With nine minutes left, quarterback Tarean Austin hit Walter Jackson in the back of the endzone for the Lindenwood-Belleville Lynx’s second touchdown of the day. The point after attempt was blocked, though, and University of St. Francis junior Seth Coate sprinted 100 yards for what, by rule, is a two-point score.
That’s the kind of a day it was for the Lynx, who were beaten soundly by No. 14 St. Francis, 74-13, on the home turf Saturday.
If, as LU-B coach Dale Carlson says, each game offers a new gauge for his team’s growth, then Saturday’s defeat shows just how far away the Lynx remain from the top of the rugged Mid-States Football Association.
“We could have played the game of our lives today and still not have won, but the scoreboard isn’t what’s important to me today,” said the first-year coach. “Until we can learn to play a full 60 minutes and not allow ourselves to be distracted by things other than doing our jobs, it’s going to be a tough for us.”
388 Yards passed for St. Francis sophomore quaterback Nick Ferrer
St. Francis amassed 729 yards of offense, mostly on the arm of sophomore quarterback Nick Ferrer who said he saw good things from the Lynx early.
“They mixed things up and found ways to stop us early,” said Ferrer, who ranks in the top five nationally in four passing categories. “The thing I saw was a drop in depth — they aren’t as deep as us — and attitude. There is a winning tradition at St. Francis and it drives our attitude on the field. I saw some good players over there and we know they are well coached. Once they can taste some success every week, it will help them take a turn in their attitude.”
St. Francis took a fast lead with a five-play, 81-yard scoring drive on its first possession.
The Lynx forced a punt on the St. Francis’ next possession and the offense moved the ball to the Cougars 35-yard line. But a first-down run by senior running back Kam Harris was negated by a personal-foul call that eventually forced LU-B to punt.
St. Francis responded by driving 92 yards on nine plays to make the score 14-0. Ferrer and the Cougars rolled from there. The score was 38-7 by halftime.
“Those are the kinds of things we talk about — better focus, better discipline, “ Carlson said. “You can’t give points away, least of all in games like this. We have two weeks to heal up before we go to Missouri Baptist and, hopefully, show that we’ve learned something from this.”
Ferrer entered the game ranked No. 2 nationally in passing efficiency and No. 3 in yards per game. He improved his pace in both categories Saturday by completing 21-of-33 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns. Two USF receivers topped 100 yards -- Coate and Cam Smith. Tirone Smith led all ball carriers with 125 yards on just five carries.
For LU-B, Austin was 15-of-28 for 166 yards and a touchdown. He ran for another touchdown and had 35 yards rushing. Austin also was intercepted on a deflected pass that freshman Wilmer Cold returned 49 yards for a St. Francis touchdown. Althoff graduate Kam Harris had 30 yards on 11 carries and Jackson was the Lynx’s top receiver with six catches for 31 yards.
St. Francis faces No. 8-ranked Marian Saturday; Lindenwood-Belleville has a week off to prepare for a road game at Missouri Baptist Oct. 10.