JACK LEACH | Reporter
Despite goals of avenging last year’s 38-35 loss to Fort Hays State, the Lions once again came up short.
On Saturday, Lindenwood lost to the Tigers 27-14 in their second-to-last away game on the schedule.
Fort Hays opened up the contest scoring on their first possession. After a Dandre Reed kickoff return of 49 yards to the Lindenwood 43-yard line, the Tigers scored four plays later after quarterback Jacob Mezera hit wide receiver Harley Hazlett for the 28-yard touchdown score.
The Lions scored their first points of the game with five minutes remaining in the first quarter. A Cam Sanders rush of 22 yards to begin the drive set the Lions up in the Tigers’ redzone. Three plays later, tight end Mason Bendigo caught a Cade Brister touchdown pass for 18 yards. Bendigo’s second touchdown reception of the year tied the game at 7.
Fort Hays wide receiver Layne Bieberle highlighted the Tigers’ next scoring drive. The junior caught passes of 20 and 36 yards to set up a Dante Brown 28-yard field goal near the end of the first quarter.
After multiple punts by both teams, the Tigers captured the first score of the second quarter. Backup quarterback Chance Fuller took a shot and hit wide receiver Andrew Jay for 56 yards to the Lindenwood 3-yard line. Running back Charles Tigner capped off the three-play drive by scoring from one yard out.
A Lindenwood punt back to the Tigers gave them a chance to score with one minute remaining in the second quarter. Bieberle and Hazlett catches of 18 and 15 yards set up Brown for another field goal from 34 yards out to conclude the first half; Fort Hays led 20-7.
A comeback for the Lions was sure promising after their first possession of the third quarter. After receiving the second half kickoff, Lindenwood drove 61 yards on 8 plays to cut the Tiger lead to six, following a 9-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Najee Jackson.
The final score of the game went to Fort Hays in the third quarter. Consecutive runs of seven, eight, and eight by Tigner was one-upped by the 46-yard touchdown reception from backup running back D.J. Hickman.
Next week is Lindenwood’s last home game of the year. Senior Day festivities will be held as the Lions host the Central Missouri Mules at 1 p.m.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article encouraged readers to “make sure to join in on the Senior Day festivities.” We apologize for the mistake.