed right, preserving a three-point win for the Lynx.
Marler concluded the game with 200 yards through the air and two touchdowns with one interception.
Troutman and Harvey Binford caught four passes apiece. Biford had 79 receiving yards. Troutman had 38.
Jameson completed 4-of-11 passes for 42 yards while also rushing seven times for 53 yards. Jameson, Iosfea and Perryman each had one rushing touchdown.
Central Methodist's Paul Stevens caught three passes for 38 yards. Perryman added one catch for four yards.
The Eagles will return to Heart of America Athletic Conference play next Saturday, October 6, at sixth-ranked Benedictine College. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT.