Lions set to take on Washburn in football home opener


SONY DSCIvy Reynolds | Reporter
September 3, 2015; 3:30 p.m.

The Lindenwood football team kicked off its 2014 season against Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and brought home a 44-38 win. It would be one of the two victories the program had during the season.

Now, 364 days later, the Lions and Ichabods will meet again, but this time, it will be on home turf. The season opener is difficult to plan for, considering there is no recent game film to go on, but head coach Patrick Ross said he is prepared for Washburn to bring its usual tough lineup.

“They have brought in a couple Division I transfers that are good players, and they’re big on the offensive line,” said Ross. “Defensively they are always really solid and don’t make a lot of mistakes.”

He said the game will be a major challenge, but believes his team is due for a breakout and some success.

Along with home field advantage, the Lions will also look to their experienced players going into this game. Ross is relying heavily on junior Washburnlinebacker Connor Harris to carry the defensive unit.

“The middle of our defense is solid right now,” Ross said. “Connor has elevated his game and Clint Koons, the guy right next to him, is playing phenomenal.”

Koons, also a junior linebacker, said he is confident in his teammates, especially in the returning defenders.

“They will be our biggest strength going into this game,” Koons said. “I also think our ability to stop Washburn’s passing game will be big for us.”
On the offense, a new year has brought some changes along with it, as the group features Division I transfers at both quarterback and running back.

Senior newcomer Jesse Scroggins will lead the charge from the quarterback position Thursday night. Ross said Scroggins’ speed and elusiveness will be a huge help to the team throughout the season.

He also praised running back Calen Campbell for the electricity he has brought to the team.

“Our goal is to come in with a ton of energy and make some plays,” Ross said.

A lot can change over the course of a year, but the competitive intensity sparked by last season’s close result is still burning for both teams.

“I think it will be a great match up,” Koons said. “We don’t want it to be as close as last year, but we are expecting it to be a good game.”

For updates throughout tonight’s game, follow Lindenlink on Twitter.